Premises Liability Law
Slip and fall accidents and injuries fall under the legal category of premise liability. This is because slip and fall incidents generally occur on someone else’s property. Many of these events occur in a business setting because the owner did not properly maintain the area. Some examples include:
- Damaged driveways, paths or walkways leading to the business. Including sidewalks that have shifted and potholes in any of these areas.
- Unmarked danger zones, such as a failure to post wet floor signs, notifying the public of uneven flooring or payment and potholes.
- Improperly maintained stairways, including missing or broken handrails. A failure to install slip-resistant coverings on stairs would also qualify.
- Missing or inadequate lighting in walking areas and stairwells.
- Failure to keep walkways free of clutter or debris that make maneuvering difficult.
Examples of Slip and Fall Cases
There are some unique defenses that defendants may try to utilize in order to pardon themselves from liability in a slip and fall cases. It can be tricky to prove slip and fall claims. For example, a failure to provide the dimensions of a slippery floor or the length of time in which the condition had existed prior to the plaintiff’s fall could result in a judge dismissing the claim.
Damages that you might not expect in a slip and fall claim could include becoming depressed following the incident or head trauma that led to a change in personality. Each of these examples can occur in slip and fall accidents and be eligible for compensation if the property owner is shown to be negligent.
How do Slip and Fall Cases Work?
Every state has what is called a “Statute of Limitations” which places a time limit on how long after a person has to file a claim. If a victim does not file a claim within this time frame, he or she may be waiving the right to have a court hear the case and recover compensation.
Comparative negligence is a legal term that is often used in personal injury cases concerning slip and fall accidents. This is to determine the percentage of fault that rests on the plaintiff and the percentage that rests with the defendant. This means the amount of damages a plaintiff is awarded will be reduced by their percentage of fault for the accident. If the court determines the plaintiff was at least 50% responsible for their accident, they are not eligible to receive any compensation.
Establishing Liability With Evidence in a Slip & Fall
The evidence in a slip and fall case varies depending on the type of accident that occured. Some important pieces of evidence that you should always try to collect include:
- The clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the incident
- Photographs of your injuries and of the object or dangerous condition that caused the accident
- Any surveillance footage
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Accident report
Liability in a slip and fall case typically rests on the owner of the property on which the accident occured, either a private, commercial or government entity. However, you must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent and the accident could have been avoided.
Slip and fall cases are resolved based on a number of factors that are unique to each case. The experienced slip and fall attorneys at the law firm of Panter, Panter and Sampedro understand the complexity of determining fault and collecting evidence in these scenarios. Call today for a free consultation to discover how we can help.