Manchester Slip & Fall Attorney
A slip and fall can cause painful and debilitating injuries. Common effects from a fall include muscle tears and sprains, facial lacerations, fractures, and head, back or neck injuries. According to statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources, falls send 8 million people to the emergency room every year and are the leading cause of visits to the ER. More than one million of those are slip and fall injuries. Sadly, tens of thousands of people die in a fall every year, many of them elderly individuals who suffer a hip fracture, spinal cord injury or brain injury which leads to death. Slip and fall injuries also make up a significant number of injuries in the workforce and are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.
Property owners are obligated to provide a reasonably safe space for their customers, guests, employees and others on their premises. When a property owner’s negligence is responsible for a slip and fall accident in New Hampshire, the Manchester slip & fall attorneys at the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC are prepared to do what it takes to hold negligent property owners accountable to the people they harmed. We only settle a case when it’s in our client’s best interests to do so. Otherwise, our lawyers are skilled and experienced litigators ready to take a case all the way to a jury verdict if necessary to get the best result for our clients. We strive to provide the utmost in personal service, attention and representation to clients in all New Hampshire personal injury matters, including slip & fall accidents on dangerous or unsafe premises.
New Hampshire Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care to their Patrons
Property owners in New Hampshire have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition and to act with reasonable care under the circumstances. This duty includes an obligation to promptly fix or warn the public about any dangerous condition that the property owner knows about or should know about if the owner is exercising reasonable care. This duty extends to social guests, customers and other intended users of the space, delivery persons and utility workers, persons hired to perform work the property owner, and others.
Common causes of slip and fall or trip and fall injuries in New Hampshire include:
- Slippery sidewalks and entrances due to snow, rain or ice
- Wet floors due to food or drink spills in grocery stores or restaurants
- Puddles and condensation from air conditioners and refrigeration equipment
- Floors which were recently mopped, waxed or polished
- Cracked or broken sidewalks
- Broken steps
- Missing or damaged handrails on stairs
- Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
- Torn carpeting
- Lack of floor mats or use of misplaced or defective floor mats
- Boxes or merchandise obstructing aisles in a department store
- Objects falling from shelves
- Unmarked steps or inclines
What Makes Slip and Fall Claims So Hard to Prove?
Slip & fall cases are some of the more difficult types of personal injury cases for several reasons. First of all, the injury victim must prove that the property owner acted unreasonably or negligently under the circumstances, and what is reasonable or unreasonable can differ from case to case. When the cause of the slip and fall was a “temporary foreign substance,” such as a food or drink spill, the victim has to show the property owner either knew about the spill or should have known about the spill yet failed to clean it or put up a warning within a reasonable time before the accident happened. Establishing this fact can be difficult, but our experienced Manchester slip & fall attorneys at the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC know the right steps to take to prove their case, including taking statements from witnesses, reviewing security camera footage, and bringing in industry experts who can testify on customary standards and practices for site inspection and maintenance.
Another difficulty is that property owners and their insurance companies will try to shift the blame for a slip and fall on the accident victim. They’ll allege you weren’t watching where you were going, that the danger was obvious, or that you assumed the risk of traversing a known hazardous area. Any amount of fault they can attribute to you reduces the amount of money damages they have to pay, and if they can convince a jury that you are more than 50% at fault, you can’t recover any compensation at all. At the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC, our Manchester slip & fall accident attorneys work hard to prove the full measure of the property owner’s liability while defending you from unproven claims that you are to blame.
What about snow and ice?
Some states have adopted a “storm in progress” doctrine which relieves property owners from liability for slip and fall accidents which occur during a storm. In these states, property owners have until a reasonable time after a storm is over to clean up rain, snow and ice before they will be held liable for negligence in a slip and fall. New Hampshire has not explicitly adopted this doctrine, so here in the Granite State, property owners must take care to act reasonably both during and after a storm to keep their property in a safe condition. This duty includes being aware of the likely presence of black ice and warning the public appropriately. A key issue in any slip and fall case will be whether the property owner acted promptly and reasonably under the circumstances.
Help is Available after a Slip & Fall in Manchester or New Hampshire
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Manchester, Nashua, Concord or anywhere in New Hampshire, call the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC at 603-624-7200 or 800-984-3151 for a free consultation with a team of dedicated and successful Manchester slip & fall attorneys.