Almost everyone has had the experience of tripping and falling. Falling in public may be embarrassing, but sometimes it can cause severe and lingering injuries. Common injuries after falls include soft tissue damage, fractures, back injuries, and concussions.
Property owners and operators are responsible for keeping their premises safe for visitors. If you had a fall because a property was negligently maintained, you could pursue a claim for damages against the negligent party with the guidance of a Kenosha slip and fall lawyer. The owner, property manager, another tenant, an employee of the building, or a combination of parties could be held liable for your injury.
Consult with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. Prompt action will help preserve all your rights and enhance your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Statute of Limitations Starts When Injury Happens
Every state has a statute of limitations, outlining a time limit on a person’s right to bring a lawsuit. Wisc. Stat. § 893.54 sets the statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury claim at three years, and the clock begins running on the date of the accident.
A plaintiff in Kenosha may be able to make a claim for property damage as a result of a fall. For example, if someone was carrying a fragile item that smashed when they tripped on uneven steps, that person could sue for the value of the item, in addition to any physical injuries they receive. Plaintiffs have six years from the date of the loss to file property damage claims.
However, if you fall on public property, you may have less time to file your claim. If you fell on property owned or managed by a state or local government, there is a strict requirement that the plaintiff file a notice of claim within 120 days of the accident, regardless of the statute of limitations. A local slip and fall attorney could ensure that all appropriate notices are filed within the statutory time periods.
Kenosha Plaintiffs Must Prove Negligence
Lawsuits seeking damages for injuries sustained in a slip and fall come under the purview of premises liability. This theory holds that the owner or manager of a property must keep it as safe as reasonably possible for visitors. However, premises liability does not hold defendants liable for a plaintiff’s negligent failure to avoid a hazard, or for a plaintiff’s unanticipated or irresponsible behavior.
There are differences in a property owner or manager’s duties depending on whether the space is a workplace, public space, or private space. In any case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant did not adequately protect the visitor from a dangerous condition.
Property owners and managers could assert that they only need to protect visitors from hazards that are not obvious or that a visitor would not anticipate. For example, if a plaintiff slips on an icy sidewalk in winter, the property manager might argue that the plaintiff should have anticipated that the walkway would be slippery. In response, a local property mismanagement representative could present evidence indicating that the defendant did not take adequate steps to protect even a cautious pedestrian from slipping on the sidewalk.
Hire a Kenosha Slip and Fall Attorney for Skilled Advocacy that Makes a Difference
Property owners, insurers, and defense attorneys often argue that the accident would not have happened but for the plaintiff’s negligent behavior in slip and fall cases and they may try to minimize any damages the injured person sustained.
Having an assertive attorney by your side speaking up for your rights could mean the difference between a settlement that serves only the defendant, and one that adequately compensates you for your losses and holds the defendant accountable for their negligence. Contact the Law Offices of R. F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary case review with an accomplished Kenosha slip and fall lawyer.