If you have been injured in a premises accident, our Detroit slip and fall lawyers can help you seek compensation from the liable party. Such compensatory damages may go towards covering the medical costs of the injury, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as any other losses you may have suffered.
When it comes to slip-and-fall lawyers, it is important to demonstrate the liability of the property owner. A number of other legal requirements also need to be observed when filing a claim for slip-and-fall injuries. Here is a look at some of these requirements within the context of Detroit, Michigan cases.
What is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall accident is when you are injured after slipping, tripping or falling in any other way due to the dangerous conditions present on the premises of a property. The dangerous condition that caused the fall and injury may be a wet floor, an unexpected obstruction on a walkway, damaged stairs, unusual construction design and more.
The responsibility for making sure that the premises of a property are reasonably safe may lie with the owner or the person or authority tasked with maintaining it. So in the case of a slip-and-fall incident, you can file a claim against the entity responsible for the maintenance of the property where the incident has occurred.
The level of care that is legally expected may vary from building to building and case to case. It is best to consult Detroit slip and fall lawyers when determining whether your injuries qualify for a damages claim.
What is Notice in a Slip-and-Fall?
An important concept when it comes to slip-and-fall accidents is ‘notice.’ When you file a slip-and-fall claim, you must be able to demonstrate the negligence of the building owner. This is possible when you can show that the owner had notice of the danger that caused the injury. In other words, the owner must have known about the spilled water, the damaged stairs or another hazard present on the property. If the owner was not aware of the danger, your damages claim may be turned down.
This is why it is vital to establish notice in a slip-and-fall accident. Notice also covers the instances where a property owner ‘should have known’ about the danger. So if the on-premises hazard that caused the injury was of an obvious nature, you may seek to establish notice by citing that the property owner should have knowledge of the hazard.
Michigan Slip-and-Fall Laws
Michigan has a number of laws that govern slip-and-fall accidents. The most notable of these is the statute of limitations and the comparative negligence rule. Here’s a look at both in the context of slip-and-fall claims.
Statute of Limitations
The Michigan statute of limitations that applies to personal injury lawsuits also applies to any claims pertaining to a slip-and-fall injury. The statute is set at three years. This means that you must file a claim for compensation against the liable party within three years from the time of the occurrence of the slip-and-fall.
This time limit applies not only to any bodily injuries you may have suffered in a slip-and-fall. It is also applicable to any property damage you may have suffered in the fall. For instance, if you damaged your smartphone in a slip-and-fall, you have three years to claim compensation for this loss as well.
Comparative Negligence Rule
Michigan uses a modified comparative negligence rule when determining fault in personal injury cases. This means that the percentage of fault in a personal injury accident is allocated to all the parties involved in proportion to their degree of negligence.
For instance, if you are found 10% negligent in a slip-and-fall, you receive 90% of the total damages you are actually entitled to. In this way, the amount of damages you receive is trimmed by the percentage of your fault.
When a victim files a slip-and-fall injury claim, it is not uncommon for the property owner to come up with the counter claim that the victim also shared the blame for the accident. This is simply done to bring down the actual amount of damages the property owner will eventually have to pay the victim.
If your share of the fault in a slip-and-fall accident is 51% or more, you are barred from receiving any compensatory damages at all.
Common Objections Raised Against Slip-and-Fall Claims
The owner of a property or a building may raise a number of objections to counter your slip-and-fall injury claim. Following are some of the most common objections that are typically used in such cases:
- It may be claimed by the legal counsel of the property owner that the dangerous condition which caused your injury was obvious and should have been known to you.
- It may be argued that reasonable steps had been taken to warn visitors about an area with hazards. Such steps may include the placement of cones and signs to let the visitors know that a section of the property was off-limits.
- The owner can object that you were visiting an area which is closed to visitors or where no visitors are expected when the injury occurred.
- Based on available evidence, it may be objected that you were distracted at the time the slip-and-fall incident occurred. Such distraction may include talking on the phone or walking while under the influence of alcohol.
- Finally, if you were wearing footwear that was not suitable for the site of the incident, it can be claimed that your footwear was actually to blame for the injury.
Even if these objections may not succeed in getting your claim dismissed, they may still be effective in trimming down the actual settlement amount.
How Detroit Slip and Fall Lawyers Can Help You?
If you intend to file a slip-and-fall claim, you must be sufficiently prepared. On your own, you may have a hard time facing off the legal counsel of the property owner. This is why it is critically important to have a qualified lawyer by your time.
Here at TorkLaw, we help slip-and-fall victims recover a fair compensation for their injuries. Get in touch with us today to discuss your options and get an estimate on the amount of damages you may be able to recover from the liable party.