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Is Your Slip and Fall Claim Valid?

Did you suffer a slip and fall accident? And did you sustain an injury in the process? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, the next thing you need to determine is whether or not someone else is to blame so that you can decide if you have a valid claim for monetary compensation. If a sidewalk is wet because it’s raining and you slip and fall as a result, you can blame the weather, but you can’t really sue anyone for it. If, on the other hand, the sidewalk is in disrepair and you trip and fall as a result, it’s possible that the city or the owner of the attached property could be to blame for failing to maintain the property. But you must first determine the cause of your slip and fall and whether you have a valid claim, keeping in mind that not every accident includes actionable liability.

So how do you determine if someone else is to blame for your slip and fall incident, as well as resulting injuries, medical and other related costs, pain and suffering, and so on? A good place to start is by speaking with a qualified attorney. When you describe the location and scene of the accident, as well as the events that transpired, a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer should be able to help you determine if legal action is appropriate in your case. But if you are unsure whether you even want to visit an attorney, here are a few guidelines to consider.

Where did the accident occur? Were you at home, at another private residence, in a public place, visiting a commercial location, or somewhere else? If you had a slip and fall in your own home, chances are you won’t see any reparations, unless, of course, your home features some kind of defect that you can prove was to blame for the accident. And this doesn’t necessarily imply that a slip and fall outside of your home entails immediate blame. Not every slip and fall is the fault of a third party, be it a person, a corporation, or a government entity. That said, if liability is to be assigned, you first need to know who is responsible for the property where the incident occurred.

Next you should think about the circumstances that led to the accident. Was a lobby floor recently cleaned, and if so, was it clearly marked as wet? If not, the owner of the building could be deemed negligent and therefore responsible for your slip and fall. Did you slip on a patch of ice on a privately owned sidewalk despite the fact that the owner had clearly shoveled and salted the walkway? In this instance, the owner exercised due diligence, and as a result, probably wouldn’t be held liable for an accident attributable to weather conditions.

But liability in such accidents will probably have to be determined on a case by case basis, which is why it’s in your best interests to speak to an attorney following your accident. When you relate the details of the incident to a qualified attorney, he/she should be able to tell you whether you have a valid claim for a monetary settlement or if you should simply let it go.

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