Understanding what the law has to say about slip, trip and fall accidents

When you visit a friend living at an apartment complex, attend a social gathering for work or travel to the local shopping center to pick up a few items, the last thing you anticipate is suffering some manner of serious injury in a particularly nasty spill.

That's because we take it for granted that the owners or possessors of the property will take the necessary steps to ensure that the premises is safe, meaning that spills will be cleaned up, torn carpet removed, uneven floor surfaces repaired and burnt out light bulbs replaced.  

The unfortunate reality, however, is that many stores, restaurants and residential complexes, to name only a few, frequently neglect to take these basic and largely inexpensive measures, and it’s the customers and guests who suffer.

Indeed, despite what many have been led to believe, those involved in slip, trip and fall accidents frequently endure incredibly serious personal injuries, including broken bones in the feet and legs, torn knee ligaments, and slipped discs in the back and neck. In fact, some victims even suffer some manner of traumatic brain injury after striking their head on the hard floor.

Making matters worse, however, is that victims sometimes feel as if they are somehow to blame for their injuries or otherwise too embarrassed to learn more about what went wrong.

While this is certainly understandable, it's imperative for those involved in a shocking and wholly devastating slip, trip and fall accident to understand that their injuries may be directly attributable to the negligence of a property owner and, if so, they have options for holding them legally accountable.

Specifically, they may pursue damages under a category of personal injury cases referred to as premises liability claims, which at their core require a plaintiff to demonstrate that 1) their accident was caused by a dangerous condition and 2) the property owner knew about this dangerous condition.

We'll examine these elements in greater detail in future posts, as well as the applicable statutes of limitations for bringing a premises liability claim here in Wisconsin.

In the meantime, if you've been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, and would like to learn more about your rights, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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