After a slip and fall accident, you might wonder if you were at fault for what happened.
In order to hold the property owner or business liable, you will need to prove that you were injured due to the other party’s negligence. However, they are not necessarily responsible if you injured yourself while on their premises.
Proving Negligence in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Our lawyer can help show liability in a slip-and-fall case when certain circumstances exist. For example, an employee, manager, or property owner has a responsibility to maintain property, including addressing dangerous conditions, warning others of these conditions, and fixing said conditions. One of the major considerations in a slip-and-fall lawsuit is the property owner’s ability to prevent an accident. On the other hand, a visitor to the property is responsible to exercise due caution related to their surroundings as accidents can happen that lie beyond the scope of the business owner’s responsibility. For example, one would expect to find work tools at a farm, and a visitor needs to take notice of their surroundings so that they don’t trip.
Guidelines Used by the Court in Determining Slip and Fall Liability
Your attorney will need to prove one or more of the following conditions in a slip and fall case. In some cases, the employee or property owner should have corrected the problem. In other cases, the employee or property owner might have even caused the dangerous condition. Finally, they might not have made needed repairs. The first reason is the one most often used in court although it can be challenging to prove. A judge will need to make a final determination as to if the business “should have known” about the danger that caused a fall.
Your attorney can review the following questions with you to help determine if you have a valid slip and fall lawsuit.
- The length of time the defect was present
- The type and frequency of routine maintenance and cleaning that the property owner performed
- If an item was left on the floor and you tripped, was there a reason for the item to be there?
- Was the item left on the floor when it should have been removed?
In some cases, you might have avoided the accident if you had exercised greater caution. For example, if you were distracted because you were talking on your cell phone, you might be held partially responsible. The courts will assign a percentage of responsibility of fault in the case, which could impact a settlement or an award by a judge or jury.
Discuss the following questions with your attorney to determine your level of liability in the case.
- Did you have a valid reason to be on the property?
- Would another person have been able to prevent the accident?
- Did the property owner have any warnings posted about possible dangers?
- Did your risky behavior contribute to the accident?
Slip and fall injuries can be admittedly serious and they can result in long-term injuries with high medical bills. You only have a limited time to act due to legal time frames called the statute of limitations. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, call the Hancock Injury Attorneys to discuss your options.