According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 6.8 million Americans visited an emergency room for a fall-related injury in 2020. Furthermore, falls accounted for 33% of all non-fatal, preventable injuries, and 21% of preventable deaths in the United States. Moreover, recent data reveals that the average cost for a fall resulting in hospitalization is more than $50,000.
A slip and fall can result in catastrophic injuries, expensive medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you or someone you care about was injured in a fall due to conditions on someone else’s property, you may be eligible to file an Indianapolis slip and fall accident claim against the negligent landlord.
Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe for those who live there and who visit. If a landlord fails to meet this duty, and a tenant or someone else suffers an injury, the landlord can be held legally responsible for any medical bills, lost wages and income, and other damages the injured person incurred.
The successful outcome of a slip and fall accident claim will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific circumstances involved and how clearly the landlord’s fault for the accident can be established. The skilled Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Wagner Reese have extensive experience handling slip and fall accident cases, and we can protect your rights.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation. At Wagner Reese, every potential client gets a free case assessment.
How Do I Know if I Have a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
Under Indiana’s premises liability law, landlords have a duty to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. In order to hold a landlord liable for a slip and fall, Indianapolis accident victims must prove that they were owed this duty of care as a tenant or guest on the landlord’s property.
In other words, if you were a tenant or guest on someone’s property and slipped, fell, and suffered damages because of hazardous conditions on that property, you likely have a viable slip and fall accident claim.
Many slip and fall accident victims believe they are to blame for the fall, so they fail to file a claim. But there are usually other factors to consider.
There may have been a defect in the property itself. The steps may not have been up to code, or there may have been a structural problem that caused you to slip and fall.
Often, if a landlord finds out that someone fell on their property, they will fix the conditions that caused the fall immediately. Therefore, it is essential to take photographs and videos of the scene of a slip and fall accident before the landlord tries to correct it.
Comparative Negligence in Indianapolis Slip and Fall Cases
After a slip and fall, you may be unsure whether you have a claim because you were injured due to what you believe to be an obvious hazard. However, the fact that a dangerous condition was obvious does not bar you from recovering compensation through a slip and fall accident claim.
Do not assume you are not entitled to compensation because you had an opportunity to avoid being injured. You may still be able to show that there was greater negligence on the landlord’s part.
If you are partly at fault for your Indianapolis slip and fall accident, you may still recover compensation from the landlord, if your degree of fault for the accident is no more than 50%. In this case, the court will reduce any damages you are awarded by an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault.
For example, if a judge or jury finds you 50% at fault for the accident, and you are awarded $50,000 in damages, you will still be entitled to recover $25,000. However, if the judge or jury finds you 51% at fault or more, you will be barred from recovering any damages under Indiana’s comparative negligence law.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall in Indianapolis
If you or someone you care about was injured in a slip and fall in Indianapolis, taking the following steps can help preserve your right to be fully compensated for your injuries and other losses:
- Determine what caused the accident – After a slip and fall accident, try to determine what caused you to fall. If you have your cell phone with you, try to take a picture of the hazardous condition that made you fall. If you slipped and fell because of a slippery substance on the floor, try to determine where the substance came from. There may have been water leaking from a pipe or valve. Any evidence that the substance had been on the floor for an extended length of time can indicate that the landlord had ample opportunity to clean it up before you fell, but negligently failed to do so.
- Collect information – Collect the contact information for any witnesses who saw you fall. It would also help if you noted any statements made by the landlord once they were aware of the fall. For instance, if the landlord said to you, “I told the maintenance man to fix those stairs!” or “I forgot to repair that carpet.” be sure to write that down. Statements like these can be used later, as evidence of the landlord’s negligence.
- Seek immediate medical attention – Most importantly, get checked out by a doctor. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, you may not realize how seriously you have been injured. Make visiting a doctor a priority, whether you have obvious injuries or not. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more difficult it can be to prove that your injuries were caused by your Indianapolis slip and fall accident and not something else.
Contact the Indianapolis Slip and Fall Lawyers at Wagner Reese
If you have been injured due to a slip and fall accident and believe it was due to the landlord’s negligence, consult with a knowledgeable Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer at Wagner Reese. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation.
This content has been reviewed by the attorneys at the Wagner Reese offices.