Accidents happen all the time, and some just can’t be avoided. People slip and fall for a whole host of reasons. However, if you have been injured after a slip and fall due to the negligence of someone else, you may have a case to help cover your damages.
How Slip and Fall Lawyers Prove Fault After an Injury
The key is being able to establish responsibility for the area or events that led up to the fall. Having a slip and fall case is sometimes challenging to prove, but some attorneys are trained and experienced in fighting those specific accidents.
Here is what you need to know about slip and fall lawyers and their cases.
Types of Falls Covered
There are many causes to why individual trips, slips and falls in either a business or another person’s home. Some falls are just embarrassing, but others can lead to significant injury, medical bills, and even lost wages. Here are some of the most common causes of a slip and fall case.
- Wet floor or surface either from recent mopping or spilled liquid
- Uneven flooring or grounds
- Loose floor coverings
- Debris or misplaced items in the walkway
- Inadequate lighting to see
- Electrical cords laying on the floor
- No handrails on stairs
- No warning signs of any of these dangers
If you have fallen and been injured due to any of the causes mentioned above, you may have a legal case against the owner of the property where the accident occurred. A personal injury lawyer can work with you to start the process by first trying to determine liability.
If you still have questions regarding a lawsuit, here is your guide to personal injury compensation.
How to Prove Liability – Slip and Fall Lawyers’ Specialty
The owner of a business or home is responsible for what happens there and has a reasonable duty to make it safe for everyone. The problem can come with the word ‘reasonable’ and how it fits into your injury.
Before a slip and fall lawyer take your case, there must be a way to prove the owner was negligent in one of three key areas.
1. They Caused the Hazard
If you can prove the owner or one of their employees caused the hazard, you are well on your way to winning your case.
The catch here is being able to prove they were the responsible party. If you fell in a restaurant where another patron spilled their drink, the owner didn’t personally cause the hazard.
However, if you walk into a building or room where someone has just ripped up the flooring and did not have any warning signs posted of an uneven walkway, you could have a solid case of their direct liability.
If you are an employee that fell on the job, here is additional information you need to know.
2. They Knew the Hazard Existed and Didn’t Fix
Most businesses and homeowners do not want their visitors to get hurt, so the majority do not obviously see a problem and consciously ignore it. The problem comes when they know it exists but just haven’t gotten around to addressing the issue.
Maybe they know the spilled drink is on the floor and forgot to ask an employee to mop it up. Or perhaps they knew the handrails are missing or cords are laying around and just haven’t put up the signs to warn those coming inside.
If you manage a construction site, you need to know the best ways to reduce injuries to your crew.
3. They Should Have Known About the Hazard and Had It Fixed
Proving someone caused a slipping hazard or knew one existed and ignored it, can be challenging to prove. Unless you have video evidence or reliable witness testimony, you may need to go with the liability option. It states a reasonable person should have known about the hazard and address it.
This is a common argument but falls heavily on the judge or jury to determine what a ‘reasonable’ person or action is. This is where your slip and fall lawyer is extremely valuable.
Your attorney can investigate what caused the fall and what the property owner knew and when. If there was a slippery spot in the walkway, or uneven flooring, had it been there long enough that the owner or on-duty manager should have known about it and responded.
Does the owner do regular documented inspections of the property and note any hazards that need to repair? If an object should have been removed or shifted to another area, was it logical to assume it could have posed a tripping risk?
Are there procedures in place for employees to report hazards as they appear or occur, so management or the owner can take steps to protect their clients?
If proven that due diligence on the part of the property owner was not followed and a slip or tripping hazard was left unattended to, then your case got a lot stronger.
Was There Carelessness on Your Part
The most significant defense that the other side will bring up is your part in the fall. Can they prove you were careless or negligent in any way to have caused the fall or made the outcome worse? This falls under comparative negligence laws and can affect any financial settlement.
Were there warning signs that you ignored? Would a safe and responsible person see the large crack or wet spot on the floor and walk around it. Were you distracted by being on your phone, talking with someone else, or maybe had too much to drink?
These might not necessarily prevent your case from going forward, but you should discuss it with your attorney.
Don’t Fall For a Lie – Know the Truth
If you have suffered a fall that left you with medical bills and lingering pain, you owe it to yourself to investigate all your options. A trained and experienced slip and fall lawyers will guide you to get the compensation you deserve.
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