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Mature Man Falling On Wet Floor In Front Spilled Bucket Of Water At Home

If you were hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall it is now easier to sue and win in Michigan thanks to a recent change in the law. In July 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court abolished the open and obvious danger doctrine, which had been a major obstacle for injury victims. Under the new law, the open and obvious nature of a hazard is only considered in a comparative fault analysis, instead of being a complete bar to recovery.

Kandil-Elsayed v. F&E Oil overturned Lugo v. Ameritech Corp., Inc., reversing two decades of oppressive, anti-plaintiff law that blamed victims for their injuries. Property owners are now required to anticipate harm that might be caused by any danger on their property, including an open and obvious danger. They can no longer use the open and obvious nature of a hazard as a shield against liability.

To sue a negligent party for your injuries you need to (1) hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer, (2) send a notice to preserve evidence, (3) conduct discovery, and (4) file your case within three years from the date of the injury or fatality at issue.

The experienced attorneys at Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyers understand the changes in the law and know how to fight for you and win. 

How does the change in premises liability law help my case?

In Kandil-Elsayed, the Michigan Supreme Court changed the way all courts in Michigan must analyze a slip and fall case. For two decades prior to this decision – as a result of Lugo – slip and fall cases were dismissed where the victim was hurt after encountering a danger or hazard that was “open and obvious,” such as ice or snow. Under the new slip and fall law, the open and obvious nature of the danger is only a factor in determining how much fault, if any, to attribute to the victim.

As a result, property owners can no longer simply blame the victim and escape liability. Instead, they are now required to protect their guests from an “unreasonable risk of harm caused by a dangerous or hazardous conditions of the land.” Better yet, property owners must also “anticipate harm” that may result from a so-called open and obvious danger. Slip and fall cases are now evaluated by comparing the property owner’s fault against any fault on the part of the guest.

Thanks to Kandil-Elsayed and its companion case, Pinsky v. Kroger Co. of Michigan, Michigan is no longer the worst state in the country for slip and fall and trip and fall victims. Property owners must now take steps to ensure their property is safe, and slip and fall victims aren’t blamed for their injuries.

Can I sue for my slip and fall injury?

If the property owner, or another third party responsible for maintaining the property was negligent you can sue for damages. And the open and obvious nature of the hazard that caused you injury is no longer a complete bar to recovery. You can sue for compensation that includes pain and suffering compensation as well as your medical bills and lost wages.

To file a slip and fall lawsuit in Michigan, you need to: 

  • Hire an experienced lawyer who understands the law and will protect your rights
  • Send any potential defendant a notice to preserve (and not destroy) any evidence related to your case, including photos, videos, incident reports, witness statements, etc.
  • Engage in discovery to gather evidence from the negligent property owner, manager, or third party responsible for your injury, and
  • File your case within the applicable statute of limitations, which gives you three years from the date of the injury or death to bring your claim.

Do I need a lawyer and how much does it cost?

One of the first and smartest things you should do if you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall is hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer who knows how to enforce your rights under the law to maximize your settlement. 

An attorney with the reputation and “know-how” to handle your case can make all the difference. Your attorney will investigate your case, preserve critical evidence, file your case on time, and get you the most compensation possible for your injuries.

A slip and fall lawyer should never cost you a dime unless and until you win your case and recover damages. You should always receive a free, no-obligation consultation before you make any decisions. The lawyers at Michigan Slip & Fall Law will do just that.  

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