Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. While they may seem like minor accidents, they can lead to serious injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. In Mississippi, slip and fall accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability law. This means that property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors. However, determining liability in slip and fall cases is not always straightforward. In many cases, the comparative fault comes into play.
What is comparative fault?
Comparative fault, also known as comparative negligence, is a legal doctrine that determines the degree of fault of each party involved in an accident. In Mississippi, comparative fault is governed by the Mississippi Code Annotated § 11-7-15. This statute follows the principle of pure comparative negligence, which means that each party’s percentage of fault is compared, and damages are awarded based on that percentage.
How does comparative fault apply to slip and fall cases in Mississippi?
In Mississippi slip and fall cases, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that the defendant (the property owner) was negligent and that the negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. However, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the accident. For example, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff was distracted, not paying attention, or wearing inappropriate footwear.
If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was partially at fault, the court will apply the principle of comparative fault. The court will determine the percentage of fault of each party involved and award damages based on that percentage. For example, if the court determines that the plaintiff was 30% at fault and the defendant was 70% at fault, the plaintiff would receive 70% of the total damages awarded.
It is important to note that in Mississippi, even if the plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault, they may still be able to recover damages. However, the amount of damages they can recover will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
How can you protect yourself in slip-and-fall cases?
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and safety should be your top priority. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not be apparent right away, and delayed treatment can make them worse.
- Report the incident: Report the incident to the property owner or manager as soon as possible. Make sure to document the incident, including the date, time, location, and any witnesses.
- Preserve evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, including any hazards that may have caused your fall. Keep any clothing or shoes that may have been damaged in the accident.
- Contact an attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the complex legal process.
- In addition to the steps outlined above, there are other precautions you can take to protect yourself from slip and fall accidents. These include:
- Wear appropriate footwear: Wearing shoes with good traction can help prevent slip and fall accidents, especially on wet or slippery surfaces.
- Stay alert: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any potential hazards, such as uneven surfaces, loose rugs, or wet floors.
- Use handrails: When using stairs or walking on an incline, use handrails for support and stability.
- Follow posted warnings: If a property owner has posted warning signs or caution tape, take them seriously and take appropriate precautions.
- Report hazards: If you notice a hazard on someone else’s property, report it to the owner or manager as soon as possible to prevent accidents from happening.
Slip and fall accidents can be serious and costly, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Understanding comparative fault in Mississippi slip and fall cases is essential to navigating the legal process and recovering the compensation you deserve. By taking preventative measures and seeking legal guidance when necessary, you can protect your rights and avoid slip and fall accidents.
Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC is a personal injury law firm based in Mississippi that has experience handling slip and fall cases. Our firm understands the complexities of comparative fault and how it applies to Mississippi law. We can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Our team of experienced attorneys can help you gather evidence, determine liability, and negotiate with insurance companies to obtain a fair settlement. We have a track record of success in slip and fall cases and can use our knowledge and expertise to advocate for your best interests.
We can also assist you in taking preventative measures to avoid slip and fall accidents in the future. Our attorneys can advise you on the best practices for staying safe while on someone else’s property.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident in Mississippi, it is essential to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC offers free consultations to help you understand your legal options and determine the best course of action for your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.