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Slip And Fall Accidents: Why Determining Fault Is Not So Simple

By January 3, 2019May 26th, 2022No Comments

The biggest issue in a slip and fall accident claim is determining liability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 17,000 slip and fall accidents every year. Not all of these cases are winnable. A way to substantiate one of these claims is for your accident attorneys to prove that the owner of the property is responsible for the accident and not that the person who fell was careless. If you or a loved one need to pursue a case, knowing these key steps to winning a slip and fall accident claim are essential.

Know The Theories Of Liability

In slip and fall claims, accident attorneys typically must prove one of two theories of liability. The first is that the owner of the property or an employee should identify a dangerous condition, such as a pothole or uneven surface, and remedy the danger, but they failed to do so. This theory hinges on the contingency that any reasonable person could have recognized the condition as hazardous and had enough time to fix it. The second theory is that the owner or employee caused the danger, such as a slippery floor. In that case, it would have to be reasonably foreseeable that someone would trip and fall because of it.

Prove Liability In Your Case

The key to proving the property owner’s liability is for the personal injury attorney to discuss the reasonableness of the owner’s actions. Essentially, you and your attorney must prove that the owner failed to act like any other reasonably prudent person would have in the situation. Often, this condition brings into question if there were preventative measures the owner could have taken, such as providing adequate warning signage or closing access to the hazardous location.

Prove That You Are Not At Fault

During slip and fall cases, the property owner will likely argue that you were partially or totally responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. A majority of states follow the comparative negligence rule. This means that if your actions somehow contributed to the accident, your monetary compensation could be lessened by the amount you were comparatively at fault. To prove that you were not at fault, discuss with your accident attorneys if a reasonable person in your situation would have handled the dangerous condition in the same way. Be sure that you were not engaging in activities that could have contributed to the accident, such as texting while walking or running in a slippery area with warning signs.

The best way to win a case is by collecting all the information about the property owner, witnesses, and remembering the facts of what you were doing. With the proper proof, you’ll be able to win your claim.