The American legal system, albeit filled with smarmy accident attorneys and plaintiffs who falsify slip and fall cases, is built on getting justice for honest people who’ve been seriously injured or clearly mistreated. Sometimes injuries are caused by another party with no ill-intent, and sometimes an injured party is responsible for his or her own careless actions. But sometimes people are seriously injured because of blatant negligence.
The word “negligence” is based on the verb “neglect,” which the dictionary defines as “to pay no attention… to omit through carelessness or indifference… to fail to carry out one’s duties.” You know, it’s what your kids do when they “forget” to feed the dog after you’ve told them to 100 times over. It’s what business owners do to cut corners and save money to put into their own pockets. It’s what co-workers do when they don’t actually want to do any work. Unfortunately, your dog can’t file suit against your kids when they let him go hungry all day. And you probably can’t sue your office mate for always leaving trash duty for you. But people can file slip and fall cases (officially known as premises liability cases) when a business owner lets them, as a client, customer or worker, suffer because of a failure to maintain a safe place of business. Guests who visit a place of business expect it to be safe, not only clear of objects and spills that may cause a slip and fall, but built to construction codes so that the building doesn’t fall apart!
All accident attorneys will tell you that the whole legal practice area of slip and fall cases really encompasses a lot more issues than just things that cause you to slip and fall. The cases filed in this category can be quite complicated and incredibly serious. Permanent disabilities and wrongful deaths can result from blatant carelessness and negligence on the part of a property owner. Accident attorneys in New Jersey helped plaintiffs take on the Tropicana Casino after its parking garage collapsed in 2003. The accident injured 30 people and killed 4 construction workers and lots of people knew exactly why it had happened. During its construction, the casino’s garage floors had not been connected to the walls with the required steel reinforcements. The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration cited the building contractors during construction for not installing the proper reinforcements but the company never fixed the problem.
Despite the fact that it was obviously The Tropicana and its contractors’ negligence and failure to act that caused the collapse, accident attorneys had to go to great lengths to prove that it was their fault. After taking 250 depositions (which equaled 50,000 pages of transcripts) and reviewing 1.5 million additional documents they won an $82.5 million dollar settlement for their clients. Jurors decided on the case in 2007.
Regardless of how severe slip and fall cases actually are, it’s always wise for victims to consult with accident attorneys about the facts of their cases before making any legal maneuvers. With all the proof required for slip and fall cases like the one against the Tropicana Casino which had witnesses and government citations against it, just think of how hard it would be to prove more ambiguous slip and fall cases like… a slip and fall that caused a head injury in a grocery store that may not have had any witnesses.
And when you hear accident attorneys talking about managing slip and fall cases, remember the bigger picture of what we do goes way beyond slips and falls.