If you need help with a slip and fall case, an experienced Fort Lauderdale slip and fall injury attorney at VG Law Group can help. Call today and schedule a free consultation.
Accidents can happen anytime and any place – even on other people’s properties. And when they do, the risk of an injury is always a real possibility. If you have been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of another person or party, you may be eligible to receive full compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
But, the big question is this: what do you have to prove to actually receive the compensation? In the following article, we will take a closer look at some of the most important elements of proving a slip and fall injury.
It makes no difference if you are pursuing a settlement from an insurance provider or filing litigation for personal injury, you will need to show the proof. This means you must have evidence that the damages and injuries were because of carelessness in the actions or inactions of another person or party.
The main questions you will have to ask in a slip and fall injury case are:
- Who are the liable persons or parties?
- Did the negligence of these parties cause the accident or fail to prevent the accident?
The victim of a slip and fall injury will also need to consider anticipation and preparation. This will be essential in proving that the injuries were not caused by their own carelessness.
Liability in Slip and Fall Injury Cases
For another party to be held responsible for the injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, there are some important things the victim must prove:
The property manager, owner, or agent should have been aware of the possible dangers.
The person in charge of the safety of the location should be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations. This could include an uneven walkway, oil spill, open manhole, unlighted corridor, or other hazardous circumstances on their property. If an accident happens before these situations are addressed, they will be liable for the damages or injuries sustained.
The point to argue is that a reasonable person would react to seeing the potential danger by making accidents impossible to happen by eliminating the risks, and that the person had more than enough time and opportunity to do so.
The property owner, agent, or employee actually caused the danger.
The victim could also conclude that the defendant caused the accident by creating a dangerous situation. This could include leaving hazardous materials in public access, not using proper warning signs, etc.
Proving Carelessness and Accountability
You will typically hear the word ‘reasonable’ being used in a slip and fall accident settlement negotiation. For the defendant to be liable for the injuries sustained in such a case, it is necessary to prove that they failed to act as a reasonable person would in the same situation.
With this in mind, some important factors must be proven:
- The situation that caused the accident existed long enough for the property manager or agent to eliminate the danger.
- The employees, agents, or managers had some sort of process or system in place to inspect the location for these risks. In such a situation, there should be a record of this process and how soon it happened before the accident took place.
- There was a sensible and justifiable reason that this potential danger was in place at this moment. The next question is if the justification was present before or after the accident took place.
- Could limited visibility or low light conditions play a role in the situation that occurred?
- Was there any way the dangerous situation could have been mitigated by placing warning signs, moving hazardous materials, or any other action?
Proving You Did Not Cause the Accident
In most injury claims, the defendant will do their best to take the responsibility from themselves and shift it to the victim. Slip and fall injury cases are no exception. Property owners and the insurance providers they work for will always try to shift blame to the victim. They will try to say that the victim either caused the accident themselves or could have prevented the injuries in some way.
These arguments are made under the concept of “comparative fault” and some states have taken this a step further with comparative and contributory negligence laws. These laws are very different depending on the state you are in, and the amount of fault a victim shares in the accident will affect how much compensation they can hope to recover for their injuries.
In a state that applies contributory fault laws, the accident victim will not be eligible for any compensation if they have any share of blame in the accident.
States that follow laws of comparative negligence will reduce the compensation awarded to the victim by the percentage of fault held by the victim regarding the accident. In other words, if compensation for the injuries sustained was set at $50,000, but the victim was found to share 10% of the blame, they would only collect $45,000.
How can blame be assigned to a victim? Here are some of the points the courts will examine when deciding this point:
- Why was the victim in this hazardous area where the accident occurred? Was there a sensible reason the victim placed themselves in harm’s way?
- Was the victim engaged in any mental or physical activities that prevented them from understanding the hazards?
- Had all safety measures been implemented and every effort made to avoid this problem?
If these points can be established by the defense, the victim’s legal representation will be able to claim that the victim’s own carelessness caused the accident and injuries. This greatly reduces the chances of winning compensation.
Get in Touch With a Slip and Fall Injury Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
As you can see, the details and complexities of even a minor slip and fall injury case require experience and skills to fully understand. Our lawyers are veterans with many years of experience in these matters. They can apply their expertise to getting you the most favorable outcome for your case.
We offer you a FREE consultation so we can review the specifics of your case from a professional legal standpoint. We can then provide you with direction and advice on how you can get the compensation you are due. Call 1-833-HELP-365 today to schedule your consultation with our personal injury law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.