Harrison County Slip and Fall / Trip and Fall Lawyer
A slip and fall accident could cause significant damage and injuries. Often, individuals trip and injure themselves while on another’s property. Slips and falls fall under a concept of law called premises liability. These laws require landowners to take appropriate steps to protect guests from dangerous conditions on their land. However, the extent of these steps varies based on the visitor’s permission to enter the land and their motivations for doing so. When an accident occurs, the property owner could be held liable for damages.
To be sure, not every trip and fall and entitles the injured party to bring a claim against the landowner. People may trip or fall for any variety of reasons, and no landowner has a duty to absolutely ensure a visitor’s safety. However, if the fall was caused by a dangerous condition that the landowner either caused or knew (or should have known) about, but did nothing to correct, Mississippi law allows the injured person to recover compensation to make them whole.
If you or a loved one were injured on another’s property, a Harrison County slip and fall lawyer could advise you of your rights, and help you seek compensation if the injury was caused by the premises owner’s negligent or reckless conduct. A skilled attorney can work to evaluate your rights under premises liability law, evaluate the actions of negligent landowners, and demand appropriate payments to cover all your losses.
The Rights of Visitors
The laws in Harrison County separate visitors onto another’s premises into three legal categories. Establishing which category the visitor falls in is an essential first step towards getting compensation for an injury. The two main factors in determining this category are whether the visitor had permission to be on the land and who benefitted from the visit.
The first category of visitors is trespassers. These are people who enter or remain on land without the owner’s permission. Under state law, property owners must only refrain from causing any willful or wanton harm to trespassers. As a result, unless a trespasser suffers an injury from a trap, they are unlikely to be able to collect compensation.
The second class of visitor is a licensee. These people have permission to enter a land but do so for their own benefit. A houseguest at a barbecue is a clear example here. Unfortunately for these guests, they enjoy the same level of protection as trespassers: they can only collect compensation after a landowner willfully or wantonly causes an injury.
Finally, invitees enjoy the highest level of protection. These are people who enter property with an invitation from the owner for the owner’s benefit. A guest who enters premises to purchase an item, to see a show, or to provide a service is an invitee. The landowner has a duty to keep the property reasonably safe for invitees. Additionally, property owners here must repair dangerous conditions, or warn of any hidden dangers.
An experienced Harrison County slip and fall lawyer could investigate the accident and collect evidence to prove the property owner’s negligence.
Common Examples of Negligence
Even if an injured person enjoys full legal protection as an invitee under the law, this does not mean that a landowner is automatically liable for an injury. The plaintiff’s Harrison County slip and fall attorney must prove that the landowner failed to maintain their land in a reasonably safe state and that this failure caused the accident.
A trip and fall accident could occur due to:
- Spilled liquids
- Improper maintenance of sidewalks or parking lots
- Uneven and loose flooring
- Poor lighting
- Trash or debris on the floor
- Unmarked changes in elevation
- A failure to clear accumulated ice or snow
Establishing Fault for a Slip and Fall / Trip and Fall Accident
The State of Mississippi uses a concept known as comparative negligence to determine liability for an accident. According to Mississippi Code Annotated §11-7-15, the court must reduce a plaintiff’s award by the percentage of blame that he or she carries for the accident. This means that the courts will assign a percentage of liability for each party involved in an accident, including the plaintiff. For example, if a plaintiff falls, they may be partially responsible if they ignored a warning sign or failed to wear conditions-appropriate shoes.
Fortunately, injured claimants may be eligible to recover compensation from the other party even if they are 99 percent at fault for an accident. Their overall award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. A knowledgeable Harrison County slip and fall lawyer could help prove the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Let A Harrison County Slip and Fall Attorney Help
Slips and falls or trips and falls that occur on the property of others are a leading source of personal injuries. These falls can be the result of a failure to clear a temporary hazard such as standing water, or be the consequence of structural defects such as loose carpeting or a broken stair. No matter the exact facts behind the incident, a plaintiff must be able to establish their right to be on the land and that a property owner’s failure to provide a reasonably safe walkway caused the accident.
A Harrison County slip and fall lawyer could take the lead in your claim for compensation. He or she could help you recover compensation for damages such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Call today to schedule a free consultation to learn about what may be possible in your case.