If you suffer an injury due to slipping and falling, you may wonder if the business or property owner where you suffered your injury is required to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and personal suffering. Though a meeting with a personal injury lawyer is necessary to determine if you have a case, here are a few things you need to know about slip and fall claims.
Certain Criteria are Necessary to Prove the Business or Property Owner is Responsible for the Fall
Your attorney needs to be able to prove that the property owner is liable for your injuries. This is possible if one of the following criteria are met.
The first possibility is that the property owner caused the unsafe spot. For example, maybe the property owner spilled water on the floor and did not take steps to properly clean it up.
A second possibility is that the property owner knew that there was an unsafe spot on the floor, but didn't do anything about it. An example would be if the property owner watched an employee spill water and then took no steps to clean the water up.
The third possibility is that the property owner should have known that the floor was unsafe. With this possibility, it is assumed that the property owner has a responsibility to conduct regular examinations of the property to identify unsafe areas.
You Need to Be Able to Prove That You Were Paying Attention
It is important to prove that you took every step necessary to avoid slipping and falling. This can be difficult to prove; one way to do so is to sit down and provide a detailed account of exactly what was happening directly before your fall.
Be honest when explaining what happened; don't leave out details that you believe make you look irresponsible, such as the fact that you were playing on your phone while you were walking. The owner of the property may have video evidence to refute your claim, or a witness may come forward who was observing you at the time of the accident.
It both the property owner and yourself was negligent, this does not mean that you don't have a case. Rather, the judge or jury will use the principle of comparative negligence to assign a certain degree of negligence to each of you.
For example, it may be decided that the property owner was 60 percent negligent due to not maintaining the property and that you were 40 percent negligent because you weren't paying attention to where you were walking. If you are assigned a certain degree of fault, this does reduce your potential payout.
Contact a law office like O'Connor Mikita & Davidson LLC for more information and assistance.