Michigan Slip and Fall Accidents Lawyer

Slip and Fall Accidents

Many people regard slip and fall accidents as minor occurrences largely due to clumsiness. However, the injuries that one can receive from slipping and falling can be quite serious. Private and commercial property owners, as well as agencies managing public property, are legally responsible for keeping visitors safe from hazards. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Michigan, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your damages. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help.


Common Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents

While a slip and fall accident can produce serious injuries to anyone, those especially at risk include the elderly. In fact, falls are a major cause of hip fractures and death for those ages 65 and older. Some of the more common injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents include:

  • Hip and other bone fractures: About 5 percent of all falls result in bone fractures, the National Floor Safety Institute reports, with hip fractures being among the most serious. Another common slip and fall site for bone fractures is the wrists, which may become damaged when the falling person attempts to catch themselves with their hands.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries: Back injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents may include spinal cord injuries, damaged vertebrae, or damage to the soft tissues. Tailbone injuries are also frequently caused by this type of accident due to individuals landing on their backsides during a fall.
  • Knee damage: Damage to the tendons and ligaments of the knee are frequently seen in slip and fall or trip and fall accidents due to individuals stepping awkwardly off a staircase and twisting the leg. Additionally, knee cap damage can occur due to falls on a hard surface.
  • Ankle injuries: Uneven or slippery flooring surfaces, or improperly designed staircases, are common causes of twisted, sprained, or even broken ankles.
  • Traumatic brain injury: According to information from the Mayo Clinic, falling down stairs or from a ladder are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. A mild brain injury may cause temporary cell damage. However, more severe injuries may result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. Severe brain injuries produce lifelong effects and can even result in death.
  • Shoulder strain or dislocations
  • Cuts and bruises, as well as internal damage caused by the fall.

Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

According to information provided by the National Floor Safety Institute, more than a million hospital visits occur in the United States due to slip and fall accidents. Some of the causes of these accidents include:

  • Uneven pavement or broken floor tiles
  • Floors that are wet, icy, or greasy
  • Clutter or debris on floors
  • Potholes or damaged paving in parking lots
  • Broken sidewalks or those that are improperly designed
  • Staircases that are damaged, poorly designed, or without handrails
  • Transitions from one type of flooring to another
  • Poor lighting
  • Electrical cords stretched across walkways


How Michigan Protects Slip and Fall Victims

If you’re injured in a Michigan slip and fall accident, you have two options for recovering compensation for your damages: a third-party insurance claim with the property owner’s insurance company or a premises liability lawsuit, which is a category of personal injury law. Some of the highlights of Michigan’s personal injury law include:

  • Statute of Limitations: To obtain compensation for your injuries through the courts, you must file your lawsuit within three years after the date of the injury.
  • For a successful outcome to your case, you must prove that the property owner was liable for your accident. To do this, you must show: 1) The property owner had a duty of care to keep his or her property sufficiently free of hazards. 2) A hazardous condition was present on the property that the owner knew about or reasonably should have known about and nothing was done to fix this hazardous condition or to warn others of its existence. 3) You were injured as a result of the property owner’s negligence in keeping his or her property safe.
  • The duty of care owed by property owners to visitors depends on the type of visitor. There are three types of visitors: 1) Invitees are individuals who are invited onto the property to do business, such as customers at a store, or a plumber you hired to do work at your house. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care, such as keeping their property in a reasonably safe condition and performing regular inspections of the property for hazards and either fixing those problems or cautioning visitors to the hazards with a warning posted in plain sight. 2) A licensee is one who visits the property through the owner’s implied consent, such as family or friends who have been invited to one’s property as a social guest. Property owners and managers owe a duty of care to licensees—in particular to take action to make the property safe or to warn the licensee of the hazardous condition. 3) Trespassers are on the property without permission. While there is no formal duty of care expected from property owners to trespassers, one must not intentionally set up an unsafe condition for the purpose of injuring a trespasser.


Potential Defenses to Your Slip and Fall Claim

Because insurance companies are in the business of making money, often they will try to avoid paying for damages caused by hazardous property conditions by portraying the accident as something solely or mostly caused by you. Some common defenses heard in slip and fall cases include:

  • The hazardous condition was open and obvious and you should have seen it.
  • The property owner took reasonable steps to warn of the dangerous condition.
  • You were in a part of the property where visitors aren’t usually allowed.
  • You were distracted or wearing improper footwear, which played a bigger part in the accident than the unsafe condition.


Contact Thurswell Law Now if a Slip and Fall Accident Injured You

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, let us help you understand your legal options. Contact us today for an initial consultation at (248) 354-2222 or write to us.

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
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