When you are injured in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident on the premises of a commercial building, you may have various options. Your legal claim for damages may properly seek compensation from the building’s owner, or perhaps against a tenant. The key is to determine who legally “controlled” the area where you were injured and to target that party (or parties) in your legal action. To make sure your case in handled with optimal efficiency and effectiveness, be sure to retain the services of an experienced New Orleans injury attorney.
Recently, a woman was injured while exiting a commercial building in New Orleans. E.C. was leaving the building when she stepped onto a set of cement stairs and fell. The staircase did not have a handrail. E.C. suffered serious injuries, including multiple disc herniations, left knee strain and nerve damage. The injured woman pursued the owner of the building in her lawsuit.
In a premises liability lawsuit, there can be multiple avenues with the potential to lead to success. You might argue that your slip-and-fall injury accident was the result of the property owner’s negligent failure to inspect and/or maintain the area properly. Even if the area was inspected and maintained properly, you may still have a potentially successful case if you can prove that the area was unsafe due to a design problem or other negligent failure to provide proper safety protection.
E.C. asserted each of these arguments. She alleged that the stairs, which were “frayed on the edges,” were not maintained properly. She separately alleged that the owner was negligent by virtue of having failed to install a handrail.
In any injury lawsuit, one of the most important hurdles you have to clear as an injured plaintiff is the defense’s request for a summary judgment, which would (if granted) get your case thrown out before you even made it to trial.
That’s why it pays to be prepared and have a wealth of strong evidence, even before you get to trial. In cases like slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall injury accidents, this can include expert evidence. An expert witness’s testimony can go a long way toward establishing that you have enough proof that a “genuine issue of material fact” exists, which is what you need to move past summary judgment and get to trial. In E.C.’s case, she had a professional industrial engineer, who opined that the staircase upon which E.C. fell were “unreasonably dangerous” as a result of “worn out stairs and lack of hand rails.” That evidence, combined with a clear history of court decisions that consistently ruled that “lack of a handrail, worn stair tread, and broken steps all create unreasonably dangerous conditions,” was enough to entitle the injured woman to take her case forward to trial.
If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall due to unsafe design or improper maintenance, call upon the Cardone Law Firm, where our experienced Louisiana injury lawyers have spent many years providing our clients with the useful advice and helpful representation they need to get the compensation they deserve.
For your confidential consultation contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.
More Blog Posts:
Louisiana Court of Appeal Awards Damages to Parents in High School Student’s Sidewalk Slip-and-Fall Case, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, May 22, 2018
Court of Appeal Gives Louisiana Man Renewed Opportunity to Pursue Slip-and-Fall Case, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, June 21, 2017