Do I Have A Slip and Fall Claim?
Most people are injured at some point, but some injuries, however, could have catastrophic consequences. If you have been hurt on someone else’s property due to a slip and fall accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek the damages that you may be owed. To do so, however, you would need to demonstrate there was a hazardous condition that was known, or should have been known, by the business or owner that caused the fall and resulting injury.
Premises liability laws dictate that all property owners have a legal responsibility to preserve secure conditions on the premises of his or her property. This is to protect members of the public, whom are on the business property for the owners’ benefit, from harm. If property owners fail to meet these requirements and a person is ultimately injured, these property owners will then be held liable for the injuries sustained by the person. It is important to understand when you could have a basis for a claim, however. Not every slip and fall accident will be the responsibility of the property owner. To determine if you should seek compensation from the property owner, your attorney will need to review the following factors:
- Duty of Care.
To begin, you have to be able to demonstrate that the proprietor owed you what is known as a “duty of care”. A duty of care is an expression used in the legal field, which refers to someone’s legal duty to perform in a responsible and reasonable manner. A property owner then owes a duty of care to any person who is lawfully on his or her premises, making slip and fall cases his or her responsibility.
To further illustrate, the owner of a hair salon would owe a duty of care to his or her clients. The owner, however, does not exactly owe a duty of care to a person who is either trespassing or is otherwise unlawfully on the property. When attempting to prove if whether or not a property owner owed you a duty of care at the time of your accident, you would then need to establish that you were in the premises lawfully.
- Proving the Owner’s Negligence
One of the most difficult factors you must demonstrate is that of proving that the owner of the property in which you suffered an injury was negligent about the premises. In order to determine if the property owner was negligent, one of the following factors must be met:
- The owner generated the hazard that ultimately produced your accident.
- He or she knew about the issue and did not attempt to repair it.
- The owner should have recognized the hazard, which caused your injury since a reasonable owner should have known.
The ability to demonstrate one of these factors is vital to your claim. To make your case stronger, obtain the resourcefulness of an experienced attorney who can collect evidence, which includes witness testimonies, video and surveillance material, and premises maintenance records.
Once you have managed to establish that the property owner was negligent, you must then demonstrate that your injury was resulted directly because of it. It is important to highlight that you could also be shown to be at fault of the accident. This is known as “comparative negligence”. In comparative negligence, the victim is found to share the fault if he or she ignored posted caution signs, which resulted in the injury. The laws regarding comparative negligence differ from state to state, and experienced attorney can evaluate this aspect of the case.
- Proving that You Sustained Damages
Finally, you must demonstrate that you have suffered damages or losses as a consequence of your slip and fall accident. The collection of medical expenses, taking time off of work for recovery, or even experiencing emotional distress can be reason to seek compensation. If you can prove your expenses and losses relating to your grievances, the respondent will be court ordered to compensate you.
To demonstrate your grievances, it is crucial that you document all expenses and losses you sustained in order to keep record of what you are owed. Keep copies and records of all receipts, medical archives, work paychecks, and all other papers that could be relevant to your claim. It can also prove to be beneficial to your case if you kept a diary immediately after the incident in order to keep track of your symptoms and other personal feelings. The journal entries do not need to be lengthy, but they could describe your entire experience and what you could be feeling both emotionally and physically. These entries could demonstrate that you were undergoing agony and distress for an extended period of time after your injury.
Seeking Professional Support
If you were a victim to a slip and fall accident, contacting an experienced attorney could help your case. Personal injury attorneys can review your case in order to help you in determining whether you have a legal claim. If there is enough evidence to prove that the property owner was responsible for your damages, an attorney can fight for you.