Injury Recovery

Slip and Fall Cases Caused by Negligence

Oregon Slip and Fall InjurySlip-and-fall cases fit in the category of premises liability.  That basically means that there is something wrong with a property which causes an injury.  Slip-and-fall cases usually have the same basic fact pattern—there is some problem with the property, whether something left on the ground (liquid, or something slippery, or a defective rug) or something wrong with the floor (crumbling steps, holes in the lawn, etc…).

Who is at fault?

In most slip-and-fall cases, the claim or lawsuit would be made against the owner of the property, and the operator.  So, if a corporation owns a strip mall, and there is a store inside the strip mall where someone suffers a fall, the claim would usually be made against the corporation and the store owner.  Sometimes one or both are at fault, and that can be ironed out during investigation or the discovery phase of a lawsuit.

Sometimes, some other entity is responsible.  For example, if you fall in a grocery store because of wet floors, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the store’s cleaning company, if they outsource that work.  The store is ultimately responsible, but the cleaning company may bring another insurance policy to the table.

Notice of a problem

It’s important to note that you cannot win an Oregon slip-and-fall claim just because you fall on someone’s property.  Everyone has the same rights—if someone trips over their own shoelaces on your property, you are not responsible.

The typical example is that if someone slips on liquid in a grocery store, the grocery store owner will only be responsible if they knew or should have known about the liquid.  If a customer spilled the liquid ten seconds before the fall, the grocery store is not likely at fault—they didn’t know about the spill, couldn’t have known about the spill, and didn’t have time to clean the spill or warn people about it.

So, the facts of each case are important.  How long was the spill there?  Did anyone know about it?  Was it reported to management or to any employees?  Is there any video surveillance showing employees passing by?  Did anyone try to clean it up, but do a bad job?  Does the store have a process for inspecting the store?  Those are some of the questions we may ask to determine whether someone else is responsible for a slip-and-fall injury.

Deadlines to file slip-and-fall claims

If you can’t settle your slip and fall case, be mindful of the deadline to file a lawsuit.  In most cases, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the injury.  If the fall happened on governmental property, you may need to file a formal notice within 180 days (6 months) of the fall.

What is my Oregon slip-and-fall case worth?

Like any personal injury case, the value of a slip-and-fall case depends on many factors:

  • The strength of your liability case (whether there are witnesses, video/photographs, or evidence of negligence)
  • The amount of your medical expenses
  • The amount of your lost wages
  • The location where any lawsuit would be filed
  • The extent of your non-economic damages (things like pain, suffering, inconvenience, etc…)

Contact Us

If you have questions about an Oregon slip-and-fall case, give us a call at 1-541-617-0555, or fill out our internet Contact form on the right side of the page.  We can help you to figure out if someone else is responsible for your injuries.       

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Will ODOT Take Action After a Deadly Accident?

Intersection AccidentPortland’s news channel, KGW, reports that two young women, both Pacific University students, were killed in a car crash at the intersection of Oregon 47 and Verboort Road near Forest Grove.  Marilee Peters, who has lived next to the intersection for a quarter century called it a very dangerous stretch of road.  She said, “I don’t know how many people have to be killed there before something major changes, everyone’s always said there needs to be a light there.”

The most recent young women were not the first to be killed.  A sixteen-year-old high school student was killed in a similar crash at the intersection in 2007.  The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that between January 2008 and July 2013 there were 27 auto accidents at the intersection.

According to The Oregonian, ODOT claims it will push for a large-scale project to redesign the intersection, but it could take years before the construction is completed.  The proposal includes putting in a multimillion dollar two-lane roundabout at the intersection to slow down drivers and solve the problem long-term.  After the high school student was killed in 2007, the agency considered installing a traffic signal at the intersection, but it determined that the signal would do more harm than good.  The Oregonian also reported that, following the 2007 fatality, Forest Grove officials made the problem known to ODOT.  Mayor Peter Traux said he had multiple meetings after that crash with both ODOT and the Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation.  At those meetings, the city officials advocated for more signals on the highway.

What Traffic Accident Victims Can Do

Survivors of those killed in accidents like the ones at this intersection, or individuals who are injured in non-fatal accidents, have ways of holding those responsible accountable, and ways of encouraging government agencies that can act to act.  The best way to do that is to contact an aauto accident or wrongful death ttorney, who may be able to recover damages.  Damages in non-fatal crashes can include compensation for your pain and suffering; reimbursement of medical expenses; lost wages; payment for reductions in your future earning capacity; compensation for diminished enjoyment of life; loss of comfort and support of a spouse.  In the case of fatality additional types of damages may be available to the deceased’s surviving family members.

In order for a surviving family member to recover damages for a wrongful death in Oregon, two requirements must be met:

  • The person at fault acted, or failed to act, in such a way as to cause the death.
  • If the victim had survived, he or should would have been entitled to recover for damages.

Drivers are not the only ones who can be held responsible.  If a public entity (like ODOT) or a manufacturer has been negligent, and that negligence has contributed to the accident, then they can be held liable as well.  There are strict time limits on when these kinds of suits can be filed, particularly when a public entity is involved, so it is very important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

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Insurer Blames Phantom “Preexisting Condition” For Injuries, Pays Up

Our client was idling in his pickup truck at a Eugene, Oregon intersection when another driver traveling on road intersecting his drifted into our client’s lane and smashed the front left side car.  That driver was moving at 60 miles per hour when the collision occurred and our client was seriously injured, who was diagnosed with a cervical strain in the emergency room.

Oregon Auto Accident Injury AttorneysThere was no question of fault in this accident: the driver who hit our client was immediately cited for failing to drive in his lane. Even though he was clearly the victim here, our client nevertheless had trouble getting any response response from the other driver’s insurer. He knew he needed a tough Oregon auto accident attorney to negotiate with the insurer on his behalf.

Our client completed treatment for his accident-related injuries before contacting us. Once retained as counsel, we obtained all of our client’s medical records and bills. His medical bills were all soon paid by Oregon’s mandated Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. After reviewing our client’s medical records, we convinced the insurance adjuster that our client’s need for treatment was completely attributable to the second driver’s negligence rather than to any preexisting conditions had by our client.

It was challenging to negotiate with the insurance companies in this case, but we were ultimately successful and our client was happy to have chosen Dwyer Williams Cherkoss to represent him in this case.