According to the CDC, accidental falls are the most common reason for visiting the emergency room for every age group. Whether your fall was due to a spill in the aisle at the grocery store or slipping on ice in the depths of a Michigan winter, you deserve compensation for the injuries you suffered due to someone else’s negligence. Learn about Michigan slip-and-fall accidents, what to do when you experience one, and how a skilled Michigan slip-and-fall attorney with Matz Injury Law can help you fight to recover what you deserve. To start your case today, schedule your free consultation with our team.
In Michigan, slip-and-fall is a type of personal injury case where someone slips or trips on another’s property and sustains an injury. Included in a category referred to as premises liability, these types of claims are most often due to the negligence of another, whether that be a property owner, business owner, store manager, or government entity. Any of these can be found to be legally responsible for a hazardous condition, such as a slippery floor.
The most common causes for slip-and-falls that cause injury include the following:
All of these causes create unsafe conditions for fall victims.
If immediately following a slip-and-fall you are able to get up and move about, you may feel relieved that you were not injured. However, it is essential to know that symptoms may not set in immediately, and you may indeed have an injury.
If you experience the following symptoms, it indicates possible serious injuries that should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms and seek medical assistance should you experience any of them after a fall. Also, if you feel “off” in any way, get checked out by a medical professional. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Following a slip-and-fall, assess how you feel. Go to the ER immediately if you suspect you broke, sprained, or strained anything and are already experiencing symptoms of pain or discomfort.
As mentioned above, however, symptoms do not always occur right away. If and when they do, you can visit the doctor any time after your fall, even weeks later, if symptoms develop or worsen. Yet, early intervention can significantly impact your treatment and recovery. It can also provide you with more time within the Michigan statute of limitations to file a claim.
The best approach, then, is to visit your doctor even if you think your injuries are not serious. The doctor will know what signs and symptoms to look for following a fall and will monitor your health for any changes.
The reasons to seek a medical exam as soon as possible include:
Your medical assessment will be crucial evidence should you need to file a claim, serving as strong evidence in your case and helping you obtain compensation for those injuries. Medical bills can increase quickly, and you may need to miss work, which can also cause additional problems.
The most common slip-and-fall injuries in Michigan are as follows.
The sheer force of your body weight hitting the ground can do damage to your bones. The most common injuries include hip fractures, cracked or broken ribs, and breaks to the lower arms, shoulders, and collarbone. Breaks to the lower portions of the legs are also common.
Slipping can result in your head banging against an object or the hard ground itself. As a result, you can suffer head and brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, include both mild and severe forms, including concussions, internal hemorrhaging, skull fractures, and coup-contrecoup or diffuse axonal injuries.
Striking an object as you fall or when you hit the floor or ground can lead to facial injuries of various types and severity. Examples of such injuries include jaw fractures, broken teeth, nose breaks, and eye injuries.
A sudden fall can damage the spinal cord, leading to pinched nerves, herniation or slippage of discs, a fractured vertebra, and other debilitating injuries. The result can be limited mobility, pain, and even paralysis, temporary or permanent.
Some of the most common injuries that occur in a slip-and-fall are to the shoulders, elbows, or wrists. This is due to the instinct to catch yourself or break the fall by reaching your arms and hands out in front of you. In other words, they take the brunt of the force of the fall and are often injured.
In a slip-and-fall, the body will often twist in some way, usually within the hip, knee, or ankle. As such, injuries to these areas can occur and range from mild sprains or strains to more serious injuries of tissue tears or broken bones.
Your fall may put you in direct contact with a sharp object, broken glass, debris, or other objects, leading to cuts and lacerations of various sizes and depths. While the damage may appear only on the surface, there is the potential that underlayers were also damaged, such as the soft tissues, muscles, or nerves.
In a slip-in-fall, you or a loved one may suffer just one of these injuries or several of them. Slip-and-fall accidents, in severe premises liability cases, can also be fatal.
If injured in a slip-and-fall in Michigan, you need to take steps to care for your health first and foremost. In addition, you also need to protect your legal rights going forward. Here are the steps to take.
Even if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries, never dismiss them as minor. Instead, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The medical records created by the doctor will serve as key evidence in your injury claim. Be sure to follow up with all recommended treatments and appointments.
Notify the owner or business manager of the premises where you experienced the accident and your resulting injury. An accident report will be filed, and you can request a copy of it for your claim.
If you are able, record the location of the incident and circumstances as soon as possible. Your records should include the following:
Save all documents related to your accident, including medical treatments and communication with the premises owner/manager. These will be key evidence to your slip-and-fall claim for compensation.
In the aftermath of your slip-and-fall, consult with an experienced Michigan premises liability law attorney for legal advice. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your slip-and-fall, determine if you have a case, and know how to proceed with a claim. A good attorney will offer free consultations so that you can explain your situation and begin your case right away.
Who is liable for slip-and-fall accidents in Michigan is based on where they occur. The liable party can either be the owner of that property or the occupier (usually by lease).
If your fall occurs on residential property, liability will center around whether it is a private home or rental unit. If a private home, the owner can be held legally responsible. If that home is rented out, the owner and the tenant may be found at fault. For rented apartments, your experienced attorney will need to determine who was responsible for maintaining the particular area in which the accident occurred.
If your slip-and-fall occurs on commercial property in Michigan, such as at a retail store, office, or other type of business, who is liable will depend on the location of the accident. This location can be a leased area or a common one, such as the parking lot of a store. To determine who is responsible, an examination of any lease must first be conducted.
When your slip-and-fall injury occurs on publicly-owned property, the government is often the liable party. An example of when this might occur is if there is broken pavement that needs repair.
If your slip-and-fall is due to another’s negligence, you can seek legal action. In the State of Michigan, the legal statute of limitations for filing a claim is three years. That is, you have three years from the date of the slip-and-fall accident that caused injury or from the date that that injury is discovered to file a slip-and-fall lawsuit. Due to this legal deadline, it is imperative that you seek medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible, followed by seeking legal advice from a premises liability attorney.
For a Michigan slip-and-fall case, you will need to prove the four parts of negligence in order to have a valid claim.
These four parts, or elements, include the following:
Your Michigan injury attorney will know how to prove each of these elements in your premises liability claim so that you have a higher chance of receiving deserved compensation.
Michigan is a comparative negligence state, and this means that fault for a slip-and-fall accident can be attributable to the different parties involved, including you, the injured person. You may or may not share in the blame for the accident, and this will be an important determination to make in your case.
The comparative negligence law impacts the damages you can receive. That is to say, the amount awarded will be reduced according to what percentage of fault is assigned to you. The jury can also determine that you were over 50% at fault for the accident. If this happens, you will not recover any compensation for your accident.
If you are unsure about negligence in your case, schedule a free consultation today with our legal team.
Staying updated on the newest developments in Michigan’s slip-and-fall case law is an essential part of any successful claim.
For example, a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling shifted when the Open and Obvious argument can be brought and its impact on a case. Previously, if a hazard was open and obvious, it relieved the property owners of their duty of care to protect innocent people from that hazard.
Now, the question of whether something is open and obvious goes to comparative fault or how much it was the injured person’s fault that they slipped and fell. Should they have seen the hazard? It is still Michigan law that you cannot recover if the fall was more than 50% your fault, but now it actually goes to the jury to determine how much of the fall should have or could have been avoided by the injured person. As a result of this change, many more injured persons will have their day in court and see their cases go before a jury.
As a plaintiff, you want your case to go before a jury. Prior to this new development in Michigan’s slip-and-fall case law, the defense would often win by convincing the judge to dismiss the case before it could go to a jury trial. It is much harder for that to happen now. With a confident personal injury attorney and legal team in your corner, you now have a better chance at a successful outcome. Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about your options.
While there are limits to what you can receive in most personal injury cases, there is no cap on the amount of compensation for Michigan slip-and-fall claims. An attorney experienced in premises liability law will seek the highest settlement possible for your particular case.
Included in this settlement for the injured person may be both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific, actual, and measurable losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages are those less measurable, requiring special calculations, and may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. However, if you are more than 50% at fault for the accident, you cannot recover these non-economic damages.
A slip-and-fall accident occurring on property owned or managed by another, with negligence involved, requires the building of a strong case to substantiate your claim. The benefits of hiring a Michigan slip-and-fall accident lawyer are numerous, and you can expect them to do all of the following and more:
To learn more, seek a consultation and find out how else your Michigan personal injury lawyer can help.
Representing residents throughout Michigan, the personal injury law firm of Matz Injury Law has earned over $300 million dollars for our clients. Our experienced slip-and-fall lawyers are highly knowledgeable in premises liability law and confidently enter settlement negotiations with insurance companies, working toward what you deserve. We will always serve our client’s best interests and will proceed to trial when a fair settlement cannot be reached. In addition, Matz Injury Law charges a 22% contingency fee, while most firms charge 33%, so you keep more of the money.
To discover more reasons to work with us, see some testimonials from our satisfied clients.
Suffering a slip-and-fall injury due to the negligence of another does not need to lead to financial hardship. Do not let your case slip away, but instead, learn about your legal rights and seek out the guidance of the experienced slip-and-fall attorneys with Matz Injury Law in Michigan. Call us today at 1-866-22Not33 to schedule a free consultation or get in touch through our online contact form.
$4,150,000 settlement on behalf of the family of a college student who was killed in a traffic crash while riding a motorcycle. The settlement came from three different insurance companies.
$3.45 million settlement against a cement company whose truck crossed a center line causing three deaths and severely injuring a 4 year-old boy. The settlement was $450,000 in excess of available insurance.
$1.74 million settlement against a 19 year-old driver and the fraternity where he was drinking immediately prior to a head on collision that killed a 52 year-old husband and father of 3 children.
$1.3 million Federal District Court settlement on behalf of a mother and daughter in a car/truck collision. Mom suffered a pancreas injury but returned to full-time employment within six months; eight year old daughter suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing learning disability as well as a ruptured spleen.
$1 million settlement for a 52 year-old woman in a rural county who broke both ankles and suffered a retrobulbar hemorrhage of her right eye after being struck by a gravel truck.
Matz Injury Law obtained a $1,000,000 settlement for a woman in Northern Michigan who fractured both ankles as a result of being rear-ended by a gravel truck.
A settlement of $3,450,000 for a family who lost loved ones as a result of an inattentive cement truck driver.
$100,000 uninsured motorist settlement (policy limit) for family of passenger killed in Detroit in suspected joyriding incident.
$1 million settlement on behalf of a 60 year-old woman with a mild closed head injury due to County Road Commission negligence.
$950,000 settlement on behalf of the mother of a young boy who died while a passenger in a one-vehicle crash.
$750,000 to the family of a passenger killed in a collision on an icy road.
$285,000 settlement on behalf of a 52 year-old woman who suffered from fibromyalgia after hurting her shin resulting from an auto injury.
We have earned over 300+ million dollars
for our Michigan clients.
The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.
We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.
We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.
All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.
At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.