Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyers
With fall upon us, and winter quickly approaching, the slip and fall lawyers at Call Lee Free want to discuss Michigan slip and fall law. Michigan slip and fall law is one of the most confusing topics in personal injury law.
Most people think that simply because you fall on somebody else’s property, such as a parking lot or stairwell, the injured person is entitled to compensation. This simply is not the case. At the outset, you must prove the premises owner was negligent in not reasonably maintaining the property in some way. In particular, one must prove the landowner had a duty to the public and then breached that duty by not keeping the premises in reasonable repair.
Besides proving that the premises owner was negligent, to be successful a slip and fall attorney must also demonstrate the defendant had adequate notice of the defect prior to the fall. This type of notice is shown in one of two ways. First, there is actual notice. This means the landowner actually knew about the dangerous condition, and still failed to remedy the problem.
The second type of notice is constructive notice. This notice means the landowner should have known of the dangerous condition on the land, had adequate time to remedy the problem, but failed to do so in a reasonable manner.
Without proving notice, even if the landowner admits negligence, there still is no case and the injured party won’t get compensated.
Besides proving negligence and notice, a Michigan slip and fall lawyer must also get around the “open and obvious” defense. This defense is used by insurance companies and their lawyers to get cases dismissed in court. The open and obvious defense goes to the duty of the landowner and basically states that the landowner has no duty to get rid of conditions that are open and there to be seen by the general public. Because the landlord has no duty to get rid of these conditions, the landlord is not negligent.
For example, if a person trips and falls in a pothole or slips and falls on grapes in a grocery store, the landowner – whether it’s a homeowner or store owner – is not responsible for any injury that accrues from that fall because the defect (pothole, grapes) are there to be seen.
The open and obvious defense has expanded greatly over the years, as the Michigan Supreme Court has dismissed many slip and fall cases, holding the open and obvious rule applied.
As a result, slip and fall lawyers need to be very careful in how they approach these cases. Only experienced and skilled practitioners should handle slip and fall cases.
The slip and fall attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. have handled premises cases for decades, helping our client recover tens of millions of dollars. If you have any questions about a slip and fall case, please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733).
We aggressively fight for our clients and there is no fee unless we win your case.