If you have been injured due to a slip and fall accident, you must prove that the person who owned the property you had a slip and fall accident on was liable for you to win a settlement. Murphy’s Law applies to life, so, unfortunately, accidents do happen. That’s especially true of slip and fall accidents. Some of these accidents are caused by another party’s (usually the owner’s) carelessness. You have rights and can win a settlement if you prove fault and liability. There are two main issues regarding liability in a slip-and-fall case:
• Who are the liable parties?
• Were those parties responsible for the slip-and-fall accident?
You, as the plaintiff, may also have to defend yourself from allegations that you were partially responsible for your accident.
Liability Theories in Slip and Fall Cases
You have to prove that one or more of the following existed to hold the defendant liable:
• The property owner knew a dangerous condition was on the property but failed to remove or repair it for your safety.
• The property owner’s negligence caused your slip-and-fall accident. A good example is failing to put a rug in front of the doorway when it’s raining outside.
Proving Negligence and Liability
You need to consider a few factors when trying to prove that the property owner failed to act reasonably:
• Did the hazardous condition exist for a long enough period for the owner to notice and rectify it?
• Was there a policy or procedure where the owner regularly inspected the property for hazards?
• Was there a reasonable justification for the hazard, and did the justification apply when you fell?
• Could the owner have made the hazard less dangerous by relocating it?
• When you fell, could you see the hazard well – was there poor lighting and/or visibility?
The defendant may argue that you were partially at fault. Your settlement could be reduced if you were at fault and lived in a comparative fault state. You won’t be entitled to a settlement if you live in a contributory fault state and are even .01% at fault for the accident. The percentage of your fault will reduce your settlement if you live in a comparative negligence state, as per personal injury lawyer in Stratford.
You need to think about your actions at the time of the accident and if any of those prevented you from detecting the hazard when you should have known about it. If you were trespassing, you wouldn’t be entitled to a settlement, even if the defendant is 100% at fault. Similarly, you won’t get a settlement if you ignore signs or other precautions warning you of the hazard.