Wayne County Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Falls are the leading cause of preventable injury in Wayne County and across the United States. Each year, over 800,000 people are hospitalized due to fall-related injuries. According to one recent study, the total medical costs incurred by falls exceed $50 billion per year. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a fall, contact the dedicated Wayne County slip and fall accident lawyers at the law firm of Sommers Schwartz.
At Sommers Schwartz, our highly respected team of personal injury attorneys dedicates their practice to advocating on behalf of slip and fall accident victims. We have over 45 years of experience successfully negotiating and litigating Wayne County accident claims. We know what it takes to get you and your family the compensation you deserve.
The Legal Duty of Property Owners
Businesses, government agencies, individual homeowners, and other property owners owe a duty of care to those they allow onto their land. What duty a property owner owes to an individual depends on whether that person is an “invitee,” “licensee,” or “trespasser.”
An invitee is someone present on another’s property for a commercial purpose. The most common example of an invitee is a customer of a business. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition and warn their invitees of known dangers on the property. Additionally, property owners must regularly inspect the premises to discover possible hazards they may not be aware of and warn their invitees if they cannot eliminate the danger.
Licensees are the second classification of visitors. A licensee is someone present on another’s property for the mutual benefit of the visitor and the property owner. The most common example of a licensee is a social guest. The owner or operator of a property is liable for a licensee’s injuries when:
- They knew or should have known of the danger that caused the licensee’s injuries.
- They failed to exercise reasonable caution to protect the safety of the licensee.
- The licensee did not know of the danger that caused their injuries.
Trespassers, individuals on another’s property without permission, are owed the lowest duty of care. Essentially, a property owner only has a duty not to cause harm to a trespasser intentionally. (A property owner may not set a “booby trap,” for example.) However, landowners also must take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of any artificial conditions they know could pose a risk to children (known as the “attractive nuisance” doctrine). An example of this duty is the responsibility to take appropriate measures to cover or prevent children from gaining access to an unattended swimming pool.
Common Causes of Wayne County Slip and Fall Accidents
Wayne County slip and fall accidents occur every day. These accidents often happen when you least expect them. Common causes of slip and fall accidents are:
● Cracked pavement.
● Broken stairs.
● Missing handrails.
● Poor lighting.
● Bunched-up carpeting.
● Loose flooring.
● Miscellaneous debris.
● Unmarked holes.
● Uneven pavement.
Regardless of the nature of the hazard that caused you to fall, the dedicated Wayne County slip and fall lawyers at Sommers Schwartz can help you understand the laws that apply to your claims. We will help you evaluate whether someone may be liable and effectively pursue a claim for compensation against a negligent property owner if appropriate.
What Is the Open and Obvious Doctrine?
When you bring a slip and fall lawsuit against a property owner, you bear the initial burden of proving each essential element of your case. If you successfully do so, the burden shifts to the property owner to show why they should not be held liable for your injuries. One of the most common defenses in Wayne County slip and fall claims is the “open and obvious” doctrine.
The open and obvious doctrine provides that accident victims cannot recover monetary compensation from a landowner if the hazard causing their injury was easily observable and obviously dangerous. Essentially, the doctrine is based on the idea that guests should take reasonable precautions to watch out for hazards and protect their own safety.
If a landowner claims this defense, the finder of fact will evaluate whether an average user with ordinary intelligence would have been able to discover the danger and the risk presented upon casual inspection. If so, the accident victim cannot recover compensation for their injuries.
If you were injured on another person’s property, you should expect that the landowner will attempt to claim you were at least partly responsible for your injuries. An experienced Wayne County slip and fall lawyer can help you stand up to this defense and recover the compensation you deserve.
Have You Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you have suffered injuries due to a slip and fall accident, contact the Wayne County slip and fall lawyers at Sommers Schwartz. At Sommers Schwartz, we have worked hard over decades to earn our reputation as a litigation powerhouse. We have recovered more than one billion dollars on behalf of our injured clients and look forward to discussing how we can help you with your case. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, call Sommers Schwartz today at 800-783-0989. You can also reach us through our online contact form; send us a message, and one of our Wayne County personal injury lawyers will promptly reach out to you.