Trip & Fall Accidents Attorney in Portland, Oregon
It may not seem like a major issue, but falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 800,000 people a year find themselves in the hospital due to a fall.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the property owner. Although this won’t always be the case, there are many cases when these accidents would have been 100% preventable if not for the unsafe conditions or hazards on the property that weren’t addressed.
If you’d like to speak with a trip-and-fall attorney about a recent injury you sustained on someone else’s property, call now to schedule a consultation at my offices in Portland, Oregon. At Injury Lawyer PDX, LLC, I have over three decades of legal experience to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. I’m also able to serve clients throughout the state, including Clackamas, Washington, Multnomah, Marion, Lincoln, and Tillamook counties.
Premises Liability in Oregon
Central to any claim for a trip-and-fall accident is the concept of premises liability. In short, this is a legal definition in which a property owner knew or should have known that there were unsafe or hazardous conditions and they did nothing to address them. Furthermore, the person who was injured had to have been on the premises legally, either because they were invited or they were performing some kind of service, such as a utility worker.
Examples of premises liability would be knowing that a set of stairs was rotten and unstable, that a landlord failed to fix a lock on a door that causes a tenant to be assaulted, or that there was an accumulation of construction debris that could lead to someone to trip and fall.
In Oregon, a victim has two years from the date of the accident to bring forth a premises liability claim.
Trip and Fall vs. Slip and Fall
Another important distinction is between a trip-and-fall case and a slip-and-fall case because these must be litigated differently in court. Generally, when someone falls forward, it’s considered a trip-and-fall case, and when someone falls backward, it’s a slip-and-fall case.
For example, if someone slips on a wet floor, their feet go out from under them and they land on their back. These falls tend to produce injuries on the back, spine, tailbone, or back of the skull. On the other hand, if someone is walking and trips over an object, they’re likely to fall forward and may sustain injuries to their arms, wrists, face, or knees.
If you believe you have standing for a personal injury claim, you’ll have to determine who should be held liable. If you’re on private property, then it’s usually the homeowner who will hold liability. If you’re injured in a business, the owner of the business will be held responsible. If you’re filing a lawsuit for an injury on public property, the government entity that manages that space will be liable. Lastly, if you were injured by your own carelessness and not because of the negligence of another, only you will be held liable.
To have a successful personal injury case like this, you must prove fault and this is done by showing three things. First, you must show that the owner caused the condition that led to the fall. Second, you must show that the owner did not fix the problem even though they knew about it, meaning the property owner’s duty of care was neglected. And third, you have to prove that they should have known it was a dangerous or hazardous condition (using the “reasonable” person standard). Because it can be complicated to build a case like this with enough supporting evidence, it can be helpful to work with a personal injury attorney.
Modified Comparative Fault in Oregon
The last item to understand is that Oregon works under a comparative fault framework (also called comparative negligence). This means that fault can be shared by two parties in a case like this. Let’s say you’re on someone’s property and you fall into a hole in their yard and break your leg. The hole may have been noticeable, but there was no sign or warning alerting people to it.
However, if the victim was on their phone texting at the time they fell, the property owner could assert that had they been paying attention, they wouldn’t have fallen. In this case, the court may assign 70% of the blame to the property owner and 30% to the injured party. The total payout to the victim from the settlement would also then be reduced by 30% to account for their share of the responsibility.
Trip & Fall Accidents Attorney Serving
If you’re in the Portland, Oregon, region and would like to speak with an experienced attorney about a possible trip-and-fall case, reach out to me at Injury Lawyer PDX, LLC. I stand ready to be the compassionate, fierce legal advocate you need in your personal injury claim.