If you were injured after suffering a fall on someone else’s property, you may benefit from speaking with a Michigan slip and fall lawyer about your legal rights. If your injury was due to a landowner’s neglect to properly care for their property, they may be legally liable to compensate you for your losses.

However, navigating the claims process alone is often confusing, especially for a recently-injured claimant who is trying to recover. A well-versed injury attorney could help to shoulder the burdens of filing a claim and work tirelessly to build a persuasive claim on your behalf.

Typical Injuries and Damages After a Slip and Fall

No matter how a fall happens, the resulting injuries can range from minor—such as scrapes, bruises, cuts, and other similar damages—to severe injuries and trauma, such as broken bones. In more extreme cases, scarring and disfigurement, nerve and spinal cord damage, brain trauma and bleeds, and even death may occur.

After a fall, a victim or their loved one’s may feel hopeless and unsure of how to proceed. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, a landowner may be considered legally liable. A knowledgeable Michigan slip and fall lawyer could help to investigate the proximate cause of an accident and pursue compensation on an injured claimant’s behalf.

How Trips and Falls Happen in Michigan

Often, injuries from a trip and fall accident are due to a property owner’s disregard for proper maintenance. This neglect of proper care could result in any number of incidents, including:

  • Icy walkways
  • Defective or broken stairways
  • Missing or broken handrails
  • Water and other liquids on floors
  • Falling merchandise
  • Broken, uneven, or oddly raised sidewalks
  • Defective parking lots—with potholes and other hazards
  • Hazardous swimming pools and decks
  • Elevator and escalator malfunctions
  • Inadequate and poor lighting
  • Fires, explosions, and other dangerous conditions

Any of these circumstances could lead to severe and even life-altering injuries. Therefore, a person injured after suffering a trip and fall accident may benefit from the counsel of a knowledgeable Michigan attorney about how to proceed.

Liability Laws for Michigan Property Owners

In Michigan, each landowner has a legal duty to maintain their property in reasonably safe conditions. Of course, no land owner can be aware immediately of any dangerous circumstance on their property.

However, when a hazardous condition or circumstance does arise, a property owner must—or legally, should—learn of it in a reasonable amount of time, and subsequently warn visitors of these dangers until they have them fixed.

Proving Landowner Fault After a Fall

Because of the laws of liability that each landowner must follow, anyone injured on another person’s property may have a legal right to file a claim on the basis of premises liability. For a successful claim, however, the victim must be able to demonstrate several conditions and circumstances. First, it must be shown that a dangerous condition existed on the property, such as a busted stairway or a slippery floor.

Then, it needs to be established, based on premises laws, that the landowner knew—or should have known—of this condition. Once these conditions are established, it must then be shown that the injured claimant was lawfully on the property, either as a social guest or business invitee. After this, the plaintiff must prove than the property owner was negligent in the maintenance and care of their property. This could be done by showing that a condition existed for an extensive period of time without the landowner’s attention or care, or that they noticed the condition and neglected to warn visitors of its dangers, for example.

Lastly, it must be shown that these conditions and the neglect of their repair resulted in the injured claimant suffering a slip and fall injury. Even when injuries are apparent, however, proving each step of liability in a civil lawsuit is often complex, requiring and extensive knowledge of the legal system and Michigan courts. A tenacious slip and fall lawyer could help an injured claimant to gather evidence and demonstrate landowner negligence.

Damages to Recover in a Slip and Fall Injury Claim

After an injury from a fall, a person may face substantial financial strain along with their physical trauma, as well as other emotional, professional, and personal losses. Therefore, a thorough claim might include any number of damages a claimant has suffered, both economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are any pecuniary losses a person may have suffered as a result of their injuries. Naturally, medical bills are one of the most common damages included in a claim. Beyond this, however, a person may include lost wages due to missed time at work, decreased earning capacity, and other associated medical expenses—such as the costs for rehabilitation, physical therapy, and more.

Non-Economic Damages

Along with financial damages, a claimant may also be able to request compensation for psychological and personal losses. These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and mental anguish. These damages exist without a definitive price tag, however, which often make them difficult to calculate for underrepresented claimants. A detail-oriented Michigan attorney could help a plaintiff injured in a trip and fall accident to account for each and every loss in order to file a comprehensive claim.

Deadlines for Filing a Claim

Anyone looking to pursue compensation should be aware of the deadlines for filing a claim. This statute of limitations set a three-year time limit on most claims arising from an accident on another person’s property. This deadline is often strict, which means a potential claimant should contact a hardworking Michigan lawyer for help with pursuing a timely slip and fall accident claim.

Furthermore, for fall injuries that occur on the governmental property, like defective sidewalks or at government buildings, a plaintiff is required to provide a written notice to the governmental agency within 120 days of the incident specifying the exact location and nature of the defect, the injuries sustained, and any known witnesses. The failure to provide this written notice will bar a claim. 

How a Michigan Slip and Fall Attorney Might Help

If you were injured after suffering a fall on someone else’s property, you may be facing an extensive rehabilitation time, a pile of medical bills, and an inability to work—all while recovering from physical trauma. However, if your injuries were the result of a landowner’s neglect, you may have a legal right to compensation.

By working with a Michigan slip and fall lawyer, you could better understand your legal rights, as wel as the deadlines you must adhere to in order to file a claim for recovery. To begin building a claim, call a skilled and dedicated attorney today.

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