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Your slip-and-fall accident: clumsiness or negligence?

Too many people make the mistake of oversimplifying accidents like slipping, tripping and falling. Some consider them to all be the result of clumsiness or carelessness on the part of the victim; others assume that there is always someone to be blamed for accidents on property owned and maintained by someone else.

However, the fact is these types of incidents typically fall into some gray area where some people see negligence and others see clumsiness. If you have recently gotten hurt after slipping or tripping, you likely have some people telling you that you should have been more careful and are to blame for your own injuries. But was the accident actually caused by a negligent party?

Let's consider a situation where a man is walking down the stairs of an apartment building. He is carrying a few bags out to his car when he loses his balance and falls. He injures his shoulder, his back and is badly cut by broken glass. He cannot work and his relationship with his wife suffers. Who should be responsible for these damages?

The answer could be the owner of the building if there were hazards in place. These hazards might include inadequate lighting, a missing handrail, uneven steps, torn carpeting or obstacles in the stairwell. Property owners have a duty to keep premises safe and take reasonable precautions to address potentially dangerous situations.

If, however, there is no indication of negligence, the accident may just be the unfortunate result of clumsiness. It should also be noted that in many situations, there may be multiple parties to blame.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident like this, it can be crucial that you understand whether you have grounds to file a legal claim. Discussing your situation with an attorney can help you protect your rights and figure out your next steps.

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