Slip and Fall Complaints

Call now for a free consultation

We’re available 24/7

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Slip and Fall Complaints

A slip and fall complaint is a legal pleading that is filed in the beginning of a slip and fall lawsuit.  A complaint asks the court to use its power to require the responsible parties whose negligence caused you to be injured – or caused the death of your loved one – to pay the pain and suffering compensation and money damages they’re legally liable for.

Read on to learn about the complaint process, Michigan’s premises liability laws, and what it takes to craft a winning slip and fall complaint.

Consulting With A Lawyer After A Slip and Fall

When you have been injured in a slip and fall – or your loved one has suffered fatal injuries – you need to consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer who specializes exclusively in this area of the law. A lawyer who is skilled in premises liability cases will have the “know how” to use recent changes in the law to get you full compensation for injuries and win the best possible settlement for you in your case.

The Slip and Fall Complaints Process in Michigan

When we talk about the slip and fall complaints process in Michigan, what we’re really talking about is the process of filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the legal document that must be filed in a court in order to officially start a lawsuit and the litigation process that follows. Typically, a complaint is filed only after all efforts at reaching a pre-litigation settlement have failed.

What is a Slip and Fall Complaint?

A slip and fall complaint is the initial document that begins the legal process. It is the beginning of the lawsuit process. Plaintiffs typically file a complaint after a negligent property owner has refused to settle a victim’s claim for full and fair compensation. The complaint will allege how the responsible parties’ negligence caused the victim’s slip and fall fatal or non-fatal injuries, and it will state generally the compensation and money damages that the victim is asking the court to award.

When Can You File a Slip and Fall Complaint in Michigan?​

In Michigan, you have three years from the date of your slip and accident to file a complaint against the negligent property owners and businesses who are responsible for your injuries. (MCL 600.5805(2)

However, depending on the circumstances of your slip and fall, you may also have to comply additional notice requirements whose deadlines are shorter than the 3-year statute of limitations mentioned above:

  • If your slip and fall occurred on a county road as a result of “a defective county road, bridge, or culvert under the jurisdiction of the board of county road commissioners,” you have 60 days to file a notice of intent to sue. (MCL 224.21(3))
  • If your slip and fall that occurred as a result of a defective highway, then you have 120 days to file your notice of intent to sue. (MCL 691.1404(1))
  • If your slip and fall occurred as a result of “any dangerous or defective public building,” then you have 120 days to file your notice of intent to sue. (MCL 691.1406)
  • If you are suing the State of Michigan for your slip and fall, then you must file a notice of your intent to sue in the Michigan Court of Claims within 6 months of your accident. (MCL 600.6431(1) and (4))

Premises Liability Laws in Michigan

That means the owners must “make the premises safe” for their customers, under the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision in Stitt v. Holland. This requires that owners:

  1. Inspect the premises
  2. Make necessary repairs, and
  3. Warn their customers about known dangers and discovered hazards.

What is the Difference Between a Claim and a Complaint?

A claim after a slip and fall usually refers to a formal opening of a case file by an insurance company that insures the negligent property owner or business owner where the slip and fall took place. By contrast, a complaint is an official legal pleading that describes how a property or business owner was and then asks the court to order the owner to pay compensation and damages for the injuries caused by the owner’s negligence.

For an insurance claim, the type of compensation and damages – as well as the dollar amounts for each – that are available will be determined by the terms of the property owner’s insurance policy.  

For a legal complaint, the compensation and damages may ultimately be awarded by a judge or a jury, but the vast majority of lawsuits are settled at some point before trial.  The relief sought in a complaint will include pain and suffering compensation, money damages to cover medical expenses and lost wages, and other economic loss damages. 

Elements of a Strong Slip and Fall Complaint

A strong slip and fall complaint must contain the following elements according to MCR 2.111(B):

  • Parties: The complaint needs to state the names of all parties involved, including the name(s) of the victims and all responsible parties whose negligence resulted in the victims’ injuries. 
  • Venue: The complaint should list a specific court and acknowledge that this court has the authority to make decisions regarding the complaint. 
  • Type of lawsuit: The complaint must state that it was a slip and fall incident. 
  • Details: The incident should be described, including when it happened, where it happened, how the owner was negligent, and what injuries were sustained. 
  • Relief Requested: You must list the damages you’re seeking in the complaint. In Michigan, you can file for expenses stemming from physical and mental pain and suffering as well as economic damages to cover medical expenses and lost wages and earnings.  
  • Verification: You must officially sign the document, attesting that all facts are accurate.

Evidence Needed for a Slip and Fall Complaint

Here’s the essential evidence you need to build and prove your winning case:

  • Photo and video evidence: If possible, you should take pictures of where the accident occurred, capturing images of the hazards (e.g., crumbling stairs, slippery sidewalks, etc.) and the lighting and layout. You can also request security footage of the fall if the property has cameras. 
  • Reports: Property owners, employees, police officers, etc., may write accident reports. You must obtain copies of these reports.
  • Witness statements: The witnesses on-site may be able to corroborate your statements. Obtain their names and contact information because their accounts of what happened can be used to supplement and explain the photo and video evidence. 
  • Medical records: The records prepared by your doctor, your specialists, your surgeons, your rehabilitation and physical therapists will contain vital information that your lawyer will need to prove the nature and extent of your injuries as well as your medical needs both now and in the future. 
  • Bills: Keep all of your medical bills and receipts related to your medical treatment and care (including bills for doctor visits, surgeries, procedures, medications and transportation to and from your medical appointments) because these will be used to prove what you are owed in economic damages resulting from your slip and fall accident. 

Taking Action After a Slip and Fall

Taking action after a slip and fall begins immediately after your accident. Two of the most important things that you will need to do are (1) preserving the evidence you will need to prove your case and (2) hiring an experienced slip and fall to help you recover full compensation and money damages for your injuries. 

Preserving Evidence After a Slip and Fall

Your efforts to preserve evidence must start immediately after your accident and they continue even after you have filed your complaint.  Initially, you will need to get photos and videos (including surveillance footage) of the accident scene and the dangerous conditions that caused your fall. You will need to gather witness information and copies of any accident reports you file. With the help of your lawyer, you will serve “preservation” letters on the negligent property owners to stop them from destroying critical evidence that will help you prove your case.  After your complaint has been filed and litigation has started, you will use the discovery process to get court order to prevent further destruction of evidence and you will be able to depose the property owners and other responsible parties to preserve their testimony about how their actions or inaction caused your injuries.

File Your Complaint With The Help Of A Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyer

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident – or your loved one has lost his or her life – then you need the help of an experienced Michigan slip and fall lawyer to file your complaint in court.

A lawyer who specializes exclusively in helping slip and fall victims like you will conduct the necessary investigation to make sure that all of the responsible parties have been named as defendants in your lawsuit so they can be properly held accountable for causing your injuries.

After your complaint has been filed, your lawyer can use the court’s power to issue subpoenas and conduct discovery to gather evidence that the responsible parties refused to voluntarily turn over previously. 

With the evidence, your lawyer will make your case for why the negligence of the responsible parties caused your injuries and why you are owed compensation and money damages.  

Working with experienced attorneys can make all the difference for getting you the best possible settlement. Consult with our experienced slip and fall attorneys for a free case evaluation and only pay when we win your case. 


Frequently Asked Questions​  About Personal Injury Complaints

To get answers to your questions, please read our FAQs or call us for a free consultation now for immediate help.

What is an injury complaint?

An injury complaint is the first step in the legal process. If you’re unsatisfied with an insurance claim – because it was denied or because the insurer wanted you to accept a settlement that was well below what your case is truly worth – filing a formal complaint in court is what you will need to do to start a lawsuit. 

How do I file a negligence complaint?

You can file a complaint for a civil case alleging negligence either on your own or with the help of an attorney. However, if you have been injured or a lost a loved one in a slip and fall accident, we strongly recommend that you talk with an experienced slip and fall attorney before you file a complaint on your own. Because the legal process in Michigan can be complex, most victims will consult with a professional to give themselves the best chance of winning their case.

What kind of injuries qualify for a slip and fall complaint in Michigan?

The most common injuries that are sued for in a slip and fall complaint include: (1) traumatic brain injury, (2) head injuries, (3) back and spinal cord injuries, (4) fractures, including hip and spinal fractures, (5) shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff tears, (6) sprains, strains and other soft-tissue injuries, and (7) lacerations.


Do I need a lawyer to file a slip and fall complaint in Michigan?

No, you can file a complaint on your own. However, a personal injury complaint is typically more successful when filed by an attorney as they have a more thorough understanding of the laws and county court systems. Cases that are handled by experienced slip and fall lawyers with a reputation for going to trial and a track record of success typically settle for more money and faster than cases handled by general practice attorneys who do not specialize in this area of the law.