Slip and fall injuries are common, but the lawsuits can be a challenge to prove in court. It’s important to know the evidence and proof needed to make a solid case and get you the compensation you deserve. At Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine, PC, our team is here to provide guidance on navigating tricky process to prove fault in a slip and fall. Read on to learn more.
What is a Slip and Fall Case?
A “slip and fall” case is defined as any injury that occurs on someone else’s property. It is a type of premises liability case where the lawsuit is brought upon the landowner or property owner to hold them liable for the injury.
The injured party is considered the plaintiff, and the landowner or property owner is the defendant. The outcome of a slip and fall case often depends on if the judge determines whether or not the plaintiff was considered a trespasser or lawfully on the property.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
If you find yourself in the position of gathering evidence to support a slip and fall injury, you’ll most likely have to prove negligence of the property owner in one of the following ways.
“They Should Have Known”
Many personal injury attorneys will argue that the property owner or an employee of the property should have been aware of the dangerous conditions present. This is a common argument used to claim a reasonable person in that same position would have been aware of the dangerous condition and resolved it before someone got hurt.
Turning a Blind Eye
If you suspect that the property owner or an employee of the property had knowledge of the dangerous condition but neglected to resolve the issue, you’ll have to prove that they turned a blind eye to the danger at hand.
The Property Owner is At Fault
There’s a chance that the property owner themselves or an employee caused the dangerous conditions themselves. This could be them neglecting to clean up after themselves, improperly securing items, hazardously running cords across the floor, etc. You will also need proof of your medical records and bills, incident reports, and photographs of the hazard.
What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Fault in a Slip and Fall?
In a slip and fall case, you’ll hear the term “reasonable” come up often during negotiations or litigations. This means that in order to prove the property owner was negligent and liable, you must show that they failed to act as a “reasonable” person should act in the given scenario.
Before taking the case to court, you must prove fault in a slip and fall. Therefore, the plaintiff should ask themselves the following questions to determine if the property owner is truly liable.
- Was the dangerous condition present long enough for the property owner or employee to take notice and resolve the issue?
- Did the property owner currently have a policy or procedure in place to check for potentially hazardous situations on the property? If they did, can you refer to a logbook or record of the procedure being followed prior to the incident?
- Could the incident have been avoided by warning signs being placed in the area, preventing access to the area, or preventative measures being taken to resolve or relocate the hazard?
- Was there a reasonable justification for the existence of the dangerous condition?
- Was visibility or lighting a factor in the incident?
By asking these questions, you’ll be able to determine what evidence is needed to back up your story. Get witness accounts if others were present, ask for surveillance footage, request schedules to understand who was working, get logbooks for proof of diligence of safety procedures and sort forth.
It’s all important to get what you deserve most – winning your case.
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