MISSISSIPPI SLIP AND FALL LAWYER
On any given day, you may find yourself on someone else’s premises. Whether it is at work, out shopping, visiting a neighbor, staying at a hotel, or attending a party, we spend a lot of time in places where another party is responsible for the upkeep of the property. When hazardous and dangerous conditions exist on these properties, accidents sometimes occur. Slips and falls are among the most common types of premises liability accidents.
Tens of thousands of individuals are injured in slip and fall accidents every year. Slips, trips, and falls happen frequently; and many times, only minor injuries occur as a result. Sometimes, however, the injury can be more severe. When this happens on the property of another party that failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that it was safe, injured parties deserve to be compensated.
If you or a loved one was injured on the property of another party, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to review your case and go over your legal options. At the Gardner Law Firm, we have successfully represented victims injured in slip and fall accidents in Mississippi since 1979. We have in-depth knowledge of premises liability law, and we put our extensive experience to work to help ensure that our clients receive full and fair compensation.
Premises liability is a complex area of the law. There are many factors that can impact the outcome with these types of cases, and a thorough investigation is needed to gather key facts and pieces of evidence that will often make the difference between success and failure. We have handled countless slip and fall claims, and we know what it takes to build a winning case.
Slip and Fall Injuries in Mississippi
The National Floor Safety Institute reports that slips and falls result in more than one million emergency room visits each year. These incidents can happen just about anywhere. Some common places where slips, trips, and falls occur include:
- Malls and Retail Stores
- Grocery Stores
- Home Improvement Stores
- Hotels and Resorts
- Arenas and Stadiums
- Amusement Parks
- Construction Sites
- Nursing Homes
- Schools and Playgrounds
- Daycare Centers
- Office Buildings
- Municipal Properties
- Nursing Homes
- Apartment Buildings
- Private Residences
Property owners and caretakers owe a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure that a property is safe and to adequately warn visitors of known hazards. Unfortunately, owners and caretakers often fail to properly address hazards that exist on their premises.
Some common examples of hazardous conditions that frequently go unaddressed include:
- Carpeting or flooring that is loose, torn or missing;
- Handrails that are loose or broken;
- Poorly lit areas;
- Flooring that has inadequate transitions;
- Flooring that is wet or slippery;
- Stairways that are too narrow or otherwise unsafe;
- Faulty or malfunctioning elevators and escalators;
- Supplies, materials or debris that clutter a walkway;
- Sidewalks and parking areas that are cracked, have overgrown vegetation, or are otherwise unkept;
- Building code violations.
Slip and fall accidents resulting from property hazards can cause serious and even catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures/broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
Do You Have a Case for Damages from your Slip and Fall Injury?
Proving damages in premises liability cases can be challenging. The first step is to determine what type of visitor you were when you were injured on the property. Your status falls into one of three categories:
- Invitee: These are visitors who have been invited to be onto the premises. Examples include customers at a restaurant or retail establishment, guests of a hotel or resort, tenants, and employees. Owners and caretakers owe the highest duty of care to invitees. They are required to exercise reasonable care and maintenance to keep their premises safe and free of hazards.
- Licensees: These are visitors who have implied permission to enter a property. This could be a neighbor, a social guest, a mail or parcel carrier, or an invited salesperson. Owners and caretakers owe a slightly lower duty of care to licensees. They must properly warn them of known hazards and refrain from any willful or wanton misconduct that could harm them.
- Trespassers: A trespasser does not have permission to be on a property. As such, owners and caretakers owe very little duty of care to individuals in this category. The only obligation they have is to refrain from wanton or willful misconduct or entrapment.
If you were an invitee or licensee, you may have a case depending on the circumstances that caused your accident. If you were a trespasser, you have very little legal ground to stand on, although there are very rare cases in which a trespasser may be able to recover damages.
Just being an invitee or licensee does not necessarily mean your case will be successful. Slip and fall cases are known for having a high number of frivolous claims, and owners and caretakers are on guard for this type of claim. When an injury occurs, it is highly likely that they will claim it was your fault.
They may use various defenses, such as claiming that the hazard or dangerous condition was clearly marked, “open and obvious” to a reasonable person, or that you simply were not watching where you were going. They may also deny knowledge of the danger or hazard or say that your injury occurred while you were in an area of the property that was restricted.
Because your claim is likely to be fiercely challenged, it is important to take certain steps to help prove that the owner or caretaker was responsible. After an accident occurs, take multiple photos of the area showing the hazard or dangerous condition that caused it. If you are physically unable to do so, have someone who is with you take photos (if possible). Also, be sure to obtain the contact information for any individuals nearby who may have witnessed the event. Finally, get in touch with an attorney who has specific experience with these types of cases.
Mississippi has a three-year statute of limitations for premises liability claims, and the statute of limitations is only one year if the incident occurred on a government property. For this reason, it is important to take action as soon as possible if you are considering filing an injury claim.
Speak with the Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys at The Gardner Law Firm
For the past four decades, the Gardner Law Firm has successfully handled premises liability cases for clients in Biloxi, Pascagoula, and all along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. Whenever possible, we seek to negotiate a settlement for full and fair compensation. However, if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to aggressively pursue damages through litigation.
For a free consultation with one of our Mississippi personal injury attorneys, call our office today at 228-436-6555. You may also send us a message through our web contact form.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis – you only pay attorney fees if we win your case
Read our blog posts about premises liability.