Slip and fall lawyers help victims of falldown accidents. But if a victim waits too long to seek representation, even the best of slip and fall lawyers may not be able to help. The case summarized below shows the importance of promptly seeking out slip and fall lawyers if you’ve been injured in a fall.
Carolyn resided on the seventeenth floor in the Kingsbury Square Apartments. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on a November Saturday, Carolyn entered the stairwell to go down to the sixteenth floor. While walking down the stairs, Carolyn slipped and fell on beer and tobacco “stuff” on the steps. As a result, she sustained injuries to her back.
In pre-trial testimony, Carolyn indicated that she lived in the apartment complex for five years prior to the accident. She routinely took the stairs. Carolyn acknowledged that, on the accident date, she did not look at the steps prior to using them. She also did not see any beer or tobacco on the steps prior to falling. However, she later noticed the substances. Carolyn did not know how long the beer and tobacco had been on the stairs.
The apartment complex had security guards who patrolled the building and the stairwells. There was also a maintenance staff who Carolyn stated were very helpful and responsive to complaints. However, Carolyn neither complained about the conditions in the stairwell nor reported beer or tobacco to any member of Kingsbury’s management staff prior to the accident. Two days after the accident, Carolyn reported the incident to a Kingsbury employee.
Apparently, it took Carolyn a while to search for slip and fall lawyers. Six weeks after the accident, Carolyn retained one and eventually sued Kingsbury. Kingsbury filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit without a trial, which Carolyn opposed. Thereafter, the parties submitted to non-binding arbitration, pursuant to the court rules. The arbitrator awarded Carolyn $30,000. Kingsbury apparently rejected the arbitration award, which effectively voided the arbitrator’s decision.
Judge Darlene J. Pereksta then considered Kingsbury’s motion. She dismissed Carolyn’s lawsuit. The judge noted that Carolyn conceded that Kingsbury inspected the stairwell the day before the accident and that Carolyn failed to complain about the supposed dangerous condition prior to the slip-and-fall. Under the law, for Carolyn to win, She had to prove that Kingsbury had reason to know, prior to the accident, about the stairwell conditions.
An appeals court upheld Judge Pereksta’s ruling.
WHY ACCIDENT VICTIMS MUST FIND SLIP AND FALL LAWYERS AT ONCE
Again, this case demonstrates the importance searching for slip and fall lawyers immediately after a falldown accident. Carolyn waited too long. Had an investigation started earlier, perhaps witnesses who saw the debris on the stairs prior to the accident could have been located. If so, the result of the case likely would have been different.