Did you recently slip and fall on someone else’s property before sustaining injuries. It happens more often than you might think. In fact, falls lead to 8 million hospital room visits every year.
While falls are the leading cause of hospital visits, slip and falls account for 12% of falls.
Your injury could cause you to miss out on work and lose wages.
If you experienced a slip and fall incident and sustained an injury, don’t wait to take action. Instead, you’ll need to follow the right steps in order to make a case for yourself. With these tips, you can prepare for a slip and fall lawsuit.
The stronger your case, the more likely you’ll receive fair compensation to cover your lost work and wages.
Keep reading to discover the steps you need to take after sustaining a slip and fall injury.
Preparing to Make Your Case
In order to make your slip and fall case, you’ll need to gather adequate evidence to support your claim. Here are a few factors to consider in order to strengthen slip and fall negligence cases.
Consult a Doctor
Whether your injury is major or minor, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Consulting a doctor will ensure your health and safety. You’ll also need to visit a doctor in order to successfully build your slip and fall lawsuit.
During your appointment, your doctor will assess your injuries and determine their findings.
Make sure to ask the doctor for documentation regarding your injuries and treatment plan.
During slip and fall cases, it’s the defense’s job to try and dismiss your injuries. Having documentation of your injuries from a doctor will support your case. Their findings will prevent the defense from proving your injuries were sustained in a different way.
Where did you sustain your injury? After the accident, make sure to study your surroundings. Try to determine what causes your slip and fall, such as:
- A wire on the ground
- Water on the floor
- Another obstruction or danger
Pinpoint what causes your accident as soon as possible. Then, try to take photos of the scene, including:
- Where you fell
- The floor around that area
- What you think caused the fall
You don’t want to leave a jury to visualize the scene on their own. Instead, gathering photo evidence will help support your side of the story.
Did anyone witness your slip and fall accident? If so, ask if they’re willing to explain what they saw on the record. Once you have an attorney to help your case, your attorney will get their detailed statement in writing.
Next, you’ll need to make an official report. 697 people died in falls in the span of a single year. While they couldn’t build their own slip and fall cases, you can.
Make an official accident report that explains your side of the story. Don’t embellish your story. Instead, only provide vital information regarding what happened.
Find a Lawyer
In order to build a sold slip and fall case, look for a professional, experienced lawyer. Make sure they have years of experience winning slip and fall cases. Their time handling these cases will strengthen your own lawsuit.
They’ll help you maximize your claim.
Proving Your Case
Once you gather the proper evidence, your lawyer will help prove your case. There are two liability questions involved with slip and fall cases:
- Who is potentially liable?
- Were those parties actually negligent
You’ll also need to defend against an argument that your own carelessness contributed to the accident.
Theories of Liability
To hold another party responsible for your injuries, you’ll need to prove one of two scenarios.
First, there’s the possibility that the property owner should have recognized the environment was dangerous. In this case, the property owner should have removed or repaired the potential danger. For example, could they have repaired a pothole or removed a loose wire?
In these cases, the main question is to ask whether or not a reasonable person would have recognized the scene was hazardous. Did they have the opportunity to fix the problem before an accident occurred?
In other cases, you’ll need to prove that the property owner caused the dangerous condition that led to your accident. For example, they might have left a hazardous obstacle within a public pathway.
In these slip and fall cases, you’ll need to prove they could have foreseen someone would have slipped and fallen in that environment.
Proving Negligence and Liability
To win a slip and fall case, you’ll need to hold someone negligent (and therefore liable for damages. A negligent property would have failed to act as a reasonable, responsible person would have in the same situation.
Here are some factors to consider when proving negligence:
- Did the obstacle exist long enough that someone could have removed or eliminated the danger?
- Does the property owner have a policy for routinely checking for possible hazards?
- Is there a log or record of the company’s procedure for checking for these hazards?
- Was there a reason the potential hazard was created in the first place?
- What was the reason the hazard existed at the time of the slip and fall accident?
- Could someone have made the area less dangerous by taking preventative measures?
- What factored into causing the slip and fall (visibility, poor lighting, etc.)
Prove You Didn’t Cause the Accident
The property owner might argue that you were partially or totally responsible for the accident and your own injuries. This argument is known as contributory or comparative negligence.
In order to make your case, consider:
- If you engaged in an activity that might have prevented you from noticing the hazard (talking on the phone) when someone else would have noticed it?
- Did you have lawful access to the location where the accident took place?
- Was there a reason you were in a dangerous area?
- Were warning signs of the potential danger displayed anywhere?
You can use these factors to provide you didn’t cause the accident through your own carelessness.
Making the Most of Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit: What You Need to Win
In order to win your case, you need to gather the right evidence and prove the property owner was at fault. Otherwise, you might not earn the compensation you deserve. Working with an experienced lawyer can help you strengthen your slip and fall lawsuit and maximize your compensation.
Don’t wait to make your case. Instead, contact us today to discuss the specifics of your lawsuit today!