How Do You Prove a Slip and Fall?
In this post, we go over the elements of a slip and fall case. A slip and fall case fall can also be referred to as a premises liability matter. When a person slips and falls on another’s property, such as a grocery store, they will need to prove certain elements to be successful. Specifically, these elements are:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
- Proximate cause of injuries
If you can prove these elements, it is likely that you will be successful in your injury claim. A slip and fall lawyer from Johnson Law can analyze your case and your injury to determine if these elements can be proven. Read on below or call us now for a free consultation to see what your options are. We immediately connect you with an award-winning slip and fall attorney.
How To Prove A Slip and Fall Case
On a high level these are the steps taken to prove a slip and fall case. A personal injury lawyer can help you with this process. Establishing all of these items is vital to receiving a fair settlement in your accident case.
Establish "Duty of Care"
Businesses and professionals have various levels of "Duty of Care". The duty of care can depend on your status as a visitor. For example, a business invitee, licensee, or trespasser could be owed different levels of care by a property owner.
Establish "Breach of Duty"
Once you have established that there is a duty of care, you then must establish that that duty was breached. An example would be proving there were no warning signs around a known hazard. Taking photos of the scene of your injury is important in establishing a breach of the duty of care.
Establish the Breach of Duty as the Proximate Cause of Injuries
Once the breach of duty of care has been established, you must tie the injury to that breach of duty. An example would be surveillance footage showing you being injured by the unmarked hazard. Property owners rarely turn over video footage on their own and steps must be taken early on to preserve this important evidence.
Establish the Damages Caused
The amount that you can be compensated for depends on the damages caused by the negligence. This would include things like diagnosed injuries, medical bills, and wage loss. There are various types of damages in a personal injury matter.
What You Need To Prove
As stated above, there are elements that need to be established to prove a premises liability case. First, you must show there was a duty of care. Second, you must show that there was a breach in the duty of care. Third, you must show that the breach in the duty of care was proximate (the cause of) to the injury sustained. Finally, you must show the damages caused for which you deserve compensation.
Slip and Fall Case Example
Let's go over an example.
Imagine you are walking through the produce section of your grocery store. The store and produce section are both open to the general public. The store has a Duty of Care to fix or warn of any potential known risks for injury.
You are looking at the various pieces of fruit and vegetables, and don’t notice (and there’s no sign warning you of) the pool of water that has gathered where the worker was just watering the produce, the worker knew about the hazard, and the worker did not stop to clean it up. This is a breach of that duty.
As you walk over the pool of water you suddenly slip and fall. The fall breaks your knee on the hard flooring. This water was the proximate cause of your injury. In other words, the breach of their duty of care mostly caused your injury.
That knee injury now requires surgery and months of physical therapy. Your medical records document your treatment and recovery. This would show damages. There can be other examples of damages such as loss of income. This is a fairly straightforward example of a typical slip and fall case.
Slip and Fall Claim Denied
Unfortunately, as simple as this slip and fall case example sounds, it would likely be zealously defended by the insurance company. Often they will seek to paint the injured person as someone out for a quick buck, no matter how egregious the breach of duty or how serious the injuries are. A premises liability lawyer can fight back against the adjusters and seek to make you whole after an injury.
If you have been hurt on another’s property. Contact Johnson Law right away for a free consultation. You don't want to miss any deadlines or compensation you rightly deserve.