Slip and fall accidents
Hurt in a slip and fall accident? We have caringly and successfully represented clients in obtaining large monetary settlements as a result of the negligence of large corporations (such as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s) as well as small businesses. If you believe your slip and fall could have been prevented but for the negligence of someone else, call the Miller Injury Law Firm for a free consultation directly with attorney Samuel Miller to discuss the merits of your case.
Do you remember that famous story about a multi-million dollar compensation from McDonald’s when a woman spilled hot coffee on herself?
When it was all over, the jury awarded the victim with $160,000 for medical expenses, and punitive damages in the range of $2.7 million, which had been reduced by the judge to $640,000. However, that prompted a settlement for a confidential amount before an appeal process was even completed. By all measurements, it was a successful legal defense story of one’s rights to receive proper compensation.
Moreover, what’s important to understand about this story is that, at the time, it had immediately formed a uniformed public opinion that the woman’s claim was frivolous and that it was her own fault for spilling the coffee. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
The sloppy media grossly misrepresented the story, the woman’s injuries were quite severe, and the coffee was indeed abnormally hot. In the aftermath of the case, McDonald’s even issued a few policy changes so that the severe outcome of such accidents cannot happen again, even if the fault for spilling the hot beverage lies at the feet of the customer.
The point of the Liebeck vs. McDonald’s case is to never concern yourself with what the public opinion might see as frivolous. If that woman had not rightfully sued McDonald’s, she would have never received a just settlement, and McDonald’s would have never instituted additional safety measures.
Your only concern should be to hire the right legal representation. Only then you will be realistically able to ascertain the validity of your claim, and a number of damages you might be able to receive.
When it comes to slip and fall accidents, the first order of legal business is to determine the legal liability:
If an owner or an employee caused the creation of the dangerous, slippery surface, either by pouring something on it, or not repairing a worn or torn spot on the floor. If an owner or an employee knew about the potentially dangerous surface and didn’t fix the situation. If it’s reasonable for an owner or an employee to know about the surface by engaging in the regular maintenance of the premises.
It is legally difficult to make the case for any of these scenarios, as the notion of what’s reasonable and expected can be stretched and manipulated by the opposing party. Usually, it comes down to the skill of your lawyer and the common sense employed by the judge. What’s reasonable will depend on a number of factors: how is the maintenance set up, how many employees are involved in it, how long had the dangerous surface been present before the accident had occurred, was something left on the floor for legitimate or non-legitimate reasons, was there a warning sign nearby etc.
If a slip and fall occur in a residential, rented property, same criteria apply. If it can be shown that the landlord’s negligence, or lack of action, caused the accident, or that the accident occurred as a foreseeable consequence of not fixing a certain condition, then you would be well on your way to receiving just damages.