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How to Prove Negligence in Slip and Fall Injury Cases

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Slips and falls occur more often than you realize. They can happen whether you’re on public or private property. Depending on the severity of the incident, the person who tripped may sustain injuries requiring them to spend costly medical bills, and sometimes, there could also be the need to take a leave of absence from work.

In such a case, the person can consider filing an injury claim for proper compensation. However, proving negligence in these types of accidents can be quite complicated. For that reason, seeking legal advice from firms such as Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm to help you with your case can be to your advantage.

Furthermore, this article outlines some insights on how to prove negligence in slip and fall injury cases.

Establish the Duty of Care and Prove How it Was Breached

To prove negligence, you need to show and establish that a person or entity has a duty to care for you. For example, when you’re dining at a restaurant, the property owner or the management generally bears the responsibility of ensuring your safety while you’re staying at their premises. This means that they should be able to show and extend reasonable care.

But, when an accident happens, proving that the management is at fault may be more complicated than you think, as your claims may easily be refuted by the possibility that what happened was an accident due to your carelessness.

And so, to build a solid injury claim, you’d have to point out and present the dangerous condition present on the property such as:

  • Contaminated or wet floor surfaces, for example water or grease.
  • Poor lighting.
  • Uneven or damaged floor surfaces.
  • Poorly constructed or unfinished floor.
  • Cluttered floors.

Evidence such as photos, video surveillance footage, and testimonies from witnesses can help build your case. Your claim can then be based on the fact that the property owner should be liable for failing to fix or repair accident-prone areas.

You can also anchor your case to the fact that the other party involved has failed to address a current hazard promptly. Going back to the example earlier, while at the restaurant, perhaps a staff member spilled a drink or food and failed to mop it, causing you to accidentally slip on the floor. You can potentially hold the restaurant owner accountable for your injuries and expenses because of their negligence.

Show Proof of Your Injuries or Damages

To strengthen your case, you also need to provide evidence of the injuries or damage you sustained following the incident. Generally, in a slip and fall injury case, you have the chance to be compensated for your economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to all incurred expenses that have a dollar value. As a victim, you’ll likely get bills and receipts for such expenses, which include medical expenses, lost income, and other miscellaneous costs related to your injuries. And so, to claim economic damages, you need to be able to show proof of economic damages, such as medical records and receipts, medical bills, and prescribed medications.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, can be more difficult to claim as they are complicated to quantify as they don’t have a dollar value and can sometimes be subjective. But if you’ve suffered serious injuries from a slip and fall accident, non-economic damages can be considered, which generally include pain and suffering, disability, and loss of life enjoyment. Similarly, you need to present documents such as medical bills and records for a series of therapy that can prove your claim.

If you’re unsure which damages you can claim, an attorney who specializes in slip and fall injury cases can calculate the damages for you. This can be quite significant, especially if you’re considering taking legal action.

Prove That the Accident Wasn’t Because of Carelessness

In most slip-and-fall injury cases, the property owner can argue that the plaintiff or victim was also partially or completely responsible for the accident. Defendants can use this as a defense to reduce or avoid liability.

If the defense were able to prove that the plaintiff likely caused the accident because of possible carelessness, winning the case becomes unlikely. For instance, if, after investigation, it appeared that you walked intentionally into a slippery area, there’s a chance for your injury claim to be dismissed. Moreover, if the accident happens without someone else’s negligence, you can’t make a claim just because it happened on another person’s property.

To prove that the slip and fall accident didn’t happen because of your carelessness, you must be able to point out facts such as that the property owner failed to put warning signs around the accident-prone area or that no one informed you in advance about potential hazards in the property that caused the slip and fall accident, among other things.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a slip and injury case due to negligence can be complicated and generally involves a tedious legal process to prove the case and hold the party responsible liable. But the insights presented in this article can be a start to help you on this journey.

And due to the complexity of such cases, it’s always recommended to get legal advice, as lawyers can give you guidance on how best to approach your case.



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