Slip and Fall Injury

We are a mobile society constantly on the move. Slip and fall injuries happen frequently with thousands of such occurrences each year in Idaho. When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you contact an Idaho slip and fall attorney. Racine Olson has been handling these types of injuries for decades. We have helped injured people since the commencement of the firm in the 1940s.

People who are involved in slip and fall accidents can suffer serious, life-altering injuries and even death. Consider stairwells that are missing handrails, unlit stairs, wet floors, construction defects, or improperly installed carpets or rugs. All of these can cause a fall that has unintended, but catastrophic, injuries. In the case of such an occurrence, you need to know what to do. That can be accomplished by contacting lawyers who have been involved in these types of accidents and know how to deal with insurance companies.

Building Codes Establish Fault

To hold a corporation, landlord, or owner liable for an injury one can look at various areas of law. Oftentimes people overlook one of the simplest ways to hold a corporation liable for injuries due to a defect on property. That area is the Uniform Building Code. The Idaho Supreme Court has explained that a violation of an ordinance that has adopted the building code can establish negligence per se. Stephens v. Stearns, 106 Idaho 249, 678 P.2d 41 (1984). This is helpful because where a violation of the statute is proven, duty and breach is conclusively proven. Vaughn v. Porter, 140 Idaho 470, 95 P.3d 88 (Ct. App. 2004). This means that a person does not need to show that the landowner didn’t act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. Simply proving a violation of the statute is enough to show that there was negligence.

Types of Slip and Fall Accidents

There are many types of slip and fall accidents. Some include icy sidewalks or parking lots, slippery floors due to water which has been left there, falls from terraces, stairs, or balconies due to railing flaws, and bathtub or shower falls. Every slip and fall accident is unique and one case often has little to do with another. It is so important to hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer.

Fall on Ice and Snow

Property owners or lessors of property have a responsibility to ensure that snow and ice are removed from the sidewalks. This rule is not necessarily absolute. For instance, if the landowner didn’t have an opportunity to clear the snow, then likely there is no liability. In other words, the landowner needs to have had some knowledge of the snow or ice and had an opportunity to remove it. If the snow fell during the night and the business owner does not clear it by the afternoon of the next day, then chances are that the inaction is negligence and liability would attach.

Water on Floors

There are times where water may accumulate on the floor of a business due to a freezer malfunction or perhaps a leaky faucet in a restroom. When these types of things happen, the same rule applies as that under the section above. The question is whether the owner or occupier of the property knew or should have known of the water on the floor and failed to clean it up. If the owner had an opportunity to clean it up, but didn’t, then there is liability for injuries that occur as a result.

Property Defects

Sometimes there is a defect on the building. Perhaps a handrail is missing from a stairwell. This is where it is important to know where the city or county where the property is located has adopted building codes. If this is the case, and it likely is, then there will be standards that govern where and when a handrail is required. If a handrail was required by the code then negligence will automatically be established. There are some exceptions to this rule, but where applicable, it can be quite helpful.

Preserving Evidence

If at all possible, take photographs. The photographs could be of the accident location, clothing and shoes and any bruising, cuts, scrapes or required stitches or casts to document your injury. If someone saw your fall, get their phone number along with their name and address.

Sometimes stores will have you fill out an accident report. Go ahead and fill it out. Be honest. This will correspond with any camera footage and will let you tell your side of the story. This can prove to be valuable later in front of a jury as an exhibit.

Save your shoes and, if you slipped on food or some other physical evidence that can be stored, keep it as well. This can also prove valuable at a later date.

We Can Help

Immediately following an accident, many insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with the injured person. Their purpose in doing this is to reduce the amount of money they have to pay an injured person. However, one should never rush to settle their case. In Idaho, the statute of limitations is two-years. Therefore, an injured person has time to consider the impact the accident has had on their lives, reach maximum medical improvement according to their doctor’s opinion, and determine how the injuries may affect mobility and the ability to work. Don’t end up regretting a quick settlement later. Take the time to thoroughly investigate and discuss your situation with one of the qualified lawyers at Racine Olson. We are confident in our ability to help you with your problem. After all, we’ve been helping our friends and neighbors solve problems for a very long time. Come see us today and let’s solve your problem together. Your Racine Olson team can help. Give us a call. Problem solved.

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