Maine Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Slip and fall accidents can happen anyplace, including in shopping centers, office buildings and even in private homes. When you have taken a fall and suffered an injury because another person did not exercise reasonable care, you may need to speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine what your rights are and to establish whether you may be compensated for your injuries.
What does reasonable care mean?
When you enter someone else’s property, you have the right to anticipate that the facility is free from hazards. In order for a store owner to be liable for injuries suffered in a store, the victim must be able to prove the owner of the store had reason either to know about the hazard or to anticipate the hazard. For example, if a shopper knocked a bottle of juice off a shelf and you immediately fell because you were in the same aisle, the store owner may not be liable for your injuries. Simply put, there was no reason for the owner to know about or to anticipate the hazard. However, if there is a puddle of water on the floor in the freezer section that keeps cropping up because a freezer is malfunctioning and the store owner has not put up a warning sign, the owner may be liable if you fall.
Premises liability law is complicated
One reason victims of slip and fall accidents should contact a personal injury lawyer is because the laws regarding premises liability can be complicated. Under Maine law, 14 MRSA §159, property owners have a duty of care toward people invited onto the property for social reasons or for business reasons. However, the injured person has the burden of proving both the existence of the unsafe condition and that the owner knew or should have known of the unsafe condition. In some instances, it may also be necessary to prove whether the hazard was temporary or permanent. Your personal injury lawyer needs to conduct a thorough investigation.
Injuries sustained in any type of accident can be devastating physically, but the financial toll can be significant, too. When we work with our clients on a personal injury case, we do everything possible to ensure they are made financially whole after an injury. This includes seeking compensation for hospital and surgical bills, rehabilitation therapy, tests such as x-rays and CAT scans, prescription pain medication as well as wages lost as a result of the injury.
Why hiring an attorney is a good idea
It is important that you are represented fairly when you are injured on someone else’s property. Too often, the property owner’s insurance company will offer a settlement that is well below the amount of compensation to which you may actually be entitled. Victims often settle for these lower amounts because they believe it is too expensive to hire an attorney. This is simply not the case.
Proving negligence for injuries is not easy. For example, if you slipped on orange juice spilled on the floor at a supermarket, you may or may not be able to collect damages from the store. It is not enough just to prove that you fell. You also have to prove that the person in control of the premises was negligent. In other words, you must prove facts such as whether the owner:
- Knew the orange juice had been spilled on the floor
- Had time to clean up the spill before you slipped on it
- Negligently left the spill on the floor without promptly cleaning it up
- Had time to warn you of the danger but failed to do so
You must also anticipate that the store owner or manager may claim that you yourself were negligent by stepping into the orange juice puddle in the first place. Partial negligence on the part of the injured party can sometimes bar recovery. It can sometimes result in reduced damages. The facts and circumstances of each slip and fall need to be fully investigated.
A slip and fall attorney knows the intricacies of the law and how to prove your case. Damages can extend to losses beyond just medical expenses and lost wages. In some cases, multiple parties may be responsible including separate entities responsible for maintaining the property. An experienced attorney will know how to investigate your case to help you recover the compensation to which you are legally entitled.
At Fales & Fales, P.A., we provide every client with a free consultation on personal injury cases, and we charge nothing unless we recover compensation for you. We take the steps necessary to prepare your case including advancing necessary expenses to investigate and to file your case. If we win a settlement on your behalf, we are paid from the proceeds, but if we are unsuccessful, you owe us nothing. If you or someone you love was injured in a slip and fall accident while on someone else’s property, call us today at (888) 526-9408.