Slip and fall accidents can be serious, especially when the victim sustains severe injury following their accident. This is why it is important to hire experienced personal injury attorneys to advocate for you when you are the victim of a slip and fall accident. Don’t let the medical bills keep piling up—demand more for yourself by pursuing legal action.
But when you slip and fall while intoxicated, who is to blame? Who is at fault depends on what conditions may have made your accident more likely and on what terms you were on the property where the accident took place.
The fact that you were intoxicated is only one piece of the puzzle. Here’s what you need to know about building a slip and fall accident case.
Conditions That Make Slip and Fall Accidents More Likely
What is a slip and fall case? Slip and fall accidents don’t actually need to involve slipping to qualify as personal injury law cases. Rather, this type of case may include anything from a person tripping on a crack in the sidewalk to a person falling while trying to descend a staircase because they couldn’t see where they were going.
An accident that involves a person who was intoxicated injuring themselves on someone else’s property is just one type of slip and fall case. If you are the victim of such an accident, you may be entitled to compensation if conditions beyond your control increased the chances of you injuring yourself.
Conditions that often make slip and fall accidents more likely include:
- Pavement issues such as gaps, holes, cracks, and bumps
- Unsecured electrical wiring, carpeting, etc.
- Loose pieces of wood, flooring, or railing
- Slippery floors or pavement
- Ice build-up
- Poor lighting or lack of lighting
Did you slip and fall in part due to one of these? Though you were under the influence of alcohol at the time of your slip and fall accident, this may not be the sole reason for your fall. And if this wasn’t the sole reason, you may not be the only one to blame, either.
Is the Property Owner to Blame for Your Slip and Fall Accident?
It may seem like being intoxicated disqualifies a slip and fall victim from being able to file a personal injury lawsuit, but this is not the case. The property owner may be partially to blame for what happened.
Premises liability becomes a factor when the owner of the property has displayed negligence by not taking action to ensure that conditions are safe. This means that the property was already hazardous and that the owner didn’t correct this or warn visitors.
Property owners are legally obligated to either ensure that the conditions of their property are safe for visitors or to warn their visitors of potential danger—this is called their duty of care. Hence the need for “slippery when wet” signs, for instance.
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Here are just a few examples of ways that a property owner may have failed to fulfill their duty of care with regard to their visitors, either knowingly or otherwise:
- Not warning visitors of hazards (e.g., verbally, through signage, etc.)
- Not maintaining safe conditions on their property
- Not securing their property (if public)
However, a property owner is not responsible for the safety of everyone that accesses their property. The three categories of visitors are:
- Invitees – people a property owner invites to their property
- Licensees – people who visit the property with the owner’s consent to fulfill a service or duty for the property owner
- Trespassers – people who visit the property without the property owner’s consent
If someone has gone onto a person’s property without their knowledge or permission, that property owner is likely not liable for a slip and fall accident that a visitor suffers. Which of these three categories you fall into helps to determine what responsibility the property owner has for your accident.
Read more: Proving negligence in slip and fall injuries
Do You Have Enough Evidence to Build a Case?
Besides asking yourself what property conditions at the time of your injury may be to blame for your fall, another thing you need when you decide to pursue legal action for your slip and fall case is evidence. To prove that a property owner is partially at fault for your accident, you will work with a lawyer to prepare some of the following pieces of proof:
- Medical records
- Camera footage
- Eyewitness accounts
- Pictures of the area
- Testimonies from people you were with and/or medical professionals in charge of your care
If you have not yet or do not plan to seek medical care for your injuries, you might not be eligible to sue for your accident.
Details to Make Sure Your Lawyer Knows
When you do open a personal injury case to sue for your injuries, make sure that you are nothing but honest and forthcoming with your attorney. Legal professionals are here to help you, not judge you. To ensure that we are able to build a complete case for you, let us know what other details may have contributed to your slip and fall accident, including:
- Whether you were behaving carelessly when you fell
- Whether you were with anyone who may have had something to do with your fall (e.g., you were walking with a friend who bumped into you)
- Whether you were trespassing
- How intoxicated you were
Remember, we’re on your side. Help us help you by filling us in on all the details.
If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call now.
Disclaimer: You should not take any information in this blog as legal advice in any situation. If you need expertise for a specific issue of yours, contact a qualified personal injury attorney.