Sudden slips or trips and falls have the potential to cause devastating injuries that can have permanent consequences. If you were hurt because a property owner or business manager failed to take proper care of their premises, you may have grounds to file suit against them for a variety of damages.
However, premises liability cases can make for complex legal claims, so it is recommended that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney. An Elsmere slip and fall lawyer can explain your rights, help collect evidence of negligence, and work relentlessly to pursue the maximum compensation for your circumstances.
Possible Grounds for a Slip and Fall Claim
As part of their duty to protect the wellbeing of customers, business owners and managers in Delaware have a responsibility to ensure their premises are reasonably safe. They must conduct regular inspections and either fix known hazards or cordon them off so lawful visitors know to avoid them. If staff members do not address a spill, icy patch, broken flooring, or some other hazard for an unreasonable amount of time, anyone who slips and falls as a result could have grounds for a civil claim.
Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries
Businesses will rarely accept an accusation of civil negligence without a fight. Many will go to great lengths to argue that they were not aware of a hazard, that they took reasonable steps to absolve them of liability for it, or even that a slip and fall victim was primarily to blame for their own injuries. Businesses often make an injured person feel like they are at fault for their own injuries to dissuade them from making a personal injury claim.
Unfortunately, if a court agrees that a plaintiff bears partial liability, Delaware Code Title 10 §8132 allows them to reduce the plaintiff’s recoverable damage award by their percentage of fault. If they are more than 50 percent to blame, the court could even forbid them from recovering anything. Because of this, retaining a persistent slip and fall attorney is often an essential first step to achieving a successful outcome in a lawsuit against an Elsmere retailer or other business entity.
Trip and Slip Claims on Private Residential Property in Elsmere
Unfortunately, it is difficult under Delaware premises liability law to establish a private property owner’s responsibility for a slip and fall incident. As per Delaware Code Title 25 §1501, owners and occupiers of private residences or farms can only be held civilly responsible for an injury to a lawful guest or trespasser if they did something to intentionally cause harm to that person, or if they engaged in “willful or wanton disregard of the rights of others.”
While this does not make it impossible to file suit over a slip and fall at someone else’s home or apartment, it does make it significantly harder to recover compensation. A local trip and fall lawyer can be a valuable resource in determining the viability of an injured person’s claim.
Get in Touch with an Elsmere Slip and Fall Attorney Today
A sudden slip and fall could have severe consequences if you land awkwardly or hit a hard surface on the way down. Whether you suffered a slight fracture, a muscle tear, catastrophic spine damage, or brain damage, any incident that stems from someone else’s negligence and causes you compensable harm could potentially justify a civil lawsuit.
If you would like to explore your options for pursuing civil restitution, consult an Elsmere slip and fall lawyer. Call Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya today to start discussing your potential claim.