Proving liability in an accident is a steep challenge, especially when there were severe damages, such as personal injuries incurred. These challenges are often the result of stubborn insurance companies and dishonest individuals looking to either reduce the severity of their consequences or place the blame on you as the victim.
Thus, it is imperative that you are mindful of how you document your accident, even if it was only a slip and fall. Even the smallest details can make a significant difference in accurately reflecting fault in your case. There are several essential tips to keep in mind to correctly prove liability in your slip and fall accident.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
Several elements must be considered when attempting to prove fault in a slip and fall accident. Each is concerned primarily with the inherent legal obligations that the property owner has in providing visitors a safe experience in their facility. For example, the property owner is legally required to keep all surfaces clear of hazards, such as slippery or unstable floors, that may expose visitors to preventable harms.
Further, if these protections cannot be granted for some reason, this individual is then responsible for providing reasonable and accessible notice to all individuals that may come into contact with the hazards. These obligations are all encompassed by a concept known as the “duty of care,” a central component of your case against the negligent property owner. Keep this in mind as you prepare to file your slip and fall claim, and follow the steps below to prove fault in light of this knowledge:
1. Demonstrate that the property owner or facility manager had a duty of care to you. (Note that this duty of care only applies if you were legally allowed on facility grounds. This does not apply to individuals who were trespassing or committing another crime at the time of their fall.)
2. Document the hazardous conditions.
3. Show that the hazardous conditions were preventable or that the property owner had enough time to resolve the matter before your fall. (Your personal injury lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence for this step.)
4. Prove that the property owner’s neglect to resolve the hazardous condition was the direct cause of your fall, and therefore, the damages that followed. (“Damages” refers to any injuries you experienced, and the resulting medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.)
Some of these steps may be difficult to complete on your own, so it is essential that you seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Further Considerations for Proving Liability
Understand that the duty of care does not only fall on the property owner’s shoulders. Any employees working in the facility may also be responsible for your accident, as they may have been assigned the responsibility of cleaning up the hazardous substance that led to your incident.
Further, there are a variety of reasons why the substance may have been present, to begin with. For example, if an employee spilled a product on the floor and failed to clean it up, they, along with the property owner, will be directly responsible for providing compensation for your injuries. As you uncover additional details of your case, consult with your personal injury lawyer to determine which individual you should be holding accountable for your slip and fall accident.