Personal Injury: Slip and Fall FAQs


Q: Am I able to sue my employer for my fall?

  • A: Generally, you can't sue your employer if you fall at work. Injuries sustained at work are covered under your state's workers' comp laws.


Q: Does an accident report have to be filled out at the time of the fall?

  • A: Ideally, an accident report should be completed at the time of the incident noting what happened, who witnessed both the accident and the conditions that caused the fall along with any other relevant information such as lighting. The requirement for a report is generally a store or business policy, rather than mandated by law.

    If a report is not completed at the business location or occurred at private location or was not observed by others, compile a record of what happened yourself. Include information such as:
    • A description of the circumstances
    • Who was present
    • The comments made by those who saw or helped after the fall

    If possible, take photos of the area. If you were physically hurt, have your injury checked out immediately to help substantiate your claim.


Q: What compensation might I be eligible for?

  • A: Compensation for a slip and fall accident is similar to all personal injury claims. Recovery includes:
    • Medical bills
    • Wage loss
    • Pain and suffering
    • Potential future medical expenses


Q: What information is an insurance adjuster looking for?

  • A: The insurance adjuster will attempt to establish if there's an injury and what your responsibility was in the fall. He may attempt to resolve (settle) the case immediately. The adjustor may ask you a series of questions such as:
    • The extent or type of injury
    • What were you doing just before the accident
    • Warnings that may have been ignored
    • Whether you had a reason for being in the area

    It's generally not in your best interest to speak with the adjuster without having reviewed the specifics of your case with a personal injury attorney.


Q: What's a hazardous condition? Who's responsible for it?

  • A: A "hazardous condition" is a situation where there's potential for injury. Hazardous conditions can be permanent (such as a broken stair) or temporary (as in the case of ice on the sidewalk). Property owners are often responsible for permanent conditions, because they should have known about the situation. However, they may not be resonsible for injuries that occur due to temporary conditions they might not have had knowledge of. One main factor in temporary hazards: did the owner have enough opportunity to realize the situation and correct it?


Q: What's a "slip & fall" accident?

  • A: Slip and fall accidents are a personal injury and are one type of "fall down" accidents. There are four general types of fall accidents:
    • Trip-and-fall accidents, where there's a foreign object in the walking path
    • Stump-and-fall accidents, where there's an impediment in the walking surface
    • Step-and-fall accidents, where there's an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface, and
    • Slip-and-fall accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails


Q: What's "comparative negligence?"

  • A: Comparative negligence relates to your own responsibility in the accident, in comparison to the property owners' responsibility. A court will establish a percentage of liability for each party. The percentage of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages each party must pay.


Q: Who's responsible for a slip and fall accident? The owner or the person injured?

  • A: Both the property owner as well as the injured person can be held to varying degrees of responsibility for an injury. The property owner has a responsibility to keep property safe. Each person has a duty to watch where they are going, as well as realize that there are things that fall or spill onto walking surfaces.



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