Slip and fall accidents are typically associated with winter, when ice and snow make surfaces hazardous. However, sidewalk falls are just as frequent during warmer months when more people are out walking, running errands and participating in outdoor activities. Surprisingly, about 20 percent of all falls result in serious injuries, including broken bones and head trauma. If you are hurt on someone else’s property, an experienced sidewalk slip and fall lawyer can help protect your rights and win the compensation you deserve.
While slip and fall claims may seem straightforward, not every victim who is injured on someone else’s property has grounds for a lawsuit. To prevail, the plaintiff must prove the fall was the direct result of negligence on the part of the landlord or property owner. Because Michigan slip and fall laws are complex, these cases are more challenging than many people realize.
Under Michigan law, property owners have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and hazard-free, they are not automatically liable for every unsafe condition.
According to Michigan premises liability law, which governs most slip and fall cases, the plaintiff has to show the property owner knew, or should have known, about a hazard in order to prove negligence. Furthermore, an owner who was aware of a condition but did not have adequate time to remedy it, as in the case of a fresh snowfall or recent spill, is unlikely to be held liable.
Recommended reading: Understanding How “Premises Liability” Affects Your Slip and Fall Case
Research shows clients who are represented by experienced slip and fall lawyers achieve better financial outcomes than those who represent themselves. In addition, slip and fall cases are more complicated than most people realize, encompassing challenging legal issues and specific requirements for proving a property owner was negligent.
Here are some of the many services and benefits a knowledgeable sidewalk slip and fall lawyer provides:
In many cases, yes. Michigan landlords are legally required to maintain their rental properties, including common areas such as sidewalks, in “reasonable repair.” This means the property should be relatively safe and free of hazards.
Examples of conditions that could lead to serious injuries include:
However, to prevail in a lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove negligence, meaning the landlord or property owner neglected their duty to maintain a safe environment. To establish this, the plaintiff has to prove the landlord “knew or should have known” about the hazard and failed to remove or repair it within a reasonable time period.
Furthermore, landlords are not usually liable for injuries resulting from falls in the parking lot of an apartment complex. This stems from the idea that parking lots, unlike sidewalks, are not specifically intended for pedestrians. While tenants and visitors who drive automobiles must walk through a parking lot to get to and from an apartment complex, this is one of those unusual exceptions to Michigan slip and fall law. Nevertheless, because most exceptions can be subject to interpretation, it pays to consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer if you are injured on the premises of an apartment complex.
Recommended reading: Can You Sue Your Landlord For A Slip And Fall Accident? A Renter’s Guide To Landlord Liability
Winning a slip and fall case against a city or other municipality is different, and more difficult, than suing a private property owner. Specific standards must be met and the filing deadlines are typically much shorter than the three-year statute of limitations for other personal injury claims.
Additionally, most states, including Michigan, along with counties, cities and other municipalities are protected by governmental immunity, which makes it difficult to recover damages even if the fall was caused by negligence.
Nevertheless, because these laws are complex, it can be possible to win compensation from a municipality. Therefore, it is worthwhile to contact a knowledgeable sidewalk slip and fall lawyer if you are injured on public property.
Recommended reading: Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents: Surprising Statistics
If you were injured in a fall on someone else’s property, we can help. The knowledgeable sidewalk slip and fall attorneys at the Sam Bernstein Law Firm know what it takes to build a winning case and we will fight to win the compensation you deserve.
Slip and fall law is complicated, but finding the right slip and fall lawyer is simple.
Get your case started today by clicking the button below or calling 1-800-CALL-SAM for a free, no-obligation remote consultation with a member of our legal team.
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