Slip and Fall Claims on Private vs. Public Property

Slip and fall accidents can occur in a variety of different places, including public buildings, private residences, stores, restaurants, and more. Depending on the location where an accident occurred, the legal process may vary. While working with a slip and fall accident attorney is the most effective way of having a successful claim, it’s also important to understand how these claims are affected by the incident’s location.

Slip and Fall Claims on Private Property

If a slip and fall injury occurs on private property, the homeowner could be liable for any injuries that occurred due to their negligence, and the injured individual may pursue a claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy. In order to prove liability in this instance, it must be demonstrated that the owner of the property knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take action to remedy it.

This extends to commercial properties as well, such as restaurants or stores. Since these properties are largely privately owned, they must adhere to the same premises liability standards as homeowners.

Slip and Fall Claims on Public Property

When a slip and fall accident occurs on public property, such as in a government building or park, the laws of premises liability may still apply. These laws state that property owners must exercise reasonable care when protecting visitors from hazards. In contrast to private property claims, however, an injured individual may be able to bring a claim against the government. This may make cases more complex and require different evidence.

For example, public records and government policies and regulations can be taken into account. Additionally, if there is prior communication between a government agency or municipality regarding the property the incident occurred on or its hazards, this may be used to show that they were not diligent in remedying the issue. This can make these cases challenging, so it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the complexities.

Recovering Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident

Injured individuals may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a slip and fall accident. If the other party is found to be liable, they may be required to pay damages in order to cover these costs. An experienced personal injury attorney can help injured individuals pursue their claim against the responsible party, gather essential evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.

Bretz Injury Law aims to help injured individuals recover and protect their future following a slip and fall injury. Call today to request a free consultation to discuss your case.

Are Slip and Fall Accidents More Common During Winter?

As the temperature drops, many people are gearing up for the winter season. However, it’s often overlooked that colder weather increases the risk of specific injuries, especially those resulting from slip and fall accidents. This blog will explore some of those risks and how to stay safe this winter.

Winter Slip and Fall Accidents

One of the most common injuries during winter is a slip and fall. As snow and ice accumulate on sidewalks and other walkways, it becomes easier to lose your footing and take a tumble. To avoid this, remember to wear shoes with good traction and take time walking on potentially slippery surfaces. Also, look for ice and snow that may have accumulated in hidden places, such as on steps or parking lots.

Can Cold Weather Worsen Slip and Fall Injuries?

In addition to making it more likely a slip and fall injury will occur, cold temperatures can also increase the odds of sustaining a severe injury. When your body is cold, it keeps your core temperature steady, resulting in less blood flow to your arms and legs. This can cause your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to have less elasticity, increasing the risk of pulls, tears, and other musculoskeletal injuries. If you are going to be working or playing outside this winter, please remember to warm up properly and stretch your muscles before doing any strenuous activity. Warming up and stretching significantly reduces the likelihood that you’ll be injured doing activities in the cold weather.

Preventing Winter Slip and Fall Accidents

There are a few things you can do to prevent slip and fall accidents this winter. First, as mentioned above, wear shoes with good traction. Second, try to avoid walking on icy or snowy surfaces if possible. If you must walk on these surfaces, take your time and be careful. Third, make sure to warm up and stretch before doing any prolonged outdoor activities as it will decrease the risk of getting injured. Finally, when going into a business during this time of year, be cautious as floors may be slippery from excess water from clothing and shoes.

Kansas Slip and Fall Attorney

Even in the winter months, businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure their premises are safe for visitors. If you’ve been injured due to a slip and fall or other premises liability incident, we can help protect your future by fighting for the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Schedule a free consultation with Bretz Injury Law by calling .

5 Premises Liability Hazards Holiday Visitors Should Know

Potential Injury Hazards During the Holiday Season
The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and fun. But it’s also a time when liability risks can be at their highest. Whether you’re traveling to a new city or just shopping for family and friends, it’s important to understand the potential injury-causing hazards that may arise. Here are five premises liability hazards to keep in mind this holiday season:

  1. Unkempt Lawns or Sidewalks
    When a property is not well-maintained, it can be a premises liability hazard. This is especially true during the holiday season when people are traveling and may not be as aware of their surroundings. Unkempt lawns and sidewalks can cause trips and falls, leading to serious injuries. Property owners should take steps to ensure that their property is well-maintained at all times, especially during the busy holiday season.
  2. Poorly Maintained Facilities
    While you’re out shopping for holiday gifts, be aware of the potential hazards in the parking lot and around the store. If the property owner doesn’t maintain the premises well, it could result in a slip/trip and fall accident. Make sure to watch out for puddles, spills, cracked flooring, and ice.

Additionally, if you’re attending any holiday gatherings at restaurants or another facility, be on the lookout for other potential hazards. Frayed wires, water hazards, and torn carpet/uneven flooring can all contribute to serious injury.

  1. Inadequate Lighting
    Inadequate lighting can be a serious hazard both inside and outside buildings. Inadequate lighting inside a building can lead to trips and falls, especially in areas such as stairways and hallways. Poorly lit parking lots and sidewalks can also be dangerous, making visitors vulnerable to tripping hazards and violent actions due to negligent security, depending on the area. When visiting a new city or business, be aware of the lighting conditions and take extra caution in areas that are not well-lit.
  2. Fire Hazards
    Fire hazards are one of the leading causes of premises liability accidents. Not only can a fire cause significant damage to property but it can also lead to serious injuries for those in the area. If a property owner doesn’t take steps to address fire hazards, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.

Some common fire hazards include clutter blocking exits, improperly stored flammable materials, defective wiring or appliances, faulty smoke detectors or fire extinguishers, and poorly maintained heating systems.

  1. Holiday Decorations
    While holiday decorations can be a festive and bright addition to any home or business, they can also pose a serious threat to your safety. If decorations are not installed and maintained properly, they can lead to fires, trips, falls, and other injuries.

As a visitor or guest in a space with holiday decorations, be mindful of open flames and wires on the floor. Many of these hazards are easily avoidable but can lead to serious injury if overlooked. Be especially cautious when entering or exiting spaces, as many decorations are often placed near doorways. Keeping a close eye on children and pets is also helpful, as they are often more prone to injuries caused by decor mishaps. If you notice any hazardous decorations, report them to the property owner or manager immediately.

Where to Turn to Protect Your Future
If you’re injured during the holiday season, our team at Bretz Injury Law can help ensure that you receive compensation to recover from your accident. Injuries can happen in a second, but our team aims to protect your future by considering the long-term implications. Get started with a free consultation by calling .

Can an Event Venue Be Sued for Negligent Security?

Attendees at a concert waiting to hear a popular rapper perform found themselves in a dangerous situation when shots were fired back stage. The sound of the gunshots caused a panic to break out in the crowd waiting for the concert to begin. The concert attendees began a massive stampede to get out of the venue, which caused fans at the show to be trampled.

Now, Billboard reports several fans have filed a lawsuit alleging that negligent security at the venue led to personal injury. The fans claim the concert security should have better screened attendees to prevent the gun from getting in to the venue. The case raises questions regarding when a personal injury claim can be based on a security failure.

This is a type of situation which arises frequently, like when people are able to bring guns into crowded establishments as well as in situations where someone is assaulted or hurt in stores, parking lots, or other venues which property owners may have an obligation to keep secure.

The case of the concertgoers suing the venue after the shooting is one of many examples where people harmed by gun violence have tried to hold the venue accountable.

Another famous example of this was when survivors and family members of victims of the Aurora shooting massacre at the Century Aurora 16 multiplex movie theater tried to file suit against Cinemark, the owner of the movie theater. LA Times reported those families were not successful in their claims, but there have been many situations where property owners were held accountable for damages.

The key question that determines whether the venue can be held liable for negligent security is whether the venue took reasonable measures to protect patrons in light of the particular risk they faced. In the case of the movie theater example, for instance, it was not clear there was a threat of a shooting based on the past history of the movie theater, nor were there reasonable steps which the cinema could have taken to prevent the massacre.

In other situations, a history of violence in the area would suggest a venue should take more precautions to prevent violence. If industry best practices involve screenings or security and a venue falls short of fulfilling standard security measures, this would also be a situation where the venue may be held accountable. In the case of the concert, for example, if it is customary to screen attendees for weapons and this venue fall short of doing so, this could be used as evidence suggesting the venue was negligent.

Although it is up to victims to prove the venue was responsible, an experienced personal injury attorney can help demonstrate negligence and recover compensation for those who were injured or lost a loved one.

Premises Liability Law and Risk of Deck Collapse in Kansas

A deck collapsed in a North Carolina rental home recently, with 24 people from an extended family standing on it to take a photograph. The deck and its occupants fell 10 to 12 feet. The rental home was a vacation house valued at approximately $1.5 million. The victims sustained injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones and injuries that left them in critical condition. Chicago Tribune reported a mass casualty vehicle had to respond to the scene in order to render assistance to all of the injured victims and to transport them to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Deck collapses happen far more often than many people might realize. Last Thanksgiving, multiple people sustained serious injuries when a deck collapsed in South Carolina, according to WISTV.

When these collapses happen, it is important to determine who should be held responsible for injuries to victims. Premises liability laws determine what a property owners’ duties are, and whether a property owner is responsible for harm that happens due to unsafe property conditions.

Deck Collapses Can Result from Maintenance Issues

The Chicago Tribune indicated the deck on the vacation rental home that collapsed under the weight of 24 people had been constructed along with the house in 1986. When the deck was built, it was likely built according to code. However the home is located near the ocean, and salt in the air -along with the elements – caused the nails to corrode over time. The deteriorating nails were not able to support the deck, resulting in the collapse as the people stood on it to take a picture.

Decks are not required by state law to be inspected periodically by building code enforcement to ensure they remain in good condition. In most cases, building code investigators will only come to a home if there is a complaint or a problem in most cases. Otherwise, it is up to property owners to make sure they do not allow dangerous conditions.

The specific responsibilities of homeowners and other property owners varies depending upon the purpose of the property. In the case of restaurants and retail stores, property owners have a higher duty of care under premises liability laws and must inspect the premises regularly and correct defects or provide adequate warnings about risks. For homeowners with casual guests, there is a duty to correct problems they know or should know about the property.

In the case of the deck that collapsed under the weight of 24 people, the owners may have had a higher duty of care since the property is a rental property. If a rental company facilitated the rental, that company might also be responsible for maintaining the property and ensuring the safety of the property. That’s why it’s always important to consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer to learn about your rights in such complicated cases.