Suing for a Slip and Fall Caused by a Hazardous Condition

Suing for a Slip and Fall Caused by a Hazardous Condition.

Slip and falls are some of the most common accidents, and they can arise when you least expect them to happen. They can occur nearly anywhere, including hotels, office buildings, restaurants, bars, retail stores, swimming pools, or even in icy parking lots.

The injuries that are sustained in connection with a slip and fall accident can be serious and lead to lifelong disability or even fatality. Under Alaska law, a property owner can be held liable when a slip and fall occurs on their premises due to negligence — and it allows a victim to recover the damages they suffered as a result.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Most slip and falls are preventable through adequate maintenance and reasonable inspection of a premises. But not all owners take the necessary measures to ensure their properties are kept in a safe condition. Unfortunately, such carelessness can lead to hazards that cause slip and fall accidents resulting in serious injuries.

There can be many causes of slip and fall accidents on someone else’s property, including the following:

  • Food and liquid spills
  • Rain and snow accumulation
  • Tracked in snow
  • Icy pavement
  • Recently waxed or mopped floors
  • Poor lighting
  • Defective flooring
  • Loose rugs
  • Inadequate floor mats
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Lack of handrails
  • Ripped carpets

Slip and fall accidents can be complex — and it’s critical to have strong evidence to support a claim. Repair and maintenance logs, surveillance video, testimony from eyewitnesses, and photographs can all be helpful to demonstrate that a property owner should be held responsible for the accident. Medical documentation is also crucial to establish the extent of your injuries and the physical limitations you experienced in connection with them.

Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident

A property owner can be held liable for a slip and fall accident if they had actual notice about a dangerous condition on their property and did nothing to warn about it or correct the issue. They can also be held accountable under the theory of constructive notice if they should have known about a hazard on their property through reasonable inspection that they failed to timely remedy. In addition, an owner can be legally responsible for a slip and fall if they created the condition that caused the accident.

Importantly, Alaska law requires proof of an “unreasonably” hazardous condition in order for a property owner to be held liable for a slip and fall. In other words, simply being hazardous is not enough — the condition must meet the standard of being “unreasonably” so.

Property owners aren’t the only parties who may incur liability for a slip and fall. Depending on the facts and circumstances, a property management company, a cleaning company, a snow removal company, or another responsible party may also be included in a personal injury action. It’s necessary to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding a slip and fall accident to ensure all potentially liable parties are named in a lawsuit.

Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries

A slip and fall accident can cause a wide array of injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, sprains, strains, broken bones, nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, hip fractures, and more. These types of injuries often require extensive medical treatment and time out of work. They can also cause you to incur out-of-pocket costs in connection with medical care and prescriptions. Significantly, medical treatment will depend on the type of injury sustained, it can consist of physical therapy, chiropractic care, the use of hot and cold packs, prescription pain relievers, and surgery — if the injuries have not resolved.

If you were lawfully present on someone else’s property and suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident due to their failure to maintain a safe premises, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the losses you suffered. Specifically, by filing a personal injury action, you may be entitled to recover your economic and non-economic damages. While economic damages are meant to cover the monetary losses incurred due to a slip and fall accident, non-economic damages compensate for the intangible losses you suffered.

An award of economic damages for a slip and fall accident can include the following:

  • Unreimbursed medical expenses for your slip and fall-related injuries
  • Lost wages due to being out of work because of your injuries
  • Future lost earnings if you are unable to work because of your injuries
  • Property damage (i.e. broken glasses or torn clothing as a result of the slip and fall)
  • Out-of-pocket costs incurred due to the accident

In contrast with economic damages, which are objective, non-economic damages are much more difficult to quantify. This category of damages includes compensation for the pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life you experienced due to your injuries.

If you have suffered damages in a slip and fall accident, it’s vital that you don’t wait to take legal action to recover your monetary and non-monetary losses. Generally, you only have two years to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for a slip and fall accident in Alaska. The statute of limitations begins running on the date of the accident.

Contact an Experienced Alaska Personal Injury Attorney

A slip and fall accident can be serious and alter the course of your life. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident caused by another’s negligence, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and options. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain your rightful compensation.

Proudly serving accident victims in Anchorage, Soldotna, Kenai, Palmer, Wasilla, and other areas of Alaska, The Trial Guy, Eric Derleth, is dedicated to representing clients for a wide array of personal injury matters, including those involving slip and falls caused by someone else’s negligence. Call 907-262-9164 to schedule a free consultation at our Anchorage or Soldotna office, or contact us online. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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