- How to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
- Crucial Evidence for Winning Slip and Fall Cases
- How to Protect Your Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident
- Our Premises Liability Lawyers Can Analyze Your Slip and Fall Case
Whether a slip and fall case is hard to win depends on the factors of that specific case. You must prove a property owner either knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard that caused your fall. Proving a “should have” sometimes makes a case difficult but does not make it impossible. Moreover, a slip and fall attorney can build your case.
How to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall cases hinge on proving negligence, which means proving four points:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care.
- They violated that duty of care through careless actions or inactions.
- Because they violated their duty of care, you fell and suffered an injury.
- Your slip and fall injuries entitle you to compensation for your losses.
Winning a slip and fall case requires providing evidence that connects all four points.
Duty of Care
In premises liability cases, the property owner typically owes you a duty of care unless you are trespassing. For instance, if you go to a store, visit a restaurant, or stay in a hotel, the business you are visiting owes you a duty of care. People legally on a property are sometimes called invitees.
Slip and fall cases are hard to win if the property owner argues you were not on the property legally. This doesn’t always mean they are right or that you aren’t owed a duty of care. For instance, if the injured victim was your child, who was on the property due to an attractive nuisance—something particularly interesting to children like a slide or pool—the child is potentially viewed as an invitee.
If you are facing opposition in establishing a duty of care, a premises liability lawyer from our firm can dig into your status on the property during the accident.
Violation of Duty of Care
Property owners violate their duty of care if they do or fail to do something that causes harm. Violations include failure to:
- Mop up spills or leaks
- Secure loose flooring or cords
- Replace broken lights
- Install signs, lights, or warnings
- Maintain equipment
- Clean up debris
- Monitor pool or spa areas
- Fix holes or cracks in flooring
- Clear ice or snow
Some of these are unavoidable. For instance, in a colder climate, snow and ice accumulations happen. However, the pivotal point of a premises liability case is that the property owner didn’t take reasonable action or precautions, like salting roadways or shoveling sidewalks.
Once the previous three points are established, you can argue for compensation for any expenses related to your fall:
- Medical bills, both past and future
- Lost income from all jobs
- Reduced ability to earn
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other injuries you could suffer from falling include broken bones, facial and dental injuries, and back, neck, and spinal cord injuries. The costs add up—financial ones as well as emotional, personal, and occupational ones.
Unfortunately, property owners and insurers may undervalue your losses, and disputes on this topic are another reason slip and fall cases are sometimes hard to win. When you hire us to take on your case, our firm can gather evidence of what you deserve in compensation and negotiate on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Crucial Evidence for Winning Slip and Fall Cases
Perhaps the biggest challenge in premises liability cases is showing the property owner did know or should have known about the hazard that made you slip and fall.
You might assume a property owner can hide behind claims of ignorance, but your slip and fall attorney can compile evidence demonstrating otherwise:
- Photos of the hazard
- Analysis of the site by experts
- Security camera footage
- Testimony from witnesses and employees
- A history of complaints
- A timeline of events leading to the fall
Not all accidents are caught on camera. That doesn’t mean the victims of those accidents can’t receive compensation. Testimony from employees and witnesses can prove especially useful, helping your legal team reconstruct the accident, including how long a hazard existed before you fell. A history of complaints by other visitors or customers can show the issue was ongoing. Expert analysis can sometimes even reveal how long a hazard was present.
For instance, in an icy sidewalk case, witnesses can confirm ice buildup on a walkway. Weather reports can show the time between when the ice likely formed and when you fell. Previous complaints made to the property owner or even on social media can further illustrate the issue was present. Experts can analyze photos or the scene itself to see if defects in the walkway contributed to the ice buildup.
Ultimately, an attorney can place the evidence on a timeline to show everything in context. That context can make the difference in a slip and fall case.
How to Protect Your Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident
Whether a slip and fall case is hard to win can depend on several variables, including how amenable the other party is to settle, how complicated the case is, and the evidence available. As a result, don’t write off your chances of winning a premises liability case.
You can take steps to protect your chances:
- Take photos of the accident scene, including of the hazard itself and your injuries.
- Talk to witnesses and obtain their contact information.
- Ask property owners to provide security footage of the accident.
- Seek medical help, even if you feel OK; some injuries aren’t apparent right away.
- Keep documentation of losses like receipts, bills, and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Talk to a lawyer to learn your options and the deadline for seeking damages.
Our Premises Liability Lawyers Can Analyze Your Slip and Fall Case
At Berger and Green, our personal injury lawyers can assess your case and explain why some slip and fall cases are hard to win. With our free consultation, you can learn more about your specific opportunities for damages. We can take over insurance claims filings, injury lawsuit filings, and evidence gathering and connect you with resources. Contact us today to talk to our team.