Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents

Proving Slip and Fall Injuries

According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), there are thousands of slip and fall accidents happening daily. Most slip and falls accidents result in injuries; in many cases, the injuries can be quite serious. However, slip and fall accidents aren’t always clear-cut, and it’s up to you to prove your injuries were the result of the carelessness of another party. In order to prove a slip and fall case, you’ll need to prove liability and show that the accident wasn’t a result of your own carelessness.

Since the burden of proof lies on the victim, it’s imperative to seek the assistance of an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and assist you in seeking damages for pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. If you or a loved one was involved in a slip and fall accident, contact the leading slip and fall lawyers at McIver Brown law firm for a free consultation.

Determinants for Slip and Fall Liability

If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, whether it be a store, in a home, or even outdoors, you’ll need to demonstrate that the injury happened because of the negligence of the owner. The following criteria is standard for most slip and fall injuries:

  • Either the owner of the property or an employee of the property must have known about the dangerous situation that could have led to injuries.
  • The owner and/or the employee must have caused the dangerous situation. A water spill left uncleaned, torn carpeting that wasn’t repaired, or hazardous items left out are good examples.
  • A reasonable party would have cleaned and/or repaired the situation before anyone got hurt. In other words, the dangers should be noticeable and taken care of.

In many instances, it’s hard to determine if the property owner should have known about the dangers, and in these cases, it becomes tricky to prove liability. However, using common sense is usually how a situation is determined. For example, a huge water spill that several people noticed should have also been noticed by an owner or employee.

What is Considered Reasonable or Sensible?

As previously mentioned, it must be proven that the injury was caused after a reasonable or “sensible”  party should have noticed the dangers. In other words, a responsible owner and/or manager will make sure that the property is being taken care of via repairs, upkeep, and sanitary conditions. Although sometimes it just comes down to what seems sensible to most people, there are few ways you can ascertain whether the owner, managers, and/or employees acted in a sensible manner:

  • Was there a regular maintenance schedule? Did the property owner conduct regular inspections of the property to ensure there were no hazards?
  • Was there sufficient lighting or was the lighting poor and/or broken at the property?
  • If you tripped over an object, was it placed in a safe area or was it in a public area?
  • Were there any warning signs placed around spills or tears?

Factors of Your Own Carelessness

Unfortunately, sometimes our own carelessness causes accidents, and it’s important to remember that while you may have slipped and fell while at another party’s property, if it happened because of your own careless behavior, you more than likely are not entitled to damages or your compensation amount can be reduced. Consider the following:

  • Were you in a restricted area when the accident happened? Restricted areas are unauthorized and typically the property owner is not responsible for these accidents.
  • Would a reasonable person spot the dangerous area and be able to avoid it?
  • Did the accident happen because you were horse-playing or being careless?

Most states in the United States follow the “comparative negligence” law for slip and fall cases. Comparative negligence means that if you contributed in some fashion to the accident, your award amount can be lessened or eliminated completely. Several factors will be considered to determine comparative negligence, such as the other party’s part in negligence as well as what you were doing at the time of the accident. If you were talking on your cellphone and didn’t pay attention to a “slippery floor” warning sign, this may affect your overall damage amount. Keep in mind that each slip and fall case is unique, however, and your slip and fall attorney will be better able to determine the circumstances of your case.

Getting Legal Help

If you’ve been victim to a slip and fall accident, it’s crucial to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. Since slip and fall lawsuits have intricate laws and different ways in which you have to prove your case, an experienced slip and fall lawyer is extremely important. At McIver Brown law firm, our slip and fall lawyers have handled an array of slip and fall accidents, and have the knowledge and dedication to ensure that you’ll have an excellent chance in winning the damages you’re entitled to. For more information, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.