Many people who are injured in a slip-and-fall don’t know their rights. Often they’ll simply think it was their own fault and therefore they have no case. In a lot of instances this may be true. But if you’ve been hurt in a fall, it’s still a good idea to consult with a lawyer. Attorney Christopher B. Slusser said he and his staff at the Slusser Law Firm in Hazleton will consult with clients to learn the individual attributes of their case and help you receive a just amount of compensation for your pain and suffering.
That’s because it may be easier to get compensated than you realize — even if you’ve encountered an “open and obvious” danger.
Take for example a recent case in New York City. A theatergoer named John Sada slipped and fell on a wet staircase during intermission, then sued the theater for his injuries.
The theater owners argued that they couldn’t be held accountable because they’d been maintaining the theater responsibly and had no realistic opportunity to discover the hazard and address it in time to prevent the injury. To back up their argument, the owners even presented evidence of their maintenance schedule.
However, a New York judge concluded that the case could proceed to trial. According to the judge, evidence of the maintenance schedule wasn’t enough to show the owners weren’t negligent (unreasonably careless). For that, they would have had to show they stuck to the schedule on the day of the accident. Sada also presented evidence that he told an usher about the water on the stairs before he left for intermission, 15 minutes before his fall occurred.
While you might think this would hurt his case — after all, he knew of the hazard well before he decided to navigate it, making it an “open and obvious danger” — the court felt he showed enough to be able to bring a claim against the owners. It remains to be seen what will ultimately happen at trial.