If you suffered injuries and damages in a slip and fall, you may wonder how to prove negligence in a personal injury case. Proving negligence is not always easy, however, it is absolutely necessary if you want to have a chance of recovering compensation from the negligent party.
You can potentially prove negligence if there was a defective or hazardous condition on the property and you suffered an accident and injuries as a result of this condition. However, you will need to prove the following elements with your claim:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty
- The breach caused your accident and injuries
- You have financial consequences resulting from the accident
While you may know that your accident is entirely the fault of a property owner, in order to recover compensation, you will have to prove this with tangible evidence. A slip and fall lawyer can investigate your accidental fall and help gather the evidence needed to prove your claim.
A property owner has the duty to maintain their premises to a reasonable standard and remedy any dangers in a timely manner. However, it can be challenging to prove the fault of the property owner. They will most likely argue that you had some or all of the fault in your accident. In order to prove a property owner’s negligence conclusively, you will have to prove that either:
- The property owner should have known of the dangerous or hazardous condition
- The owner or employee knew of the condition but did not fix it
- The owner caused the dangerous condition
Timing can be an important factor in slip and fall cases. If a dangerous condition existed for a while, for example, and a property owner took no steps to remedy or warn of the dangerous condition, you may have a claim.
Hazardous and Dangerous Conditions on a Property
There can be numerous hazardous or dangerous conditions on private or public property that could cause substantial injuries to visitors, such as:
- Cracked or broken flooring
- Wet floors
- Missing handrails
- Uneven steps
- insufficient lighting
- Loose rugs or mats
- Torn or bulging carpets
- Wet or waxed floors
- Potholes in parking lots or on sidewalks
- Ice or snow on sidewalks
- Obstacles that cause tripping
Property owners should use reasonable care and remove or fix any hazardous conditions. They can act by mopping up spills immediately, fixing broken flooring in a timely manner, and securing all potential tripping hazards. Not doing so can potentially render them liable if someone suffers harm.
Evidence in Slip and Fall Cases
In order to strengthen your slip and fall claim, you will have to provide clear and compelling evidence of a property owner’s negligence, as well as evidence of your injuries and financial losses. Some of the required evidence can include:
- Your medical records
- Medical bills
- Receipts of any out-of-pocket costs
- Accident or incident reports
- Witness statements
- Security camera footage
- Photographs of the hazardous condition
Injuries Commonly Seen in Slip and Fall Cases
Falls are dangerous events that can lead to serious and costly injuries. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics put the annual cost of slip and fall accidents at more than $50 billion. The injuries that lead to these expenses include:
- Incapacitating hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Debilitating concussions
- Mobility-limiting bone breaks and fractures
- Painful slipped or herniated discs
Many falls can also lead to spine and spinal cord injuries that create life-changing circumstances. At their current trajectory, accidental falls can be expected to cause a 30% increase in fatalities by the year 2030. If you were injured in a fall or if a family member was fatally injured, a personal injury lawyer can help you build a strong case for financial compensation against the at-fault property owner.
Mental and Emotional Injuries Related to Slip and Fall Cases
A slip and fall accident can lead to more than physical injuries. Depending on the cause of your fall, it can also leave you with:
- Depression and anxiety
- Fear of steps and stairwells
- Brain damage from a TBI
- Prolonged recovery times
- Loss of interest in preferred activities
You might also experience anxiousness about your job if your fall occurred at work. The psychological aftermath of your fall can lead to costly mental health care treatments. You can seek recovery for non-economic losses, along with your physical health care expenses.
Compensation Available in Slip and Fall Cases
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), falls are the third leading cause of unintentional deaths. If you suffered harm or a loved one passed away in a slip and fall accident, you could potentially receive a financial award, as long as you can prove that a negligent property owner, business, or government entity caused the accident.
However, this compensation will be dependent on the extent of your injuries. You should consult with a slip and fall accident lawyer for more detailed information regarding your case. However, some of the compensation you could pursue include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Miscellaneous costs relating to your injuries
You could potentially receive additional compensation, particularly if your injuries require extensive medical treatments or have long-lasting consequences for your health. Additional financial awards can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
This is by no means an exhaustive list and, depending on your claim, you could receive varying and additional compensation.
Explore Your Slip and Fall Case at No Cost
The first part of seeking compensation from an at-fault property owner is determining whether or not the circumstances of your fall meet your state’s definition of compensable negligence. To find out:
- Contact a local personal injury law firm
- Explain how and when you or a loved one fell
- Clarify the physical outcome of the fall
- Clarify the financial aftermath of the fall
- Ask questions about the potential of your case
Most law firms will review your case without charging a fee for this initial consultation. This review will provide you and the law firm with an opportunity to decide whether you are entitled to compensation and whether your case can move forward.
It Costs Nothing to Pursue Financial Compensation
In addition to a free review of your case, a personal injury law firm will also represent you on a contingency fee basis. What that means for you and your case is:
- You will not pay any upfront fees or expenses
- You will not add financial frustration to your current situation
- You eliminate the risk of an expired statute of limitations
- Your case gets the attention to detail it needs
- Your lawyer will absorb any costs related to your building case
Your regular bills will continue to come in even while your injuries prevent you from earning your usual income. By agreeing to a contingency arrangement, you provide your lawyer with a portion of your settlement as compensation. The law firm you select will explain additional and specific details about your case and its post-settlement fee structure.
We Will Fight for You
If you would like to know how to prove negligence in a slip and fall case, contact us. We believe that if someone else’s carelessness or recklessness caused your injuries, they, not you, should pay for the consequences and your losses.
Having a slip and fall lawyer by your side can give you reassurance and peace of mind. We can fight for your rights to compensation and work in your best interests whether that may be negotiating an out-of-court settlement or taking your case to court.
However, do not wait to get legal advice. Your state most likely has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which means that if you do not file your case within a certain timeframe, you may not be able to pursue any compensation. Do not risk losing your right to recovery.
Your Initial Consultation Is Always Free
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to determine whether you have a claim against a negligent property owner. Call one of our team members today at (800) 647-3113.