The trial attorneys at Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost have extensive experience handling to successful conclusion premises liability cases against private homeowners, commercial business owners, parking garages, hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores, and shopping centers for a wide variety of dangerous conditions. See Representative Cases for examples of our premises liability work.
Landowners and possessors owe a duty to those lawfully on their property to use due care to keep the premises safe and to keep their property free of hazards. For some hazards that cannot be avoided, property owners have an obligation to warn guests on their property. The guests of property owners have the right to assume certain premises are safe for their anticipated use. Liability often turns on whether the landowner knew or should have known of the hazard.
Hazards and Dangerous Conditions
Wet floors, broken stairs, improperly configured or constructed stairs, unmarked walkway steps, cracked or raised sidewalks, unpainted traffic islands, improperly placed or installed sprinklers and drains, improperly shored landscapes and difficult-to-see debris are some examples of premises defects that have injured our clients. Premises owners can also be responsible for injuries caused by dog bites and dog attacks that injure others. We have recovered damages for clients injured in the above ways.
Injuries from Slip and Fall & Trip and Fall Incidents
Trip and slip and falls can cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, leg, hip, hand and elbow fractures, low back injuries including disc herniations and paralysis. Workplace falls from scaffolds, ladders and other platforms are among the most serious, and can be fatal. We have handled cases involving all these injuries, and more.
Prompt Reporting and Investigation
Reporting and investigation are integral to a successful recovery. Witnesses names and phone numbers and photographs of the conditions existing at the time of the fall must be secured.
Because establishing that the property owner knew or should have known of the hazard causing the injury is so important, we will want to learn facts such as:
- How was the defect created/caused?
- How long has the defect/hazard been present?
- Did anyone know about the defect? Did someone other than the premises owner/possessor tell anyone else? Did s/he tell the premises owner?
- Did the person who knew about it work for the premises owner?
- Did the landowner look for defects? How often? How did they do the inspections? How often did they clean and repair the premises?
- What were lighting conditions at the time?
- Are there any video cameras with footage?
These are the kinds of facts we will want to learn as soon as possible.
In general, the more time that has passed between the moment that a dangerous condition arose and the time the incident occurred, the more likely the property owner will be found liable for negligence.
Economic damages (medical bills and wage loss) and non-economic or pain and suffering damages are recoverable. See, Damages Recoverable in Personal Injury Cases.
Lawsuit Filing Deadlines
A lawsuit for an injury caused by a slip or trip and fall must be filed within two years of the fall. When the fall causes death the lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of death.