Slip and Fall Accidents: What Happens When Multiple Parties are Responsible?

What you’ll learn reading this article:

  1. Sometimes, what seems like a straightforward slip and fall accident may actually involve multiple parties because of the location and contributing factors involved. 
  2. When multiple parties are involved in a slip and fall accident, it can be especially helpful to have an experienced slip and fall accident attorney on your side. 
  3. Indiana is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that you can be partially at-fault for your injury and still receive compensation.

In some cases of slip and fall accidents, there is a clear party responsible for what caused you to fall. In other cases, however, there can be multiple parties whose actions or inactions contributed to the slip and fall. How can you determine whether or not more than one person was involved? And if multiple parties are involved, how can you prove their responsibility?

Let’s look at an example case. Imagine a woman is leaving a store at night. As she walks along the building, she slips on a spill originating from the nearby vending machine, and breaks her ankle. As an elementary school teacher, having a broken ankle severely affects the woman’s ability to perform her duties, and due to the severity of the break, she has to stay off her feet for at least two weeks. Who is at fault?

  1. The woman immediately wants to sue the grocery store. After all, she was on their property when it happened. And as it turned out, one of the lights on the overhead had burnt out, making the spill harder to see, especially at night when the woman fell.
  1. According to the grocery store manager, the store rents the space from a property manager whose job it is to maintain the property. They argue over who is responsible for changing the lightbulb, and ultimately, it is found that the store, as the renter of the property, has responsibility for changing the light.
  1. The store, however, points out that the spill is what really caused the accident, and it was caused by an additional party. The vending machine is owned by a beverage company that is in charge of maintaining its machines at various locations. Depending on how long the leak had been occurring and water had been pooling, the company should have discovered it and addressed it.

Each of the parties involved may additionally try to pin fault on the woman, who decided to go shopping at night alone, knowing that there were added risks. They might also look to prove the woman was on her phone at the time of the accident, adding additional fault to the woman for not paying attention to where she was walking. However, the woman could argue back that having shopped at the store often, she was familiar with the pathway and therefore felt safe to check her phone, not expecting there to be a large unattended spill.

As you can see, slip and fall cases involving multiple parties can quickly become twisted and complicated, and because of this, it is important to have a qualified slip and fall accident attorney on your side to help you seek compensation. Insurance companies and defense attorneys are well-versed in ways to undermine the injured, and having a personal injury lawyer familiar with and ready for these tactics can make a world of a difference.

Modified Comparative Negligence

It’s important to note that in Indiana, more than one person can be found legally liable for an accident. In order to receive compensation, the plaintiff must be found no more than 50% at fault for the accident resulting in injury. This includes the plaintiff themselves, such as in the example above. If the woman had been on her cell phone, she may be found partially at fault, but not fully responsible, allowing her to still collect damages.

In the example case above, however, you would also have to prove that both the grocery store (by failing to change the lightbulb, knowing that their business operates into the evening hours), and the beverage company, were acting negligently.

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident involving multiple parties, get a free case review today and find out if you qualify for compensation. Your case may involve more parties than you are aware of, due to the nature of the accident, the location, and the contributing causes.

Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery—Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses.

Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%*, and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate—one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away.

Call 800-265-9881 for a free case review.