4 Vital Things That Must Be Proven in a Slip and Fall Accident
Accidents happen, and they can cause you minor or grave injuries. There are accidents that are beyond your control but could have been prevented. Finding and proving fault in a slip and fall accident is not a simple task. Even if premises liability law holds landowners responsible when someone gets hurt on their property, the plaintiff still has four vital things to prove to win a slip and fall case or claim.
4 Things to Prove in a Slip and Fall Accident
The Defendant is responsible for the premises.
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owns, controls and operates the premises or property where the slip and fall accident occurred. It must be established that the owner has the duty to maintain the property and keep it in a safe condition for its occupants and visitors.
2. The Defendant was aware of the hazardous condition.
Negligence is one of the key points to prove to be able to hold the owner liable. That the owner was notified of the dangerous issue and condition prior the accident must be established in a slip and fall case. It must be shown that the owner was not practicing industry standard and the approved practices of property inspection, maintenance, and hazard prevention. Improper management of the property then led to the dangerous condition that caused the accident.
There are two types of notice that can be established: actual and constructive notice.
Actual notice is when the owner knew about the hazard, but did not act on it in time. Constructive notice is when the owner failed to do a proper and thorough inspection of the premises.
Here are some things to consider or check, to be able to prove negligence on the owner’s part:
- The hazardous condition existed long enough that the owner could have taken steps to fix and eliminate the hazard.
- Check the records of routine maintenance and inspection on the premises of the property.
- If the hazardous condition was known, check if there were measures done to lessen the risk of accidents, such as placement of warning signs, or prevention of access in the area.
- Check if there was sufficient lighting or visibility in the area of the accident.
3. The presence of a hazardous condition.
The existence of a dangerous condition at the time of the accident must be proven and established. It must also be proven that the condition is not minor, and not a result of simple wear and tear, and usage over time.
It must also be established that the plaintiff is not responsible for the accident. The plaintiff must likewise consider if he is guilty of any of the following:
- Engaging in activities that have prevented him from seeing and avoiding the hazard (texting, playing mobile games, etc.)
- Unlawful access to the area of the accident
- Ignoring warning signs posted that gave everyone notice of the possible danger
If the plaintiff is guilty of any of the above, then he can be held partially or totally responsible for his accident.
4. Damages and injuries were incurred by the plaintiff.
To do this, report the accident and seek immediate medical help. If you do so later, the defendant can easily claim that your injuries were not due to the accident that happened. Keep records of medical bills and consultation records. Document as much as you can, including pictures of your injuries and the place of the accident.
If you have had a slip and fall accident, and have incurred injuries, consult a lawyer right away. A personal injury attorney will know your legal rights and options, especially if your injuries lead to mounting medical bills and work absences. Matt Fleming is an experienced and skillful lawyer, and he can fight for you.