Articles Posted in Munster Slip and Fall

Justices for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently issued an opinion in an Indiana slip-and-fall lawsuit filed after a woman suffered an injurious fall at a pharmaceutical chain store. The court was asked to consider whether the lower court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The court affirmed, finding the plaintiff had failed to establish the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard in question. 

As noted by the 1992 Indiana Court of Appeals ruling in Barsz v. Max Shapiro, Inc., allowing the existence of a hazardous substance on the floor of a business can be a breach of the duty to exercise reasonable care (an essential element in any personal injury lawsuit rooted in the legal theory of negligence). However, before liability can be imposed on the invitor/property owner in such a case, one must first establish the property owner/controller had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard. Actual knowledge is established if the defendant was informed or knew about that particular hazard existing at that time and location. Another 1992 premises liability ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court, Wal Mart Stores, Inc. v. Blaylock, held that constructive knowledge can be established if the plaintiff can show the condition existed for such a length of time and under such circumstances that it would have been discovered in time to have prevented the injury if the storekeeper, its agents, or its employees had used ordinary care.

In the most recent case, the federal appeals court explained the facts of the case as follows. It was a cold day when the plaintiff arrived at a pharmacy store in Hebron, where a snowplow was just exiting the parking lot. She spent some time in the store and then was walking to the registers when she slipped and fell. She saw nothing on the floor that would have caused her fall. She simply felt her foot make contact with something wet, she slipped, and all her weight landed on her left knee before she fell backward onto her back. She suffered a broken kneecap and back injuries.  Continue reading

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court summary judgment favoring the defendant in a claim that originated as a premises liability lawsuit stemming from a trip-and-fall that seriously injured an 85-year-old woman. 

According to court records in the case, the question was whether the trial court erred, even though the evidence tended to show the plaintiff, as a business invitee, knew about the dangerous condition on the floor.

The appellate court justices ruled there remained a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the owner of the property should have anticipated the plaintiff’s harm, despite her knowledge of the danger. Therefore, the trial court’s ruling was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.

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We’re talking about slips, trips and fall. And we’re here with officials from the National Safety Council (NSC), trying to help you to prevent these kinds of accidents. It’s all a part of a campaign during National Safety Month to help you stay a little bit safer. We’re working to educate and encourage safe behaviors around top causes of preventable injuries and deaths.Our slip and fall lawyers understand that there are simple adjustments that you and your family members can make to help to minimize slip, trip and fall accidents. The truth of the matter is that these accidents are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities here in Munster and elsewhere around the country. With the summer season upon us, it’s the perfect time to make some improvements to our home and refresh on our safety skills to prevent these accidents both at work and at home.

Each year, falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (more than 21 percent). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or about 12 percent of total falls.

What’s worse is that close to 2,000 people die in these kinds of accidents each and every year. And it’s out older population that we’ve got to worry about the most here. As a matter of fact, one out of every three elderly individuals (those over the age of 65) are expected to experience a serious slip, trip or fall accident. Half of these incidents will be repeat accidents for these elderly individuals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes falls into two basic types: elevated falls and same-level falls. Same-level falls are more common and therefore cause more injuries to more people, but elevated falls are the most serious and cause more severe injuries to a less number of people.

But there are ways that you can help to reduce these risks:

-Make sure you’re wearing shoes with traction. You don’t want to walk around in slippery shoes. That’s just an accident waiting to happen.

-Slow it down. There’s no need to rush, especially when rushing only increases your risks for an accident.

-Be cautious when getting in and out of your vehicle. When getting in or out of your vehicle in slippery conditions, try to maintain at least three point contact at all times. That is to say that two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand should be in contact with the vehicle or ground at all times (four point contact is even safer).

-Keep walkways clean. Avoid leaving power chords, rugs or any other debris in walkways,

-Make sure that your home is well lit. Brighter lights are going to help you to see these slip and fall risks and dangers and avoid them altogether.

-Use absorbent mats in entrance ways during inclement weather.
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