Premises liability is a concept of legal theory referring to accidents, incidences and events caused by a condition occurring on another’s property. Usually, the accident involves injuries and damages caused by accumulated snow and ice, improper maintenance, a defect in construction, obstructions, foreign objects, broken stairways, slippery floors or property defect. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in RI, contact a a Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer.
By law, a property owner or property holder in Rhode Island can be held legally responsible to pay for personal injuries and damages suffered by a victim that was using the property or visiting. Many, but not all, premises liability cases involve slip and fall accidents. However, nearly all premises liability cases involve allegations of negligence.
Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer
Many victims injured on another’s property will hire a personal injury attorney because of the complexities of filing and resolving a claim for compensation involving premises liability. This is because pursuing financial recovery is extensive and requires a comprehensive understanding of Rhode Island tort law and the ability to negotiate with claims adjusters or present a case at trial. The most common Rhode Island premises liability cases handled by personal injury attorneys involve:
- Slip and falls occurring because of accumulated snow and ice
- Injuries from slippery surfaces in retail establishments and grocery stores
- swimming pool drowning or accident
- construction accident
- Animal attack or dog bite
- Porch railing failure or porch collapse
- Stairway collapse or defective stairs
- Smoke or fire injury
- Deck or balcony defect
- Building or floor collapse
- Serious injuries caused by uneven surfaces
- Insufficient lighting
- Lack of security leading to physical assault or sexual assault
- Injury caused by water leakage, flooding or spills
- Fallen merchandise
- Building code violation
- Improper building construction
- Defective building design
- Unmarked stairways or stair steps
Who is legally liable for a personal injury involving premises liability?
Usually, in Rhode Island, the property owner has a legal responsibility for any injury occurring through negligent maintenance of the premises. However, many business tenants lease the commercial property from the owner who might not have any or all control of the premises. When that occurs, the business tenant usually has a legal responsibility to keep the maintenance on the property.
However, many slip and fall accidents occur on residential properties that might be owned by a landlord and rented by the tenant. Other situations might include contractors working on the property who share in liability if they played a part in the accident that caused injuries. In most cases, homeowners, property owners and commercial tenants will maintain liability insurance that provides coverage for slip and fall and premises liability claims.
“Premises liability” is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary 1199 (7th ed. 1999) as “[a] landowner’s or landowner’s tort liability for conditions or activities on the premises. “Premises liability law in Rhode Island “imposes an affirmative duty upon owners and possessors of property: `to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises . . . includ[ing] and obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.'” Kurczy v. St. Joseph Veterans Ass’n, Inc., 820 A.2d 929, 935 (R.I. 2003) (quoting Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I. 2000)). FARAH PAUL, v.STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, alias. C.A. No. PC 06-0287 Superior Court of Rhode Island, PROVIDENCE, SC. Filed – August 10, 2010. DECISION STERN, J.
spilled liquids on a grocery store floor
Because most premises liability cases are based on a condition, proving an individual or entity is at fault requires a demonstration of how those in charge knew, or should have reasonably known, that the condition existed. As an example, premises liability attorney working on behalf of their client must prove that workers or management knew that the spilled liquids on a grocery store floor and yet took no action to remedy the problem before the victim slipped and suffered injuries.
Rhode Island personal injury attorney
Protecting your rights is essential after being injured in a slip and fall incident. It is crucial to use an experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorney or RI slip and fall lawyer with an understanding of complex regulations and Rhode Island tort and liability law. In many incidences, immediate notice to the property owner, insurance companies and claims adjusters is required to ensure your rights are preserved.
You should contact a Rhode Island Personal injury lawyer or a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney to obtain an initial opinion as to whether or not there was comparative fault involved. David has been practicing for 18 years and is licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the United States Supreme Court.
ice and snow
Walking on ice and snow areas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts can result in a slip and fall accident. These premises liability accidents often cause broken / fractured bones and long recovery time. Slip and fall accidents in RI and MA in winter weather often happen outside of business stores and in parking lots. In most areas of the United States, town and city officials as well as private property owners have a responsibility to keep city sidewalks reasonably safe during winter weather. If that doesn’t happen and you are injured by falling on accumulated ice and snow, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Who is liable for a slip and fall?
Property owners may include municipalities, the State of Rhode Island, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, private home owners, or a private company. Someone who is in charge of managing the area may also be liable, including whoever has responsibility for removing snow and ice. In addition to property owners, the public has a duty to take reasonable care when waking in a snowy or icy area.
The outcome of a slip and fall case that goes to a jury trial in Providence Superior Court may depend on whether the the owners or others responsible to take care of the premises acted reasonably to protect those legitimately on the premises. The answer to that question often goes to the jury. If you are judged to be contributing to the accident by being careless, you can lose the lawsuit or have your compensation substantially reduced.
Rhode Island has adopted pure comparative fault. This means that if a customer, shopper or visitor falls on ice or snow as a result of their own negligence, their recovery may be reduced by the amount of fault on their part. For example, if someone was web surfing or texting while walking on an icy, slippery parking lot and topples to the ground and that person is found to be 60 percent at fault, they would get 40 percent of their damages from the negligent tortfeasor. Under the same scenario in Massachusetts, the pedestrian who is 69 percent at fault, as a result of their distracted walking and failure to use due care would get nothing. Massachusetts has modified comparative fault. This means that if someone is more than 50 percent at fault they are not entitled to any recovery.
Transition between two flooring surfaces causing RI slip and falls
An individual can easily trip when there is a transition between two different types of flooring. For example, if a restaurant patron walks on carpet and then walks onto tile, he or she could lose their footing. It is crucial that all property owners and tenants in possession of real estate in RI maintain walkways safely. One crucial element of a safe walkway is that the walkway is flat. If the walkway transitions from flat to sloped, the slope should be a gentle and easy switch. A steep downward or upward decline or incline could cause a fall especially if there is ice on the walkway or it is wet or slippery.
Debris- natural and unnatural causing slip and fall in RI
Landlords and business tenants and other possessors of land must sweep or otherwise clear out leafs, branches, acorns or other natural or unnatural debris. The property owner must be careful to make sure there are no defects on the walkway.
Traction- sudden change in traction causing falls
Traction is another key element to safe and reliable flooring. A floor or walkway must provide adequate traction for employees, guests, customers and visitors to the property. In engineering parlance the terminology for traction is often referred top as “slip resistance”. in layman’s terms a slip and fall most often occurs when the traction of a walking surface changes dramatically. Often the pedestrian is not aware of the sudden change in the walking surface. This is one of the most common causes of slip and falls in Rhode Island and Providence plantations. Most falls occur when an a person does not realize that the traction or slope is about to suddenly change and are thus unable to prepare for the unknown. There are dozens perhaps hundreds of causes for a sudden change in the traction of a walkway. There could be a spill of liquid, recent rain, ice or even black ice. Perhaps there is a lot of dew in the air causing liquid dew on a walkway.
Coefficient of friction
Coefficient of friction (COF) “This is a ratio of sliding force required to move one surface over another to the total vertical force applied to the two surfaces in contact. In simple terms, it is an indicator of “grab” or friction present between the two surfaces in contact. Higher Coefficient of Friction is desirable as it reduces the possibilities of slipping. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a minimum value of 0.6 for all level walking surfaces. Coefficient of Friction is going to vary considerably for different types of floors, and it is affected by the type of shoe materials (leather, rubber, barefoot) and also the environmental conditions (wetness, oil, spills and other contaminants). Coefficient of Friction helps in quantifying a floor’s slip resistance.” NO Slip
Rhode Island slip and fall attorney
If you fall in an ice or snow area, get medical help right away- even if you think your injury is slight. Often, these types of injuries are not readily apparent. Take reasonable caution and get yourself checked out in the emergency room or doctor’s office. It is also a good idea – if possible – to take a picture of the snow or ice area. If not, it may be possible to return to the site for a picture or have someone else do it.
After checking for injuries, your next move should be a call to a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer or a MA slip and fall attorney who has experience in ice and snow negligence cases. An experienced RI premises liability lawyer or Providence slip and fall lawyer knows the rules concerning these types of accidents in your state or area. The RI injury attorney knows how to protect your legal rights. To avoid a slip and fall on ice or snow, be especially careful when walking in such places. If despite your reasonable care, a fall occurs and you are injured, call a personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island or Massachusetts for the help you want and need.
Article by Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer, David Slepkow.
Slip and fall statistics and resources:
- “Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. However, more women will experience a slip-and-fall accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 5% of the job-related fatalities for women compared to 11% for men….Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls….Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.” National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) “slip, trip, and fall prevention experts”
high volume traffic such as restaurants or bars
Slip-and-fall injuries are common in businesses with high volume traffic such as restaurants or bars. The floor of a business is often the least attended component of business operations, especially when they are operating on a minimal staff. Even when mats or signs are provided at the door in restaurants and bars in Rhode island and Massachusetts during times of inclement weather, floors can still become messy and neglected quickly. The conditions that create a slip-and-fall injury that were caused by a customer are still the responsibility of the business operator and possibly the property owner. But, these cases are anything but automatic liability premises liability claims. Therefore an injured victim should retain a RI slip and fall lawyer.
Litigating premises liability Negligence claims
Just as with any other civil lawsuit, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff legal representative (RI slip and fall lawyer) to prove that an injury occurred to their client. Furthermore, the RI Slip and Fall lawyer must also prove that the injury was the result of the respondent’s failure to provide a reasonable duty of care regarding the safety of the plaintiff. For restaurants and bars, just as any other business, that includes a reasonable duty of care to the customers as well as the employees. It is reasonable to assume that some level of negligence has occurred when both tasks are met by the plaintiff Rhode Island personal injury attorney.
Comparative Negligence of the Plaintiff
Any personal injury legal claims will include all parties being assessed for involvement in the accident. The injured plaintiff will initially be evaluated based on the material case facts regarding comparative fault by their own actions. An experienced slip and fall attorney in Rhode Island will help in keeping this percentage as low as possible. Even when it is apparent that the RI accident was the fault of the restaurant owner, some level of comparative fault may be assigned. Rhode Island and Massachusetts are comparative fault state And, in some states they have pure contributory legal doctrine, which means that even a rating of 1% can eliminate legal standing for a injury claim. This is why you need a good slip-and-fall lawyer.
RI Comparative Fault personal injury and wrongful death laws:
RI has pure comparative fault. A fall victim who is determined to be greater than 50 % at fault for a slip and fall in RI may obtain damages and compensation such as pain and suffering, disability, lost wages, medical and surgical bills and permanency. If a slip and fall victim is 94 percent at fault for a fall down at a supermarket, then the victim may collect six percent of his or her damages as a result of the mishap.
§ 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property. § 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. Source
RI law- duty to exercise reasonable care
“It also is well settled in our jurisprudence that there is an affirmative duty on owners and possessors of property: to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises * * * includ[ing] an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.” Kurczy v. St. Joseph Veterans Association, Inc., 820 A.2d 929, 935 (R.I.2003) (quoting Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I. 2000)); accord Mead v. Papa Razzi Restaurant, 840 A.2d 1103, 1107 (R.I.2004). 840 A.2d 1103 (2004) Virginia MEAD et al. v. PAPA RAZZI RESTAURANT et al. No. 2002-648-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. January 9, 2004. 1104*1104 Mark P. Dolan, Providence, for Plaintiffs. Jeffrey H. Garabedian, Providence, for Defendants. Present: WILLIAMS, C.J., FLANDERS, GOLDBERG, FLAHERTY, and SUTTELL, JJ. OPINION PER CURIAM.
There are thousands of possible of liquids or substances that could cause a slip and fall in providence, RI. These substances include water, oil, soup, vegetables, lettuce, juice, gasoline, soapy substances, soap, salad dressing, fruits, alcohol, red wine, white wine etc.
Facts from Sullo v. Greenberg
“The plaintiff had been a patient of defendant as a result of an injured tendon in her left leg suffered at her work. Greenberg performed surgery on Sullo’s left leg and foot in October 2007. The injury that is the focus of this appeal occurred in November 2007 when Sullo was returning for her first post-operative appointment.” Id
“On the day of her appointment, her mother-in-law drove plaintiff from her home in Coventry to Greenberg’s office in Pawtucket. In her deposition testimony, plaintiff averred that the weather was a mix of rain and snow and that the roads were wet. Greenberg’s office was accessible by a pair of ramps, as well as by a set of stairs. The plaintiff used the ramps because she was ambulating with the aid of crutches, and her left foot was in a soft cast. Sullo alleged that, after ascending the two ramps and walking across a wooden walkway towards the office door, her left crutch slipped on the wet wood, causing her to fall hard on her left leg and foot. In her complaint, plaintiff claimed that she had slipped on accumulated snow, but during her deposition she testified that the wood surface was wet from rain and snow but was not “slushy.” Id.
“According to plaintiff, after she fell, Greenberg and his staff helped her into the building, placed her in an examination room, and left her until the pain began to subside. She testified that Greenberg did not examine her, but advised her at her next appointment that her foot was healing properly. Because plaintiff’s foot pain persisted, she continued to receive treatment for her leg and foot injury from defendant and later from an orthopedic surgeon, who subsequently informed her that her injuries were permanent. The plaintiff alleges that the severity and permanent nature of her injuries were a proximate result of the fall outside of defendant’s office in November 2007.” 68 A.3d 404 (2013) Patricia SULLO v. David GREENBERG..Supreme Court of Rhode Island. June 18, 2013. Jodi Gladstone, Esq., for Plaintiff. Elizabeth A. Bourke, Esq., Warwick, for Defendant.Present: SUTTELL, C.J., GOLDBERG, FLAHERTY, ROBINSON, and INDEGLIA, JJ. OPINION Justice GOLDBERG, for the Court.
Slip and fall statistics
- “Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. However, more women will experience a slip-and-fall accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 5% of the job-related fatalities for women compared to 11% for men.
- Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.
- Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.
- Slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work.
- Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older.
- According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year.” https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/
Commonwealth of MA Comparative Fault Laws:
Massachusetts lawmakers have enacted a modified comparative fault law. G.L. c 231 Section 85 Modified comparative fault in Massachusetts is different from “pure” comparative fault in RI. In Mass., if a seriously injured victim is more than fifty percent at fault for a slip and fall in MA then the injured claimant has no right to recover against the negligent party.
Depending on the state of occurrence, the amount of financial recovery an injured plaintiff may receive is based on their comparative negligence percentage. However, in egregious cases of gross negligence, punitive damages can also be awarded by a sympathetic jury when a claim goes to a full trial. In addition, slip and fall accidents that occur in locations where a restaurant or bar entry door connects to a city street can also be problematic.
Slip and fall accidents causing serious injuries are very serious maters. Slip and fall causes of action in Rhode Island fall under the larger ambit of what RI personal injury attorneys call “premises liability” claims. Insurance and indemnity corporations are notorious for refusing to settle slip and fall and trip and fall causes of action until the injured victim hires a top Rhode Island slip and fall attorney to “go to the mat”, so to speak , against the non compliant and greedy liability company.
Rhode Island slip and fall
A top slip and fall lawyer in East Providence or a RI slip and fall attorney in Providence will give the injured victim the leverage they need against big insurance and their deleterious injury claim settlement practices. In fact, these deleterious and illegal tactics are often the fodder for bad faith litigation claims against the insurance company. Bad faith could include failure to undertake a reasonable and proper investigation, low-ball settlement claims practices, failure to make a reasonable offer when liability and coverage is clear.
Why do insurance companies refuse to pay slip and fall causes of action in RI?
They hope that local Rhode Island personal injury lawyers will be unwilling to put the time and resources to litigate the claim on behalf of the injured victim. Insurance companies are well known for denying and delaying paying legitimate slip and fall claims. They are also notorious for hardball rambo litigation tactics and nefarious , ill advised and illegal claims tactics. For more information about big insurance’s deny, delay and litigate claims tactics visit here.
The National Safety Council stated “Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. The risk of falling, and fall-related problems, rises with age and is a serious issue in homes and communities.”
Ramp, walkway and floor falls causing serious injury
Slips and falls in Rhode Island could occur on uneven surfaces, ramps, walkways, floors and pavement. Slip and fall often occur in bars, nightclubs, malls, places of work, church, retail stores, sidewalks, garages, and residential homes There are also numerous slip and fall accidents at big box stores, grocery stores, hotels/ motels and resorts, private residential homes, small businesses, apartment building and apartment complexes, multi family homes, condominiums/ lofts (condos) restaurants, markets, work, commercial buildings and rental homes
Fall at a store in RI
In an important premises liability case in Rhode Island, the top Court in the ocean State weighed in on the duty of landowners and others to provide a safe environment to visitors on their property. A top RI slip and fall attorney has carefully read and analyzed all pertinent Rhode Island case law, regulations, building codes and safety standards to provide the best legal representation possible. The Rhode Island Supreme Court sitting in the Capital City of Providence in HABERSHAW v. MICHAELS STORES, INC. 42 A.3d 1273 (2012), determined that “It also is well settled in our jurisprudence that there is an affirmative duty on owners and possessors of property: “to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises * * * includ[ing] an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.” Kurczy v. St. Joseph Veterans Association, Inc., 820 A.2d 929, 935 (R.I.2003) (quoting Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I. 2000)); accord Virginia MEAD et al. v. PAPA RAZZI RESTAURANT et al.No. 2002-648-Appeal.Decided: January 9, 2004 , 840 A.2d 1103, 1107 (R.I.2004).”
spills of liquids such as water, juice, oil, beer, wine
The causes of slip and falls in Rhode Island and Massachusetts (MA) include: tripping on an uneven walkway or other surface, spills of liquids such as water, juice, oil, beer, wine or other liquids. Snow and ice is also a very significant cause of slip and falls in Rhode Island and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In some instances a fall is caused by unsuitable shoes, sneakers or other footwear, flip flops, loafers or high heels. Some falls result from overly polished and slippery surfaces which do not provide proper and appropriate traction. Other falls result from improper footwear. A trip and fall in RI and MA is usually caused by a victim falling as a result of object on the floor or tripping on an obstructions. There are dozens perhaps hundreds of hazards which could cause a slip and fall in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. If you were injured in a premises liability accident or incident in Rhode island, contact a RI slip and fall attorney to get you the justice you are entitled to. A RI slip and fall attorney will fight the insurance company and litigate the claim zealously to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
hazardous conditions on property and building codes are complied with
An owner of property needs to make sure that there are not hazardous conditions on their property and all building codes and laws are complied with. In Virginia MEAD et al. v. PAPA RAZZI RESTAURANT et al. No. 2002-648-Appeal. Decided: January 9, 2004 the Top Court in Rhode Island determined the applicable standard of care: “to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises, and that duty includes an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.” Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I.2000) (citing Cutroneo v. F.W. Woolworth Co., 112 R.I. 696, 698, 315 A.2d 56, 58 (1974)); see also Kurczy, 820 A.2d at 935.
What types on injuries result from a slip and fall?
According to Jones Wilson Injury lawyer, the most common types of injuries resulting from falls include:
- “Pulled muscles and stretched tendons. …
- Sprained and broken wrists and ankles. …
- Fractured clavicles. …
- Tailbone bruises or fractures. …
- Spinal cord injuries. …
- Head and brain injuries.”
Fracture injury and falls in RI and MA
“Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall. Slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work. Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year. Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall. Most fall injuries in the home happen at ground level, not from an elevation. Of all fractures from falls, hip fractures are the most serious and lead to the greatest health problems and number of deaths. The following statistics describe the slip-and-fall crisis affecting our nation’s elderly.Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Half of which are repeat fallers. According to the CDC In 2005, more than 15,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall. Up from 7,700 a decade earlier. The CDC also reports that approximately 1.8 million people over the age of 65 were treated in an emergency room as a result of a fall.” https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/
knew or should have have discovered a dangerous condition
Has the Top Court in Rhode Island examined what it means that a landowner knew or should have have discovered a dangerous condition on his or her land? The best Rhode Island slip and fall lawyers and attorneys have carefully analyzed the Mead v Papa Razzi case. If a RI slip and fall attorney is unaware of this case and uninformed then an injured victim should look elsewhere to retain a top Rhode island personal injury lawyer. In MEAD v. PAPA RAZZI RESTAURANT the highest tribunal in the Ocean state determined that “Utilizing that standard, this Court has recognized instances in which injured plaintiffs failed to satisfy the burden of proving a business owner’s negligence because of a lack of evidence demonstrating how long a dangerous condition existed, or whether the owner knew or should have known of its existence. See Massart v. Toys R Us, Inc., 708 A.2d 187, 189 (R.I.1998) (per curiam) (Court affirmed judgment in favor of toy store because of lack of evidence showing that employees knew of fallen basketball hoop in aisle before girl was injured); see also Barone, 767 A.2d at 68 (retail store properly granted judgment in slip-and-fall case in which the plaintiff presented no evidence of the nature and extent of the alleged puddle of water at the site of her fall and no proof concerning length of time alleged condition was present); Gleason v. Almac’s, Inc., 103 R.I. 40, 42, 234 A.2d 350, 351 (1967) (trial justice improperly denied judgment in defendant’s favor because there was insufficient evidence that store had notice of roll of film on floor and no testimony about store policy on maintaining a safe condition for customers).”
pedestrians often face dangerous conditions and slippery surfaces
The winter months can be especially difficult on pedestrians who often face dangerous conditions and slippery surfaces while walking on busy streets and in crowded urban environments. This is especially true when the property owner, manager and others in charge of the premises failed to maintain the sidewalks to ensure all accumulated ice and snow removal. Unfortunately, many pedestrians suffer serious injuries from slip and fall accidents that could have been prevented. If injured in a winter weather mishap in RI then contact a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney.
snowfall or ice storm in Rhode Island
After a snowfall or ice storm in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the business owner, property owner and others in charge of the premises have a legal responsibility to remove the snow and maintain the area by using ash, sand or salt. In addition, those in charge must also monitor the area on a continuing basis to ensure that any dangerous condition is dealt with immediately, such as melting snow that develops into ice and produces a slippery surface.
Providence premises liability lawyers
If you were injured in a slip and fall in Providence or in RI contact a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney who is also a RI personal Injury lawyer. A Rhode Island slip and fall attorney or Providence premises liability lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Any failure to clear away sidewalks, walkways and parking lots within a reasonable amount of time can be considered negligence under the law. Not only should the accumulated precipitation be shoveled away after the storm, the management or ownership must do an adequate job to ensure that the melting and refreezing of snow and ice does not create dangerous patches of invisible black ice. This is because the worst injuries caused by accumulated snow and ice in RI and MA typically occurs within the few days following the storm.
Factors in Premises Liability Cases in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
The most common factors involved in a majority of premises liability slip and fall cases in RI and Mass. involve:
• Failing to adequately clear away accumulated ice and snow from steps and walkways;
• Failing to cover dangerous walking areas with sand or salt;
• Failing to remove hardened icicles and other hard objects overhead;
• Negligently piling accumulated snow to create a dangerous hazard;
• Allowing accumulated puddles of melting snow to freeze entryways and walkways;
• Failing to ensure that walkways, sidewalks, steps and other areas provide a safe passage for disabled individuals within a reasonable amount of time after the storm has passed.
Property owners and others in charge of the premises can be held legally liable even if the dangerous area was shoveled after the storm passed if the area remains hazardous. In addition, abutting property owners can also be found legally liable if their removal efforts created a dangerous situation on another’s property.
Avoiding Preventable Pedestrian Fall Accident in Rhode Island
Pedestrians should take special care anytime he or she ventures outside after a passing ice storm or snowfall. If possible, wait before going outside to allow adequate time for property owners and homeowners to clear away accumulated snow and ice. In addition, it is crucial to wear proper footwear and adequate layers to protect against the harsh bitter cold. This is important because cold pedestrians tend to walk or run as quickly as necessary to reach their destination before becoming too cold due to the hazardous weather outdoors. Adequate footwear and snow boots can make walking on hazardous areas much safer.
“From January 2012 through June 2013, more than 1,035 Maine employees submitted lost-time injury claims to the WCB due to slips and falls on ice and snow. This represents about 5 percent of all lost-time claims during that time period and about 27 percent of all reported slips, trips and falls” Maine Department of Labor, Labor Standards “Slipping and Falling on ice- a Serious workplace hazard
Hiring a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney
Claims and lawsuits for financial compensation are often filed by victims who have suffered serious injuries from slip and fall accidents occurring on black ice. The most common types of injuries are fall fractures, back injuries, knee injuries, head trauma and paralysis. Many of these serious injuries require surgery. Victims often face extensive medical expenses and require future care due to a permanent or temporary disability. However, these types of cases are often very challenging to litigate and require a skilled personal injury attorney or Rhode island slip and fall attorney who handles premises liability claims for compensation. These RI fall cases are typically handled on a contingency fee by a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney so no upfront fees or retainers are required.
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common cases we encounter at Slepkow Law. Many individuals slip at businesses, in public places, at stores, in private sectors, and more. It is the duty of the property owner or manager to ensure that the floors are kept free of clutter and not slick or slippery, or else customers and passersby may fall. These falls may even lead to debilitating injuries that can permanently alter lives in a negative manner. Because of this, we believe that all victims of slip and fall cases are entitled to some form of financial compensation for their expenses, no matter how large or small. It is important to realize that not every case is a slam dunk, however, and not all injuries are worth the same amounts of money because of various factors. Our clients often ask us what they can earn for their injuries and if they are eligible for certain forms of compensation. Examples of these questions include:
- How do I know the value of my slip and fall case?
- How much can I earn in a slip and fall case?
- What affects slip and fall case values?
Causes of premises liability accidents
Often, slip and fall accidents occur because of some negligent action or oversight by an employee or other responsible person. For example, a spill at a grocery store may go unnoticed by staff, resulting in a fair amount of water or other liquid getting all over the floor. A person can easily slip and tumble down, causing injuries. People slip and fall because of the following reasons:
- Spilled liquids on the floor
- Slick floors from recent cleaning
- Objects or debris in walkways
- Raised, elevated, or uneven pathways
- Cracks in the sidewalk or floor
- Unstable or unsteady staircases
What sets slip and fall cases apart is the fact that they are the universal injury case. They can happen anywhere at any time to any person. We have dealt with cases where people have slipped and fallen in grocery stores, supermarkets, auto garages, fairs, restaurants, and more. Young people and older individuals alike have the potential to suffer injuries from these occurrences. For more information on whether or not you can file a claim against a business for a slip and fall injury, look over this page, or reach out to an attorney at our law firm.
Compensation You Can Earn
Victims of slip and fall accidents can earn different types of compensation for their injuries. The amount of each one depends on the extent of the damages. Our experienced lawyers can help you earn the maximum settlement available under the law for your expenses. You can receive restitution for:
- Medical Expenses: Costs pertaining to your hospitalization, surgery, medication, and physical therapy can be covered. If your injuries require you to undergo additional treatments in the future, you can have those costs covered as well.
- Lost Wages: If you were forced to miss days at work due to your injury, or if you will miss future days because of other medical procedures or additional recovery time, you can have both past and future wages reimbursed.
- Property Damage: You may have had some belongings on you when you fell, and those items could have been lost, broken, or damaged in the accident. The monetary values of these items can be covered.
- Pain and Suffering: Emotional damages are serious, and they usually come about because of all of the stress that accompanies an injury. Accidents and ensuing consequences can induce psychological suffering, mental pain, PTSD, fear, anxiety, and more, and you can be compensated.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are additional forms of compensation handed out in the event that the incident was caused due to the gross negligent actions of another person. The compensation is meant to dissuade the defendant from committing the action again. Many juries won’t hand out these damages, however, claiming they are excessive; therefore, only a skilled lawyer will be able to win them for you.
Determining the Value of Your Case
Although there is no settlement calculator for slip and fall cases, there are ways to gauge whether or not your case will have a certain value to it. All cases must be filed on the premise of negligence and injury; if an injury occurred, you are likely able to sue for some form of damages. However, the extent of that injury is a very large determining factor in the value of your case. For example, if you sustained a sprained ankle while another person suffered a broken ankle, the person with the more severe injury would likely receive higher compensation given the exact same circumstances of the case. Some of the factors that go into altering the settlement value of a case are listed on this slip and fall page and they are summarized below:
- Extent of Injury: How much damage was actually present? Numerous injuries affecting different parts of the body, severe wounds that could be life threatening, injuries that lead to further problems down the line, damages that aggravated or exacerbated pre-existing conditions, and more can affect the amount of compensation you receive.
- Age of Victim: Differently aged people are often treated differently in determining settlement values. For those who are young and have more active lifestyles and healthier bodies, the settlement for an injury may be a lot less because the damage will not be as severe as if it were to happen to an elderly person. A hip injury, for instance, can send an older individual to the hospital, while a younger person may be healed in half the time. On the other hand, a younger individual has a higher expected time to live and more to lose than an older individual.
- Impact on Career: If your injury causes you to lose your job or makes it so that you will not be able to hold a position in the future, you will very likely receive more compensation than someone whose career is not affected. For example, an injury to your hands may prevent you from completing your duties as a typist, but for a lecturer, there would be less adjustment.
- Need for Future Treatments: A simple injury that will heal without much interference from a doctor will generally garner you less compensation than one that will necessitate many surgeries. Nerve damage that spreads to other parts of the body, for instance, may doom you to years of treatment, and thus, the expenses should be covered accordingly.
- Degree of Fault: Not every accident is the fault of the business or manager. Sometimes, the person who tripped can be said to have acted with a degree of fault, such as by recklessly entering the area or by being too overburdened with merchandise to safely walk.
Slip and fall accident
Below are some examples of these different factors at play. Some of this data was gathered with the help of Daniel Azizi, founder of Normandie Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in Los Angeles.
Consider a $28,500.00 settlement from Publix Super Markets. The plaintiff slipped in the produce section and fell down, sustaining minor injuries to his body. Expenses were covered for his medical treatment. On the other hand, a $7,500.00 settlement from Publix Super Markets did not feature nearly the same degree of damage. The plaintiff was struck by broken pieces of a bottle of soda that fell off a shelf. None of these injuries were remotely serious, and medical treatment was covered.
Trailer hitch fall
At a Sam’s Club, a 54-year old heart surgeon tripped and fell over a trailer hitch. He sustained an injury to his spine as well as nerve damage, which caused his hands to remain unsteady – thereby ending his career as a surgeon, and preventing him from pursuing similar jobs in the future. The hitch was not properly set aside and was in the path of customers. He received a settlement of nearly $4,000,000 because of his medical expenses, future lost earnings, and large impact on his life. On the other hand, a 77-year old woman tripped on an entry ramp at another store location, suffering a broken hip. She received $180,000, despite initially receiving $400,000 in punitive damages for the negligence of the employees who knew the ramp was elevated and a potential hazard. Her injury did not lead to further complications, nor did it result in a loss of earnings or anything that would negatively affect the rest of her life. Therefore, she earned a smaller settlement.
Walmart was sued for various accidents. In one, a woman was struck in the back by an automatic door, thus sustaining a spinal injury; her fault in the incident caused her to suffer a 30% reduction and earned just over $200,000. Similarly, a woman was struck in the face by an automatic door, and needed rhinoplasty to fix her nose. Due to her fault in the incident of not paying attention to where she was walking, she suffered a reduction as well, and received a settlement of over $30,000. On the other hand, a woman fell on the ice outside a Walmart, and was further injured when ice slid off the roof and struck her while she was on the ground. Her left arm required surgery and the end result was her unable to move her left hand. The majority of fault lay with Walmart, and the woman received $600,000.
There have been numerous other cases where businesses have been shown to be negligent in their care for their customers, and as a result, the customers received various forms of compensation for their injuries. We are here to help you earn a settlement the same way.
Our team of experienced attorneys at Slepkow Law is here to help you earn your fair compensation from a slip and fall accident. We know that your injuries may sideline you for some time, and you should not be required to undergo all the stress that may accompany legal action. Let us help you, and we promise to bring you the maximum settlement possible. Clients may believe that they are unable to earn certain forms of compensation because of their age or relative damage from their injuries. We promise to do our best to earn you as much as possible.
Call us today to receive a free legal consultation with a skilled lawyer. You can ask any questions you want about your case and the likelihood of you receiving a large settlement. We will tell you everything you need to know. Further, if you select us to represent you, you will receive a zero fee guarantee on your claim, which promises that you will pay no out of pocket expenses for anything. Our legal fees are taken from the settlement we win for you, ensuring that your savings remain untouched, and if we lose, we eat all costs ourselves and you owe us nothing at all.
Many people assume that slip and fall accidents only happen to elderly people or rarely result in serious injuries. In fact, some would consider a slip and fall case as nothing more than a frivolous lawsuit. The truth is slip and falls can be very devastating and occur anywhere, even leaving younger victims with life-long health consequences. If you were injured in a slip and fall in Rhode Island then contact a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney who is also a RI personal injury lawyer
Here are 10 statistics you may not know about slip and falls. This post was provided by a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney .
#1: Slip and falls are the third-leading cause of accidental death
Slip and fall accidents result in more than 30,000 unintentional deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Traffic accidents are the second-leading cause of death with almost 34,000 fatalities per year, but unintentional poisoning is now the most common accidental cause of death in the United States.
According to a recent report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, accidental drug overdoses now kill more people than traffic accidents, resulting in about 44,000 people per year. Most of these deaths are related to prescription painkillers. Prior to this spike in drug overdose deaths, slip and falls were the second-leading cause of accidental death.
#2: Many conditions can contribute to falls
It is not only older adults at risk of a serious fall. The CDC reports that there are many risk factors involved in falls, including weakness of the lower body, use of medication like antidepressants and sedatives, vision problems, poor footwear, and hazards like a lack of handrails along stairs. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with a greater risk of falls.
#3: Fall injuries result in $34 billion in direct medical costs every year
There is often an assumption that most falls are not serious and do not require costly medical care. According to a 2006 study published in Injury Prevention, falls have a significant direct medical cost of which two-thirds are hospital costs. The average hospitalization cost for a fall injury is more than $34,000.
#4: Falls are the most common work-related injury
According to Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the most frequently reported work-related injury. Falls are also one of the “fatal four” in the construction industry, accounting for 40% of all construction worker deaths.
#5: Falls account for 50% of accidental deaths at home
18,000 Americans die in accidental injuries at home every year. About 6,000 of these at-home fatalities are caused by falls, according to the Home Safety Council, exceeding deaths due to accidental poisoning, fires, drowning, and airway obstruction.
#6: Slip and falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury
According to the Mayo Clinic, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) overall, but this is especially true in young children and older adults. TBI contributes to nearly 30% of all injury deaths and is a leading cause of disability, according to the CDC.
#7: One-third of seniors fall every year | Rhode Island slip and fall attorney
The risk of fall injuries increases with age. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one-third of people over 65 fall every year. By 80, more than half of seniors fall each year. Every 11 seconds, a senior is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury.
#8: Falls are the leading reason for injury-related ER visits
About 9 million people visit emergency rooms every year for injuries caused by unintentional falls, according to the CDC. About 2.5 million of these are older adults. Nearly 700,000 people are hospitalized for a fall injury every year, usually due to hip fracture or a head injury.
#9: 1 out of 5 falls leads to serious injury | Rhode Island slip and fall attorney
The most common serious consequence of a fall is fractures, or broken bones, which occur in around 5% of people who fall, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. About 95% of all hip fractures are caused by falling alone. Other potentially serious consequences from a fall may include traumatic brain injury, long-term hospitalization, the need for nursing care, and reduced quality of life.
#10: Nursing home residents are at a higher risk of falling
According to the CDC, just 5% of adults 65 and older live in a nursing home, but nursing home residents account for 20%
If you were injured in a slip and fall in Rhode island and Providence plantations then you need to retain a Providence premises liability lawyer who is also a RI slip and fall lawyer. A top Rhode Island slip and fall attorney will help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Slip and fall accidents are a large percent of all premises liability claims for compensation nationwide. This is because literally millions of individuals suffer serious injuries from falling each year. In statistics maintained by the NSC (National Safety Council), nearly 9 million individuals visit emergency rooms every year. But exactly what is causing the high incident rate of slip and fall injury cases?
Slip and fall accidents in Rhode Island can happen to any individual anywhere. Once the individual suffers a fall and becomes injured, the situation can become extremely complicated. In many incidences, the slip and fall accident is the result of a dangerous or hazardous condition such as uneven surfaces on a walkway or slippery surfaces like wet floors and icy sidewalks.
The most common causes of accidents that cause injuries to victims include:
• Moving walkways and escalators
• Slippery sidewalks and uneven curbs
• Insufficient outdoor lighting
• Construction areas
• Defective footwear
• Missing or broken handrails on stairways
• Flooding caused by overflowing toilets or leaky pipes
• Broken tile and frayed carpeting
• Hazardous weather conditions that cause snow and ice to accumulate
• Work-related fall injuries where workers are exposed to temporary walkways, hazardous debris and exposed wires and cables
• Lack of maintenance or poor maintenance of the premises
• Insufficient drainage that causes standing water
• Debris or products left in a walkway
• Defective products including broken ladders and step stools
• Nursing home neglect
Many slip and fall, and trip and fall, injuries in RI cause significant harm to the victim that include sprains, fractures, shoulder injuries, hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord/back injury.
Accumulated Snow and Ice in Providence, Woonsocket and Newport RI
Property owners, managers and others in charge of the premises have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of every patron or visitor entering or exiting the property. This includes removing accumulated snow and ice in a timely manner following a snowstorm or ice storm. If the victim slips and falls on icy stairs, sidewalks or parking lots, the property owner and others in charge of the premises could be held civilly liable to pay the victim financial recompense for their injuries, damages and losses.
Nursing Home Neglect in Rhode Island
Our senior citizens are among the most vulnerable members of our society and often experience the highest number of slip and fall incidences occurring nationwide every year. The increased potential to fall is often because they suffer from diminished eyesight, loss of balance and other maladies associated with aging. Unfortunately, many elderly individuals suffer slip and fall injuries in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as a result of nursing home neglect, when the medical staff or facility provides substandard care or maintains a facility negligently, producing hazardous or dangerous conditions. Statistics maintained by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) show that six out of every 10 nursing home residents will suffer a fall every year.
In fact, the health and well-being of a senior citizen is often negatively compromised after suffering an injured hip or leg broken in a fall. Without adequate safety measures and proper supervision, nursing home residents can suffer catastrophic health problems or death after one or more falls while residing at the facility.
In Rhode Island where do the most premises liability falls occur?
Slip and falls in Rhode Island most frequently occur in fast food establishments, supermarkets, grocery stores, cafes, bars and hotels. A real estate owner of property as well as occupier or real property could be determined to be a negligent tortfeasor. A liable party could be an LLC, business or a government entity. A high percentage of falls occur at places where food and drinks are served such as restaurants, supermarkets and fast food joints. Slip and fall cases may also result from not shoveling ice or snow from a sidewalk, entrance-way or driveway.
If I slip and fall as a result of negligence of another person or entity, who can be held responsible?
The Supreme Court of Rhode Island sitting in the Capital City of Providence declared that “[A] landowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises, and that duty includes an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition. The burden of proving that sufficient evidence existed to show that the defendants knew or should have known of an unsafe condition on their premises is on the plaintiff.” Lieberman v. Bliss-Doris Realty Associates Supreme Court of Rhode Island.Terry S. LIEBERMAN v. BLISS-DORIS REALTY ASSOCIATES, L.P., et al. Decided: April 14, 2003 Present: WILLIAMS, C.J., FLANDERS, GOLDBERG, JJ., and SHEA, J. (Ret.). Glenn R. Friedemann, Providence, for Plaintiff. David H. Stillman, Braintree, MA, and Elizabeth Page Fecteau, East Providence, for Defendant.
Are children and senior citizens prevented from filing slip and fall claims in Rhode Island?
Children and the elderly can file slip and fall lawsuits in Rhode Island
- Victims who re-injure existing conditions still may be compensated for their injuries.(preexisting conditions)
- Property owners owe a duty of due care to all persons who lawfully enter such real property (exceptions for trespasser)
- Everyone with the exception of trespassers should expect that the premises is maintained reasonably in a relatively safe manner.
- So long as the injuries are caused by the negligence of a person or entity, the injured person has the right to seek damages.
- Keep in mind, that if the injured person was acting carelessly or not paying proper attention and that contributed or partially caused the accident than there may be comparative fault involved.
- Also, there is an interesting legal doctrine relating to children who trespass as a result of an attractive nuisance.
- In Rhode Island, a tortfeasor takes a victim as he finds him. You take the injured party as you find them.
- As far as liability in the Ocean State is concerned, RI law does not differentiate solely based on age or pre-existing medical conditions.
There is no average settlement for any type of slip and fall. The amount of a settlement depends on the following factors:
- Amount of lost wages
- Amount of medical bills
- length of medical treatment
- permanency of injury- Periods of partial disability and total disability
- Future medical bills
- loss of consortium issues
- Severity of pain and suffering
- Severity of injury
- was there a fracture/ broken bone
- Periods of hospitalization / surgeries
- other factors
Many people are asking the following questions:
- How long does it take to get a workers comp slip and fall settlements?
- The amount of time to settle a case varies from case to case.
- How do I file a slip and fall case against Walmart?
- What are the slip and fall injury types?
- How do I pay my slip and fall attorneys
- Is there a slip and fall settlement calculator?
“The term “premises liability” refers generally to the legal responsibility of the owner and/or occupant of real property for injuries that someone may sustain while on the property due to a dangerous or defective condition that exists there.” Slips, Trips, and Falls A primer for businesses on the law of premises liability
Filing a Claim In Providence Superior Court
If the victim or their Providence personal injury attorney or RI slip and fall lawyer can prove the negligence of another individual was the direct cause of their injuries, they may be entitled to receive financial compensation. As an example, if the store owner or manager was aware that the floor was slippery or would become slippery and yet took no immediate action, they could be found legally liable to the victim that was injured at that location. This is because property owners, managers and others have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of others by properly building and maintaining the premises.
A serious slip and fall injury can be devastating to the victim and family members. Because of that, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention even if you suspect you are not injured. It is essential to have a comprehensive medical evaluation to diagnose any condition that arose from the fall. In many incidences, pain, discomfort or hurt is not realized for hours or days after the incident occurred.
“Falls also are the leading cause of injury-related death for adults age 65 and older, according to Injury Facts 2015, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council. This is not surprising considering falls are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. About 29,500 people died from falls in 2013, and the vast majority of them were over age 65.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- One in three older adults falls each year
- About 2.5 million nonfatal falls were treated in emergency departments in 2013
- Of those, 734,000 people were admitted to the hospital
- That year, 25,500 older adults died from unintentional falls
- More than 250,000 hip fractures are reported every year, and 95 percent of those are from falls” National Safety Council (NSC), Slip, Trip and Fall Protection for Older Adults NSC
Legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court sitting in the Capital City of Providence, RI licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice (i.e personal injury, wrongful death, slip and fall, construction accident). While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.