Indiana Slip and Fall Attorney
When you enter a public place in Indiana like a store or restaurant, you don’t expect to trip or slip and fall on the floor or carpet. Unfortunately, some property owners don’t properly clean or maintain their premises, and a dangerous condition can lead to accidents and injuries—some of them serious. An experienced Indiana slip and fall lawyer knows the causes of these types of falls, the serious problems and injuries that can result, and how much the property owner should compensate you for your injuries.
When you work with an Indianapolis slip and fall attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP, you get advice and representation from a team of personal injury attorneys who have successfully handled slip and fall cases and helped our clients recover the money they deserve.
A Compassionate Indiana Slip and Fall Lawyer Understands Your Injury
Falls can be caused by a property owner who failed to clean up a liquid spill or who hasn’t repaired torn carpeting or damaged flooring, among many other possible situations. You may be surprised how often people fall and sustain injuries every year. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports that falls are the leading cause of visits to emergency rooms, with more than eight million incidents occurring each year. Of these patients, one million experienced a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property.
The severity of a slip and fall accident depends upon a variety of factors, including the details of the fall as well as specific facts about the injured victim. Whether you sustained minor or life-threatening injuries in a slip and fall accident, learn more about recovering the compensation you deserve by talking with an experienced Indiana slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. If you do not act quickly, valuable evidence can disappear, which could hurt your case.
A fall is particularly serious for the elderly. The NFSI reports that 87 percent of all broken bones in people over the age of 65 are caused by falls, which are also the second leading cause of brain injuries and spinal cord damage. Further, if an elderly person falls and breaks a hip, there is only a 50 percent chance of returning home to live independently. Even nursing homes have incidents, with 60 percent of nursing home residents fall each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study the costs associated with falling injuries, including treatment and recovery expenses related to falls. Every year, approximately $50 million is spent on medical expenses related to non-fatal falls, while $754 million is spent on fatal fall injuries for patients 65 and older. Younger victims may face different issues because the younger you are, the longer you may have to deal with any lingering problems or medical concerns after a fall. The victims bear these costs unless they can get compensation from the property owner at fault. Therefore, protecting your legal rights is crucial to ensuring your future financial needs are met.
The Four Basic Elements an Indiana Slip and Fall Lawyer Must Prove
A slip and fall claim is governed by laws regarding premises liability. This is a specific area of personal injury law in which a property owner may be held liable when injuries sustained on the premises are the result of negligence (or even greater culpability) or a dangerous condition. Injury victims may suffer only minor injuries or, in some cases, slip and fall accidents can be more severe or even fatal.
To successfully prove a slip and fall claim, an Indianapolis slip and fall attorney must establish the following four legal elements:
- The property owner, business tenant, or land occupant owed a duty to the plaintiff upon entry of the premises
- The property owner, tenant, or occupant breached that duty
- The breach caused the fall and the resulting injuries
- The amount of monetary damages the injured person is seeking are directly related to the fall
Indiana law includes two very important restrictions for plaintiffs who want to bring a personal injury lawsuit. First, Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 requires slip and fall injury cases to be filed within two years from the date of the fall. If not, the injured person is forever barred from bringing an action to recover damages. Second, under Indiana’s comparative fault law found at Indiana Code § 34-51-2-6, a plaintiff cannot be more at fault than the defendant for causing the accident. In other words, if you are found to be at least 51 percent responsible for your injury, the responsible party or parties owe you nothing.
An Indiana Slip and Fall Lawyer Explains the Duty of Care
In general, a property owner has a legal duty to discover and repair hazards they know about or hazards they should have found if they had performed a reasonable inspection of the property. If the property’s hazard could harm someone, the owner or occupier must either fix the hazard or, if they don’t have the time or ability to fix it, they must warn people who come onto the land about the hazard.
The duty of care owed to people on the property depends on the relationship between the premises owner/tenant/occupier and the injured person. For example, if owner/tenant/occupier invited the injured person onto the property, or a company doing business there, the owner/tenant/occupier owes invitee the highest level of care under the law. However, if the injured person was a trespasser on the property, the property owner/tenant/occupier owes a much lower standard of care to protect that person. If the injured person’s status is unclear, the court will decide the standard of care that was owed under the circumstances.
Many times, a property owner may deny knowing about the hazard. However, if an Indianapolis slip and fall attorney can prove the owner should have known about the problem by performing a reasonable inspection, the property owner may still be found liable. Denial cases are complicated and can be difficult to prove, but an experienced slip and fall attorney in Indianapolis can help build your case to recover fair compensation.
An Indianapolis Slip and Fall Injury Attorney Can Help You Recover the Money You Deserve
At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we understand that slips, trips, and falls can result in many different types of injuries These include but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Back and neck injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises and contusions
If the property owner is legally responsible, you deserve compensation for injuries related to your fall. Of course, in many cases, the property owner doesn’t readily agree to make payment, so you will have to pursue legal action to make them pay.
If you can prove that a landowner was negligent and that negligence caused your injuries, you can argue for compensation for these types of damages:
- Economic damages, including compensation for medical bills and lost wages if you couldn’t work as a result of your fall
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress (also known as mental anguish), and even loss of a normal relationship with your spouse if applicable
If your situation involves a property owner who acted maliciously or intentionally to cause your injuries, you may also be able to seek punitive damages to punish the behavior and deter similar actions in the future. Punitive damages are not common in Indiana, so be sure to ask your Indianapolis slip and fall attorney whether your case justifies punitive damages.
When You Need an Experienced Indiana Slip and Fall Lawyer, We’re Here for You
If you have been injured as a result of a fall on someone else’s property, the team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is here to help. Contact us today at (317) 455-4043 or complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment with an experienced and compassionate Indiana slip and fall lawyer who will answer all of your questions and help you recover the money damages you deserve.