Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common accidents in the United States. Indeed, falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States Accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency room each year. On top of feeling embarrassed from slipping and falling when you are out in public, slip and fall injuries can range from minor cuts and bumps to severe bruises and broken bones.
However, if you have slipped and fallen on someone’s property you may be able to recover compensation under the law. This is a way for you to recover for the time you had to take off from work, or for the money you had to spend at the doctors. If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. We stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. To schedule your free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.
What are Common Reasons for Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can happen for a variety of reasons and in a variety of places. Most people are aware of the iconic yellow signs that stores and property owners use to warn others that there is some fluid on the ground. However, not every store or property owner is diligently inspecting their property to watch out for these dangers. Some of the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents include:
- Poor drainage
- Indoor walking surface irregularities
- Outdoor walking surface irregularities
- Weather conditions including ice and snow
- Inadequate lighting
- Stairs and handrails
- Stepstools and ladders
- Tripping hazards
- Improper use of floor mats and runners.
By far the most common reason that people experience a slip and fall accident is because there is some fluid on the ground that a person does not see and then slips and falls because of it. Unfortunately, people often are met with a hard concrete surface that can lead to very serious injuries and damages. If you have been injured because of a puddle that was left on the floor you may be wondering what you will have to prove in order to receive compensation.
What is Considered Negligence in Arkansas?
When you have been injured on someone’s property, you may be wondering what do you have to prove in order to show that the store of the person is responsible for your injuries. While there are many ways to prove liability for things like robbery and burglary, or assault, to prove that a store of a property owner is responsible for your injuries usually is proved by showing they were negligent. The Arkansas courts have also laid out special rules for slip and fall cases which will be discussed below.
In Arkansas, the law is well settled that a property owner has a general duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of invitees. This means that a store has a responsibility to make sure that their store is safe for people to come through. This does not mean that they have to make sure that no person is ever injured on their property, because that would be almost impossible, but what they need to show is that they took steps to make sure that there are no dangerous conditions on the property that are allowed to stay there for an extended period of time, such as a puddle of water that is left on the floor for hours.
In order to prevail in a slip and fall case, a plaintiff must show either:
- The presence of a substance upon the premises was the result of the defendant’s negligence, or
- The substance had been on the floor for such a length of time that the appellee knew or reasonably should have known of its presence and failed to use ordinary care to remove it.
When you have been injured at a store because of a slippery substance left on the ground, such as water, then you will have to show that there was a substantial amount of time between the time the substance appeared on the floor and the time of the accident. The courts have determined that this is a key factor when they are determining who is liable. As mentioned above, a store has a general duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of invitees. Therefore, if a puddle was only on the floor for a limited amount of time and no one at the store knew about it, then the store may not be liable, however, the court will look at the length of time to determine if the store should have known.
What Type of Evidence Can Help Prove My Claim?
When you have been injured on someone’s property, particularly a store, then you will have to prove your case. As the plaintiff, you must be able to prove your case in order to receive compensation and be able to recover for your injuries. There are certain pieces of evidence that you can accumulate in order to help you substantiate your case.
A few examples include:
- Pictures – Pictures are worth a thousand words, and having good photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and even your clothing can help you prove your case in a court of law. Often stores and people will attempt to quickly fix the scene where your accident happened so it is best to take pictures immediately or soon after.
- Reports – Often stores and retail chains will have a formal process to document your injury. It is important that you file a report with the proper department and with the store to ensure that your accident has been documented.
- Witness Statements – Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents often happen in public in front of other people and this can cause embarrassment. However, if you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident you should look around and gather contact information of anyone who saw your accident.
Often, stores and retail chains will have security footage and cameras that blanket almost their entire store, this is also a good place to gather information. An experienced slip and fall premises liability attorney will be able to help you gather this information and get the records from the store.
Rely on the Experience of Bella Vista Slip and Fall Injury Attorney Ken Kieklak
If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, contact Arkansas personal injury attorney Ken Kieklak. We stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. To schedule your free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.