Slipping or tripping may seem funny in cartoons, but in real life, it often leads to serious injuries. While a cartoon character who falls may make you laugh as a bullet-shaped knot grows out of his head, it is not so amusing when you are the one with a head injury.
Traumatic brain injuries can occur when your head strikes the ground or another object during your fall. These injuries can have lifelong consequences, requiring prolonged medical intervention and expensive treatments and therapies. If your fall occurred because of the negligence of a South Dakota property owner in remediating a hazard, you may have cause to seek compensation through the civil courts.
The conditions of liability
A tripping or slipping hazard can come in many forms, from a patch of ice in a parking lot to a power cord stretched across a walkway. Whether your accident occurred in a public area, at a friend's house or on a commercial property, if you were invited or permitted to be there, the owner or manager had the duty to reasonably ensure your safety.
An owner who was aware that a tripping or slipping hazard existed had the responsibility to repair the problem or to secure the area and adequately warn you of the danger. If the owner had sufficient time to do this but failed to take action, you may have cause to file a personal injury claim. Additionally, an owner or manager who was not aware of the danger may have known if he or she had been reasonably diligent. In these cases, you may have a claim.
Head trauma can change your life
Brain injuries can have a dramatic effect on your quality of life. You may experience any of the following consequences of a blow to the head after slipping or tripping:
- Diminished mental capacity
Some of these may be permanent, preventing you from maintaining a job, interacting with family or enjoying the activities in which you participated prior to your fall. Unfortunately, no one is prepared for such a traumatic event. It is likely that you never anticipated the hazardous condition that caused your fall. However, if the conditions presented an unreasonable risk to you and your fall was a foreseeable outcome of that risk, you would benefit from speaking to an experienced attorney.