Muncie Slip & Fall Lawyer
Fall injuries, including slip-and-fall injuries, are the leading cause of Emergency Room visits in the United States. These falls, which could occur outdoors or indoors, usually generate substantial medical bills, not to mention substantial pain and suffering. Generally, property owners are legally responsible for these injuries.
At the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers, our diligent Muncie slip & fall lawyers begin work as soon as you partner with us. Since victims have the burden of proof in court, we collect evidence that supports your claim. We also prepare from a legal perspective. That means establishing the landowner’s duty in the case and preparing to refute some common insurance company defenses. This approach usually ensures maximum compensation for your serious injuries.
Building a Case
As mentioned, a successful slip & fall claim has both legal and factual components. Also as mentioned, preparation is key in both areas.
Legal duty is usually the first question in a negligence claim. Sometimes, legal duty is rather easy to ascertain. Other times, the process is a bit more complex. That’s the case in slip & fall claims, because in Indiana, the legal duty varies according to the relationship between the victim and owner.
Most of these victims are invitees. They have direct permission (a dinner invitation) or indirect permission (an “Open” sign) to be on the land. And, their presence benefits the owner noneconomically or economically. Because the relationship is so close, the owner’s duty is quite high in these situations.
In other scenarios, a lesser duty applies. That’s normally the case if the victim was a licensee (permission but no benefit) or a trespasser (no permission and no benefit).
Breach of that legal duty is normally the factual issue in these claims. In an unintentional slip & fall claim, that breach usually involves prior knowledge of the liquid spill or other hazard which caused the slip & fall. This evidence could be direct or circumstantial. In either case, the victim must establish knowledge by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Assumption of the risk and an open and obvious hazard, which is an offshoot of comparative negligence, are the most common insurance company defenses in these claims.
Assumption of the risk usually involves a warning sign, like “Caution Wet Floor.” However, a sign does not conclusively establish this defense. Insurance company lawyers must still prove that the victim saw the sign, could read the sign, and could understand what it means. These elements are very difficult to prove in many cases. Some people do not see well, especially in a dimly-lit room, and others do not have solid English proficiency skills.
Normally, owners are not legally responsible for damages if the hazard was open and obvious, like a sinkhole in a parking lot. However, as mentioned, many people do not see well. Additionally, many older people suffer from gait disorders. So, when they slip, they almost always fall. As a result, they are unable to avoid any hazard, including an open and obvious one.
Reach Out to a Savvy Lawyer
Personal injury victims have important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Muncie, contact At the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.