If you have been injured because you fell on a floor or an unkept sidewalk, you need to be able to prove negligence in order to have a successful claim for compensation for your injuries. When looking at liability in slip and fall cases, usually you will need to consider who the liable party is and how they were negligent in failing to prevent your accident to begin with. Here is an overview on how you can determine those two factors.
Holding Someone Responsible
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, you need to find someone who was negligent and caused your injury. When doing so, consider the following:
- The property owner or someone in charge of the property who should have recognized a dangerous condition existed. This could be a wet entryway to a store during a winter day, an uneven sidewalk, or a defect in a floor that caused you to trip.
- The property owner or someone in charge actually caused the dangerous condition to exist, by either leaving something in the way of a walking path, or spilling a substance on the floor and forgetting to clean it up.
In order to prove that the property owner or person in charge of the property is liable for your injures, you need to consider the fact that negligence means that a person failed to reasonably prevent any dangerous conditions. Some things to consider when proving negligence are:
- Was the dangerous condition in existence long enough for the owner or keeper of the property to realize the danger and have a chance to eliminate the danger?
- Was there a routine in place for someone to check the property for potential danger, and was that protocol in place and followed immediately before your accident?
- Would preventative measures taken to warn of the dangerous area have made a difference in whether or not you would have fallen?
- Was there limited visibility that allowed you to fall and become injured?
You also want to consider that the other party may argue that you were the party who was responsible for your fall, or at least partially responsible.
Perhaps there were ample warning signs and you failed to see them, or you were talking on your cell phone and weren't paying attention to where you were going. If you were at least in part to blame for your fall, you may not be able to recover full compensation for your accident. Discussing this with a personal injury lawyer, such as Michael W. Seckar P.C., will give you a better understanding of how to pursue your case.