To win a slip and fall accident claim, you need to be able to establish the property owner’s liability.
Accidents take place, and injuries are frequently the outcome, however when the accident was caused by something (or someone) beyond your control, you might wonder if you have any alternatives for legal option. This article talks about the crucial problem in a slip and fall accident claim: Liability. Whether you are pursuing an insurance settlement or injury lawsuit, to win your case you will have to have the ability to show that somebody else– normally the homeowner– is liable for your injuries.
Often, the essential liability questions in slip and fall cases are: 1) Who are the potentially responsible celebrations? And 2) Were those parties in fact irresponsible, i.e. by failing or causing to avoid the slip and fall accident? From the viewpoint of the injured person, in a slip and fall insurance claim or lawsuit, another important component is protecting and expecting against a claim that the injured individual’s own carelessness somehow contributed or triggered to the accident.
Theories of Liability in Slip and Fall Claims
In order to hold another party responsible for injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident, an injured person must generally prove one of the following:
- A property owner (or their staff member) should have recognized an unsafe condition (i.e. a hole or an irregular walking surface) and eliminated or fixed the potential danger, however did not. The key concern here is whether a reasonable person would have determined the condition as hazardous, and whether the offender had adequate chance to treat the scenario prior to the accident occurred. OR
- A property owner (or their worker) really caused the unsafe condition causing the slip and fall accident– by leaving a harmful barrier in a walking path, for instance– and it was fairly foreseeable that somebody would trip and fall due to the condition.
Proving Neglect & Liability
The term “reasonable” frequently comes up in settlement negotiations and at other essential phases of slip and fall cases. That’s because, in order to be held “negligent” and therefore responsible for damages in a slip and fall case, a homeowner (or the owner’s agent or worker) need to have failed to act as a reasonably prudent person would have acted under scenarios much like those leading up to the accident. In attempting to examine whether the accused acted reasonably, here are some aspects that plaintiffs should think about:
- Did the hazardous condition or challenge exist long enough that a sensible homeowner or staff member could have done something about it to remove the risk?
- Did the property owner or worker have a policy of routinely looking for possible dangers on the building, and if so, is there some sort of log or other record of whether the treatment was followed immediately before the accident?
- Was there an affordable validation for the production of the possible risk? And if so, did this justification still exist at the time of the slip or fall?
- Could the dangerous condition have been earned less harmful through preventive measures such as moving the threat, positioning appropriate warning signs in the location, or preventing access to the place?
- Was poor lighting or minimal visibility a consider triggering the slip and fall?
Showing You Didn’t “Trigger” The Accident Yourself
In slip and fall cases, the homeowner (or his or her insurance coverage carrier) might argue that the plaintiff is partly (or completely) responsible for the accident that resulted in the injuries. This type of argument is made under a legal concept called “relative fault,” and states have actually codified the concept in “relative negligence” and “contributory carelessness” laws. The rules in place in a provided state will affect a plaintiff’s capability to recover payment if they’re discovered to share some blame for the accident.
In states that follow contributory fault guidelines, the plaintiff will be barred from gathering any damages at all if they’re discovered to bear any degree of obligation for the accident. In comparative neglect states, an injured claimant’s damages award will be decreased by a portion that’s equivalent to his or her share of liability– so, a complaintant who bears 25% of the blame in a slip and fall case would just gather $7,500 of a $10,000 damages award. You can discover your state’s rules on the concern in this chart.
In order to identify whether a plaintiff might be on the hook for causing any part of their injuries, here are a few things to think of:
- Did the plaintiff engage in any activity that might have prevented them from seeing the hazard– texting or talking on a cellular phone, for instance– when an otherwise affordable person would have noticed it?
- Did the plaintiff have lawful access to the area where the slip and fall accident happened, or was there a legitimate reason for the plaintiff to be in a harmful location?
- Were adequate warning signs posted, and were other precaution overlooked or not made use of by the plaintiff?
- Winning an injury claim becomes not likely if the defense can reveal that the plaintiff likely triggered the accident through his or her own negligence.
What Else You Need to Know
Talk to a PI lawyer in California if you think you need professional assistance with your case. We can’t provide legal recommendations here– end disclaimer. To much better understand the legal concerns in these types of cases and enhance your chances of winning, ensure you check out the basics of facilities liability, and slip and fall mishaps.