We are covering a series about mistakes injured folks make and I have already covered slip & fall cases so you may want to go back and read what I wrote.
Today we are covering trip and fall cases which are different factually from slip cases. In the one whatever caused a person to slip may be hidden or less obvious, which is why it was not seen. After all it could be just a build-up of floor wax or something that was spilled and not properly cleaned up. In trip cases the cause should be quite obvious. It could be debris left on the floor that your toe catches, causing you to fall. Or it might be nonconforming steps.
Did you realize steps are constructed such that they have a uniform rise and run? They do with exceptions like in historic districts like we see in the great city of Savannah, Georgia. I love Savannah my daughter attended Savannah College of Arts & Design (SCAD) for four years and after two MFA’s she graduated and moved to Denver. Her second MFA is in historic preservation. As the HP student soon learns construction standards have changed over time. What was done in the past may no longer be considered acceptable for new construction. But these historic districts provide America with enjoyment and the kaleidoscope of the tapestry of the American historic eras long past, but not forgotten.
Look at the photograph I took of a Savannah sidewalk on East Broad Street between E. Broughton Street and East Oglethorpe Avenue. Anyone tripping or slipping on this sidewalk wouldn’t have any chance of winning with a Savannah jury. Not even with an Iowa jury, so long as the place where the accident occurred was a historic district. After all this is a part of why you are visiting, to experience the look and feel of what life used to be like. Everyone visiting is on notice of the building or construction inconsistencies. Some would say everyone is on notice that the day after original construction changes begin and no one should be responsible when you trip and fall.
But that’s not the law. That isn’t what guides us. Enough history let us get to the list of five.
- Failing to, wait …. Go read the slip & fall list of five first, here is the link
- Failing to properly measure whatever made you trip
- Failing to secure the items that caused you to trip
- Failing to talk through what happened (This is more important than you may think. The first thing people do after falling is get up and now embarrassed do everything to just get away, rather than assess the situation and what happened.)
- Failing to know the law to decide if all of this is a waste of your time
Like slip-fall cases, these trip-fall cases are hard enough to win when liability is clear. When liability is not clear they can be a nightmare to litigate. Add client mistakes to the mix of challenges and I would venture to say fewer than twenty-five percent are successful. Don’t make assumptions about whether your case should be in the 25 or 75% category, call us and let us talk about the law. Honestly, we don’t end up taking a lot of these cases because they are so difficult to win. But like all cases we pride ourselves on telling you what you need to hear not what you may want to hear. Sometimes the best advice is that you have no case.