Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident case
The website of the National Safety Council says that an estimated 8 million people in the United States each year make a trip to the emergency room due to injuries suffered as a result of a slip and fall accident. Pretty much everyone has fallen down at some point in our lives, some of us many times. While some of these falls are due to simple clumsiness, others may be caused by slick floors, tripping over a hazard, or by other dangerous conditions on someone’s property. These causes are what are known as hazards, and they can inflict a lot more damage than most people think, sometimes permanent.
After a slip and fall, victims may suffer from scrapes, cuts, bruises, or other minor injuries that don’t require serious medical care. Often, embarrassment is the primary result of a slip and fall. You probably can’t sue for that… However, some slip and fall accidents result in really serious medical injuries that can have a severe and permanent effect on the victim’s life. If you have suffered a permanent or serious injury after a slip and fall and you are beginning to accumulate medical bills because of a property owner’s negligence, you absolutely deserve to be compensated.
Negligence of Property Owners
A liability claim can arise when a property owner causes an injury due to negligence. All property owners are required under the law to keep their space in a reasonably safe condition to make sure all visitors stay safe. This responsibility exists for all business owners, schools, government buildings, and even residential property owners. Common liability claims would involve swimming pool accidents, trampolines, falls down stairs, and more. The most common claim is a slip and fall accident.
Slip and falls often arise from negligent conditions which would include the following:
- Failure to clean spilled liquids
- Lack of adequate lighting
- Having exposed electrical or other wires in common areas
- Slick flooring materials
- Holes, dips, or cracks in walking surfaces
- Uneven floors
Things to consider in a Negligence Case
When considering if there is indeed negligence in your slip and fall case, you must take into consideration if the property owner acted as any reasonable person would have acted in a similar situation. Property owners have a legal obligation to make sure that their property is safe and that any dangerous hazards are remedied. This would include things like:
- Length of Time – Did the owner have enough time to know about and resolve the hazard that caused the fall? Did it just happen or had it been there for awhile?
- Reasonableness of Hazard – Did something reasonable create the hazard, like a rain storm in a parking lot?
- Acting Appropriately – Did the owner do what was reasonable to try to fix the hazard, or was it ignored?
- Reasonable Prevention – Could the owner have reasonably prevented the incident from happening, for example by installing more lighting or by putting up a warning sign?
Know your rights
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident resulting in a personal injury, you should definitely speak to a professional attorney who can tell you your rights. The business owner may offer you free products or services, or to cover medical expenses. You should speak to an attorney before accepting anything from the business owner. Remember, even if your injuries are not permanent, you still may be entitled to some compensation for any medical expenses or missed work.