Navigating Slip and Fall Claims on Commercial Properties

Let’s start with a few facts courtesy of the National Floor Safety Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of slips, trips, and falls through education, research, and standards development:

  • On average, over 1,000,000 yearly hospital emergency room visits are a direct result of slip and fall accidents.
  • Fractures are one of the most serious consequences of falls, occurring in roughly 5% of incidents.
  • Slips and falls are both the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims and the leading cause of workplace injury for those 55 and older.

With slip and fall accidents—defined as an incident where a person slips or trips and falls, and is injured, on someone else’s property—it can be difficult to prove fault.

In order to successfully sue for damages if such an accident occurs on a commercial property, you must be able to legally prove three things:

  • That the owner of the property, or another responsible party, was negligent in maintaining that property, failing to ensure the safety of premises.
  • That the owner of the property could have reasonably been expected to know about the safety hazard, and yet did nothing to correct it.
  • That the injuries you sustained due to the slip and fall accident can be documented by a medical professional.

Some things to consider:

Who you can sue

If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident on a commercial property, you can potentially sue the property owner or other responsible party, such as a property manager.

Possible damages

Should you be the victim of a slip and fall accident, there are a variety of damages you may be compensated for, including:

  • Medical expenses such as doctor and hospital bills, prescriptions, therapy, and ongoing medical treatment.
  • Lost wages as a result of missed work due to your injuries, medical appointments, etc.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional and mental trauma, such as PTSD.

Statute of limitations

In Ohio, the Statute of Limitations for all personal injury claims, which includes slip and fall incidents, is two years. The clock starts ticking on the date your injury happens. If the two-year window expires without you filing suit, you are no longer able to file.

Proving negligence

Proving negligence in a slip and fall accident can be complex. In order to successfully sue for damages, you must be able to show a direct link between the safety hazard that caused your injury, and the injury itself.

Negligence is legally defined as “a failure to exercise the degree of care required of a reasonable and prudent person in any given circumstance, resulting in injury or damage to another.”

However, like a majority of states, Ohio operates under a “Comparative Negligence” law. That law allows that the maximum recoverable amount of damages may be reduced by the victim’s own percentage of negligence. In fact, in Ohio, if the victim of the slip and fall is found to be more than 50% at fault, then they can recover no damages at all.

Tort recovery limits

It’s important to know that the Ohio Revised Code sets some limits on the amount of money that can be recovered in personal injury cases:

  • There are no limits on compensatory damages—money that compensates for damages, injury, or other loss—awarded for actual economic loss by the injured party.
  • Damages for non-economic losses, in the case of non-catastrophic injuries, cannot exceed $250,000, or three times economic loss, whichever is greater, not to exceed $350,000.
  • In the case of catastrophic injuries—permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system—damages are capped at $500,000.
  • Punitive damages—awarded on top of actual damages as punishment for particularly egregious circumstances—are capped at $350,000, or 10% of the defendant’s net worth, if the defendant is a small employer; however—
  • If it’s found that the defendant knowingly caused the situation that caused the injury, there is no cap.

The right attorney for the job

While personal injury lawsuits are always complex, slip and fall personal injury cases are often even more complicated, and are notoriously hard to prove. Maximize your opportunity for a successful outcome by hiring an attorney with the experience, staff, and resources to guide you every step of the way and recover the largest settlement possible.

If you or a loved one are a victim in a slip and fall accident, contact the attorneys at LaSalvia Law. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve.

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You can expect to hear from Christine 1-2 days after submitting your inquiry.

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Pay nothing up front. No fee until your case is settled or tried to a jury.