When can I sue if hurt in a fall down accident?

Much of what many New Jersey personal injury attorneys do involves helping people who are injured following a fall down accident. However, it is often misunderstood when a lawsuit can be filed seeking recovery for pain and suffering sustained in a fall down injury. Generally speaking, a person can only sue if the negligence or intentional actions of some other person or entity is responsible for causing them to fall down. In layman's terms, one cannot sue for injuries sustained tripping over one's shoelaces unless someone else is responsible for untying them.

One common lawsuit involving fall downs is when the person injured blames the owner of the property on which they fell. However, this is only possible if the owner of the property did something wrong. For example, if one slips on ice in a parking lot, the question becomes whether the ice should have been removed. If one slips on a wet substance in a store, the question often becomes how long the substance was on the floor prior to the fall down. In the case of tripping over an uneven ground, the issue is often more complicated and may require an expert analysis of whether the uneven ground was in violation of codes or should have been repaired for other reasons.

The other element of any lawsuit is the requirement that damages be related to the accident. In other words, if you are considering bringing a lawsuit for a fall down, you also need to prove that there are medical injuries or conditions which were caused by the accident. The only way to prove this is through the testimony of a physician and the best physician to use is your treating physician. Moreover, whatever is written in your treating physician's notes can make or break the lawsuit. Accordingly, if you are being treated for injuries following a fall down, be sure to let your physicians and other medical providers know that you fell down and when. In addition, always be honest with your physicians; if you have symptoms or a medical condition which existed prior to the fall down, make sure your treating physician knows that in order to provide appropriate treatment and in order that the physician does not later say that he/she was unaware of your preexisting condition.

The bottom line advice to anyone who is hurt following a fall down accident and is suspicious that the fall was due to someone else's negligence is to fill out an incident report or call the police and have the police fill out a police report documenting the circumstances of the fall and, as soon as possible, preferably right after the fall down, take photographs of the area showing what you think caused you to fall. Without this information, it is very difficult for an attorney to be able to evaluate whether there is a lawsuit to file. In addition, one needs to confirm with their treating physicians that there are medical consequences which can be related to the fall down.