Slip and Fall

We have successfully represented plaintiffs in civil matters for more than three decades.

Slips and falls are the single largest cause of Emergency Room visits and the average slip and fall injury costs $28,000.

“Slip and fall” is a term for a personal injury case where a person slips and/or falls as a result of negligence or a dangerous/hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Property owners are negligent when they are aware that there is a safety issue and they do nothing to fix the problem or if they have not properly educated themselves on the dangers of different aspects of their property.

Dangerous conditions such as torn carpeting, abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs or a wet floor can cause a slip and fall Outside a building, one may slip and fall because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see pothole in the ground. Slip and fall accidents can occur on commercial, residential or public property. Regardless of where they happen, all property or building owners have a certain level of responsibility (duty of care) to make sure an environment is safe.

15% of all accidental deaths occur because of slips and falls and they are the second leading cause of accidental deaths.

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of “premises liability” cases, which center on the question of a property owner’s duty to care for the property. Injury by fire or other accidents resulting from defects in the conditions of buildings also fall under this category.

Do I have a case?

Slip and fall cases are governed under the law of negligence.

To win a premises liability claim, an injured victim has to prove either, that the defendant created the hazard that led to the accident or that the defendant knew or should have known about the danger and had it removed or repaired. This can often be difficult to prove, since proving when a given hazard first appeared can be challenging.

The following represent some, but not all, causes of action in “slip and fall” cases:

Structural damages: to a building, often due to age or wear and tear, can be a significant cause of injury. Uneven steps, parking lot potholes, cracked sidewalks, broken tiles, or torn carpeting can create dangerous situations for visitors to a building. As noted earlier, to prove negligence, we will have to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the problem and failed to repair it.

Occasionally, negligence can be proven by violation of statute. Building owners must ensure that the building’s structure is in compliance with applicable building codes. For example handrails and other similar structures typically must be installed at a certain general height. If you fall on a stairway that lacked appropriate handrails, and the lack thereof caused your injuries, you may have a valid claim against the building owner for violating building codes.

Weather-related slip and fall: these accidents are difficult cases for injured plaintiffs. Landowners are generally expected to take reasonable steps to reduce hazards created by adverse weather. This can include, but is not limited to, shoveling snow, salting or sanding icy and slippery spots and installing anti-slip devices on outdoor steps. As with other cases, if the landowner has no reasonable opportunity to correct the problem, as where a flash flood has created a hazard, the landowner will not held liable for injuries caused by the hazard.

Work-related Slip and Falls: Slip and falls are responsible for 15-20% of all workers’ compensation costs. They’re the 3rd largest cause of workplace injuries. Corporations and employers have a duty to protect their employees from every form of injury. This means that they may need to invest in more expensive materials or equipment and they must consistently monitor any possible hazardous areas in their facility. Employers should also educate all of the employees on safety standards and accident prevention.

Comparative Negligence: In slip and fall cases, as with all other negligence claims, comparative negligence applies, O.R.C. Ann. § 2315.17. As a guest on someone else’s property, you are expected to exercise reasonable judgment and caution.

What can I do?

If you, or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, please contact Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty at 614-222-4444 / 877-706-6446. Our initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds on your behalf. You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.