What You Have to Prove to Win a Slip and Fall CaseOctober 11, 2016
Although many accidents happen that are no one’s fault, if you’ve experienced a slip or fall that another party is responsible for, it may be wise to consider taking legal action. Slip and fall cases can be complicated, so it’s important to know what you have to prove to win a slip and fall case.
Below, you’ll find out more about the kinds of evidence you need to provide to prove liability in any slip and fall case.
Understanding Negligence and Liability
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall scenario and are considering enlisting the help of a lawyer, there are three questions you need to ask yourself. First, who is potentially liable? Second, was this party negligent? And finally, was I in any way responsible for my injury?
Another party can be considered negligent if they either caused the slip or fall, or failed to prevent it. However, it’s quite possible that if you identify someone as negligent, they will make the claim that your carelessness caused the accident. Before deciding that you definitely have a case, consider your own role in the accident and whether you could be considered at fault.
Proving Liability in Slip and Fall Claims
To hold an outside party responsible for your slip and fall injury, you will need to prove that the property owner or employee should have noticed the dangerous condition and removed or repaired it, but failed to do so.
Ask yourself whether a reasonable person would have considered the condition hazardous and also whether the responsible party had sufficient time and opportunity to fix the problem prior to your accident.
You can also ask yourself whether the property owner or employee caused the conditions that resulted in your slip or fall. If they did and it was clear that someone could trip and fall because of these conditions, you may have a strong case.
How to Prove Negligence and Liability
In order to be considered negligent, a property owner or their employee must have failed to act in ways that a reasonable person would act in a similar scenario. To assess this, you can ask yourself the following questions:
• Was there sufficient time for the property owner or employee to remedy the dangerous condition?
• Did the property owner conduct frequent safety inspections of the property to ensure that it was free of hazards? If they did, check logs and records to see if a safety inspection was conducted prior to the accident.
• If the property owner or employee created the hazard, were their actions justified prior to and at the time of your slip or fall?
• Could the dangerous conditions have been made safer by relocating the hazard, properly marking it with warning signs, or removing access to the area?
• Were there factors like poor lighting or reduced visibility that caused the slip or fall?
Showing the Accident Was Not Your Fault
It is not uncommon for property owners or their insurance carriers to argue that the injured party was fully or partially responsible for their slip or fall. The concept of “contributory negligence” can reduce the plaintiff’s compensation if they are to blame for some or all of the accident.
In some situations, the injured party’s damages will be reduced by the percentage they are liable for. For example, if your settlement is determined at $10,000 and you are found 25% responsible, you would receive $7,500.
When considering whether you are responsible for your injuries, you can also consider whether you were participating in distracting activities like using a cell phone at the time of your accident. For example, if you failed to notice a hazard because you were texting, it could be argued that someone not engaged in this distracting activity would have noticed it.
If you entered the location where your accident occurred unlawfully, this could also be a problem. Finally, if you ignored warning signs or other possible safety measures, you could be found responsible. If your carelessness is found to be a cause of the accident, it will be difficult to win your case.
Working with a Lawyer
Because slip and fall cases can be complicated, it can be helpful to speak with a lawyer to determine whether you have a case and whether a lawyer would improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Most consultations are free and can help you better understand your rights.
Book a free consultation with slip and fall lawyer to better understand your rights.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.