A slip-and-fall lawsuit is one of the most common types of personal injury claims, also referred to as a premises liability claim. These types of lawsuits occur when someone is injured slipping, tripping or falling on someone else’s property. If the injured victim can prove that the property owner or manager was negligent in the way the property was maintained or addressed hazards, the victim may have enough legal grounds to file a slip and fall lawsuit. The key to winning a slip and fall lawsuit is the evidence and proof you have of the negligent actions (or lack thereof) of the property owner.
Slip and fall cases often come down to who knew what and when did they know it. Just because an accident occurred and someone was injured does not necessarily mean the property owner is liable for the accident. Sometimes, accidents are just accidents. A critical element in a slip and fall claim is to show that the owner knew or should have reasonably known that a dangerous or unsafe condition existed on the property and then failed to take steps to fix the hazards and the unsafe situation. In order to win a slip and fall case, you must have evidence showing the owner knew about the problem and failed to remedy the issue.
Critical Elements to Prove and Win a Slip and Fall Case
You Must Show the Owner Was Responsible for the Condition of the Property
In order to prove a slip and fall claim, you first need to determine who is legally responsible for the property or condition. In the accident occurred at a business, the specific situation may determine who is responsible -- a property owner, the business owner or another management company. Sometimes the responsible party is straight-forward but in other cases, defendants may claim they were not responsible for the unsafe conditions.
For instance, in a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk outside a business, the business may hold some liability, the property owner (if different from the business owner) may hold some liability and even the maintenance company may also be liable in some way. It can be difficult to determine liability without the help of an experienced premises liability lawyer.
You Must Show a Hazard or Defective Condition Caused Your Injury
Falls, trips and slips are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury in the country. However, not every slip, trip and fall is the result of what is legally called a “defective condition.” In order to prove a slip and fall personal injury claim, you must show that the property was not maintained in a safe condition. And that condition directly caused your injuries. For instance, if you fall in a dimly lit stairwell in your apartment complex, you must show that your injuries were directly caused by the dark conditions and you would not have fallen had that not been the case.
You Must Prove the Defendant Knew or Should Have Known About the Hazardous Conditions
You must be able to show that the responsible party knew about the unsafe or hazardous condition. If you fall on a slippery floor in a grocery store moments after another customer spilled a gallon milk, you may not be able to show that the store should have known about the spilled milk since it had just happened. If the spill happened several minutes ago or even longer and another customer alerted the manager about the condition but the manager did nothing to clean it up, you can show evidence of this timing and negligence in remedying the hazardous situation.
Slip and fall cases can be tricky. Before judging for yourself, consult with an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer who can advise you about the chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Winning Your Slip and Fall Case
Your first step in winning a slip and fall case should be to consult with a skilled premises liability attorney. He or she can advise you on the details of your case. Evidence, other than your own account, is critical to winning your case but sometimes difficult to come by. A slip and fall lawyer will work to build a strong case with solid evidence to prove each of these elements.
A slip and fall injury claim typically will seek compensation for two types of damages -- economic and non-economic. Economic damages include tangible losses such as medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages include intangible losses like pain and suffering. In the case of serious injury and long-lasting disability, your claim will also seek compensation for future medical costs for ongoing care and treatment as well as the lost income you would have received if you are not able to return to work.
Brandon J. Broderick, Premises Liability Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, discuss your case with an experienced premises liability lawyer. At Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassion and empathy and will aggressively litigate your claim to maximize your compensation. With offices across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, our top-rated law firm will get you the justice you deserve.