Michigan City Indiana Slip, Trip and Fall Lawyers
You are walking through the parking lot in a Michigan City business and the next thing you know, you're on the ground with a searing pain in your right hip. Once you get your bearings, you look around a see that you tripped in a large pot hole that wasn't visible because the lighting in the parking lot was so poor. The ambulance comes and takes you to Franciscan Health. After you receive x-rays, the emergency room doctor tells you that your hip is broke and she is calling in the orthopedic surgeon to take a look. The next day, you have to undergo a hip replacement. You have thousands of dollars of medical and hospital expenses, and will not be able to work for at least three months.
You just can't believe what happened, and you're concerned that you are going to lose everything. One of your friends say that you should call a lawyer, and you're wondering if you are able to make a claim against the owner of the property. Like anything else, the answer is maybe. A slip and fall claim or a trip and fall claim is called a premises liability claim.
Indiana Slip, Trip and Fall Law
Indiana law requires people to use due care in their daily activities. A slip and fall claim addresses injury to a person that is injured because of a dangerous condition on someone else's property. In our fact scenario, the legal question is, "was the pothole a dangerous condition." Most folks would say yes.
In all personal injury matters the nature of the relationship establishes the responsibility that the parties owe to each other. Indiana recognizes three duties of care that a landowner owes, and the duty, depends on the reason the person is on the property.
The highest duty of care to an invitee (a person who goes onto another's property to do business is an invitee). The landowner's duty to an invitee is to use reasonable care for the protection of that person while she is on the landowner's property. In our scenario, if the landowner knew or should have known that the pothole existed and the lighting was bad, he had a duty to protect the injured person when she was on the property. The protection could have been a warning sign, blocking off the area, and/or fixing the pothole.
The Biggest Mistake Slip and Fall Victims Make After Falling
A common scenario after someone falls is that they are embarrassed because they have fallen. They jump up immediately and go about their business because of the situation. Later, they realize they are injured and they have to overcome doubt on behalf of the store or landowner because they did not report the incident immediately. This brings us to the biggest mistake that folks make after falling and that is failing to report the incident and failing to identify why they have fallen.
Even if you believe that you have not been injured in the incident, you should document the reason why you fell and report the incident, there is no harming in doing so, except maybe to your pride because you are embarrassed because of the incident.
Who Can be held responsible for a Slip and Fall Injury?
Just like the infinite scenarios in which premises liability claims can arise, there are a number of people or entities that can be responsible for a person's injury. Some of the responsible parties can include:
- An owner of a business
- The injured person
- The owner of the business property
- The manager of the business property
- An owner of residential property
- A tenant of residential property
- Vendors hired to maintain business properties
- Vendors hired to maintain residential properties
- Vendors hired to maintain subdivisions
- Vendors hired to maintain parks and other recreational facilities
- The federal government
Follow These Steps After A Michigan City Slip and Fall
Establishing responsibility is difficult in slip and fall cases and these cases are very fact specific so it is important to make sure you preserve evidence as soon as practical.
Step 1: Report the incident to the property owner so there is a record of the event.
Step 2: Document the area of the incident. This can be done with photographs or video.
Step 3: Get the names of any witnesses, employees, or emergency personnel.
Step 4: Get checked out medically.
Step 5: Make a request to the business owner to preserve any video surveillance of the event.
Common Injuries in Slip, Trip and Falls
Some injuries are quite frequent in slip, trip and fall matters, these include:
- Hip Fractures;
- Pelvis Fractures;
- Patella (knee cap) Fractures;
- Shoulder Fractures;
- Wrist Fractures;
- Rotator Cuff Injuries,
- Torn Cartilage (meniscus) in the Knee,
- Ankle Injuries; and
- Foot Injuries.
What type of compensation is available in Indiana slip and fall claim?
The law allows a person who has been injured because of negligence to receive compensation for a number of categories of damages. Damages are generally classified as economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are:
- Past medical and hospital bills
- Future medical and hospital bills, if any anticipated
- Past lost wages, if any
- Future loss of earning capacity, if any
- Any other out of pocket expenses related to the injury.
Non-economic damages include:
- Past physical and mental pain and suffering
- Future physical and mental pain and suffering
- Scarring, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment of life
Contact a Michigan City Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
If you have any questions about a slip and fall in Michigan City contact Guy DiMartino Law at (219) 690-8997.
Guy DiMartino Law, 1411 S. Woodland Ave., Suite D, Michigan City, IN 46360