Saturday, January 23

3 Legal Criteria to Win a Slip and Fall Case

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If you have slipped, fallen, and injured yourself to the point where you are unable to work and support yourself, it may be obvious to you who is liable and therefore you decide to file a lawsuit to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.

While you may think that your account of the occurrence as well as evidence you and your attorney have gathered will result in a judgement in your favour, there are certain elements of your case that need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be successful.

1. Evidence

In your slip and fall lawsuit, you need all of the evidence you can get to prove that the premises was negligent and caused your injuries. Although taking care of yourself immediately following the occurrence should be of utmost importance, you need to take steps to secure and preserve evidence nonetheless because doing so will give you the best chance of a judge ruling in your favour. To help you get started, contact a slip and fall lawyer right away.

If possible after the incident, connect with people that saw you fall and ask if they would be willing to provide a statement to use in your lawsuit. If they agree, record their statement along with their contact information. Also take photographs of the exact spot where you fell. This will allow the judge to see the conditions where the incident occurred. This will be instrumental in boosting your case, since odds are the premises will address the situation right away to avoid them appearing negligent and preventing additional incidents.

You will also need to see a doctor as soon as possible and get documentation and photographs outlining your injuries as this will show a correlation between the incident and injuries sustained.

2. Prevention

Before being hasty to cast judgement and decide to move forward with a lawsuit due to a slip and fall incident, you need to know for sure that the responsible party took insufficient or no action to prevent it from occurring. For example, if a superintendent of a parking lot put down an adequate amount of sand and salt to prevent people from slipping on snow or ice but you fell anyway, it cannot be successfully argued that actions were not taken to prevent people from injury.

In the eyes of the law, everyone has a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings. You should make reasonable efforts to avoid injuries. You need to be prepared to prove that you were cautious, but also the conditions of where you fell were so bad that your actions were moot. For example, if you were talking or texting on your cell phone and were not paying attention or you ignored warning signs drawing attention to a dangerous surface, liability on behalf of the premises may be significantly diminished.

3. Liability

To hold someone responsible for your injuries as the result of a slip and fall incident, you must prove that the party that you identified is liable with one of three accusations. One is that the premises caused the surface where you fell to be dangerous. The second is that the premises was aware of the dangerous surface and failed to take steps to change it. The third, which is the most common scenario, is that the premises should have known that the surface could cause injury and that it should be remedied.

Whichever one of these accusations you choose to proceed with in your lawsuit, a judge will often balance this against your actions to determine whether you acted with a reasonable standard of care. This is one of the most difficult parts of a slip and fall case to prove so you need to be positive regarding what accusation you use moving forward with your case.


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Fiona Thompson

Staff writer / Avid internet junkie / Devoted music aficionado