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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Accidents in Someone Else's Property: What Is the Slip-and-Fall Law in Indiana?

A property owner is legally required to protect their guests' safety. Therefore, if an accident occurs and someone is injured in a home or building that belongs to someone else, the person who owns and must keep those premises in a safe condition may be found liable for their injuries.

Indiana slip-and-fall laws govern these cases. Victims can file a personal injury claim to hold parties accountable for their negligence. Additionally, an injured person can seek compensation to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

What Is a Slip-and-Fall Injury?

What Is a Slip-and-Fall Injury?

Under Indiana law, it's an injury that a person sustains in a slip-and-fall accident, which is also known as a "trip and fall." In other words, these incidents occur when someone stumbles, slips, or trips and falls because the property's conditions are dangerous.

Sadly, slip-and-fall accidents are common, accounting for about a million visits to emergency rooms and thousands of fatalities each year. However, injured people can bring legal action against the at-fault party to hold them accountable for these damages if they were negligent.

What is Premises Liability?

A person can win a slip-and-fall case and recover compensation for their injuries if the owner of the property where the accident occurred is found responsible. This is where the premises liability doctrine comes in.

This legal doctrine holds a property owner responsible for injuries that someone sustains on their premises, as they're legally required to prevent hazards and maintain a safe environment.

Commercial and residential property owners must comply with this duty and protect their visitors' safety. Otherwise, according to Indiana slip-and-fall laws, they may be found liable for an accident and the injuries that victims sustain.

Common Examples of Slip-and-Fall Incidents in Indiana

These are some examples of the most common examples of slip-and-fall accidents to better understand the laws that govern these cases:

  • A person visits a store and falls while walking through the entrance because the floor is slippery.

  • Someone visits a friend's house and sustains a lumbar spine injury after falling due to a broken step.

  • A visitor falls into a hole in someone else's yard because they weren't informed about that risk.

Where Do Slip-and-Fall Accidents Occur?

Unfortunately, slip-and-fall accidents can happen in many places. More often than not, they occur when property owners fail to avoid hazardous conditions in the following locations:

  • Grocery stores

  • Shopping malls

  • Restaurants

  • Sidewalks

  • Parking garages

  • Hotels

  • Apartment buildings

  • Government offices

  • Stairs

  • Job sites

Who Is Liable for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

Indiana slip-and-fall laws say courts should use a "reasonableness standard" to determine whether someone is liable for the accident that caused victims' injuries.

A property owner can be found liable if it can be reasonably assumed that they didn't take appropriate steps to avoid the accident.

Additionally, in this state, courts may adopt the following approaches to deal with a slip-and-fall claim:

  • The open and obvious doctrine: It dictates that it can be assumed that plaintiffs should have taken steps to avoid the accident and been more careful because the hazard was open and obvious to a reasonable person.

  • The reasonable discovery rule: It states that property owners are legally required to make sure there are no dangers on their property unless the hazard isn't open and obvious.

Damages Victims May Recover After Winning a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit

Whether the injuries or underlying accident occurred on a business owner's property, a friend's or neighbor's house, or in the workplace, victims can file a claim to seek justice and hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence.

A person who was injured in someone else's property may recover compensation for the following:

  • Past or current medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Property damage

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

Proving Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Cases

In order to win the case and recover compensation for the injuries they sustained, plaintiffs must prove that the property owner was negligent and failed to keep the premises danger-free.

Indiana applies the modified comparative fault legal theory to handle a personal injury lawsuit, such as the one victims can file after a slip-and-fall accident. That means claimants cannot receive compensation if their contributory fault exceeds 50%. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on the statute of limitations for slip and fall in Indiana as well.

If plaintiffs' share of the blame is below 50%, the damages award they could receive for the lawsuit must be reduced by an amount equal to their percentage of blame.

The defendant property owner's lawyer may use this tactic to put some of the blame on a plaintiff and reduce the settlement or court award they may receive. In many cases, victims don't get compensation at all.

Also, the comparative negligence rule is considered during settlement negotiations, even if the case doesn't make it to trial. That's why victims planning to take legal action against a property owner for an accident that occurred on their premises should seek help from an Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Slip-and-Fall Victims

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Slip-and-Fall Victims

A person who plans to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a property owner for a slip-and-fall accident should take time to learn about the laws that govern these claims and what they must do to build their cases. However, many factors can make this process challenging.

As mentioned, the defendant property owner will do their best to dismiss victims' claims and win the case. Plus, plaintiffs have to build solid claims and demonstrate that a friend's or a business owner's property was in a dangerous condition.

Fortunately, by working with a lawyer by their side, slip-and-fall victims will have a better chance of winning. Seasoned attorneys know Indiana laws and can guide injured parties through the legal process to file a claim against responsible parties.

Additionally, a reliable slip-and-fall attorney can help victims gather evidence to prove that the other party was negligent, negotiate a fair settlement with the property owner's insurance company, and fight for their rights in court to recover the compensation they deserve. They can also answer other questions such as is lane splitting legal in Indiana?

Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today!

At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we have extensive experience handling slip-and-fall cases under Indiana law. Our team is ready to help victims fight for their rights and recover compensation for their injuries if they were caused by a property owner's negligence. Contact us today!

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