Picture this: you’re walking through a store, slip in a spill, and boom! You fall smack down on the hard floor. A slip and fall accident may bruise a lot more than your pride; broken tailbones, sprained wrists, and even concussions are common injuries after taking a tumble.
Your injuries can keep you from working, result in a long, painful recovery, and leave you in chronic physical or emotional pain.
If you fell while on someone else’s property, whether outdoors on an icy sidewalk or inside, tripping over an uneven surface, or slipping on a spill that wasn’t cleaned up, you likely retained the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.
They can help you recoup the cost of treating your injuries and the time you missed at work in a premises liability lawsuit. But to win your case, your slip and fall lawyer has to prove a few things.
Establishing Responsibility for Your Accident
The first step in proving a premises liability claim is establishing that the accident was someone else’s fault. This doesn’t necessarily mean that another party wanted you to get hurt, just that they created the conditions that allowed you to get hurt.
There are a couple of ways your Providence, RI, slip and fall injury lawyer can prove fault or negligence. The first is to show that the property owner caused a dangerous condition on the property, and it was reasonably foreseeable that someone could slip or trip and fall.
The second way would be to prove that the property owner should have known about a dangerous condition on the property and rectified it so no one would fall, but they failed to do so.
An example of the first method would be if a property owner installed a slippery marble floor known to cause slips and falls. Your lawyer may prove that a reasonable person would know that this type of floor is unsafe for walking.
An example of the second may be a property owner who failed to have a wet spill cleaned up promptly, leaving a puddle on the floor that someone could slip in and fall.
How to Prove a Property Owner Failed to Fix a Hazard
Some cases of proving fault in a slip and fall case can be tricky. Your lawyer would need to prove that a reasonable person would have noticed the problems on the property and would also have known that the damage could cause someone to get hurt.
Then, your lawyer would have to prove that the property owner failed to fix the hazard promptly, either by cleaning up a spill, fixing the property, or making a correction for safety, like installing hand railings on stairs.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall
Sometimes, the business owner is liable for the slip and fall. The owner or manager of a business or other public spaces has a duty of care to provide a safe place for visitors. If they fail in that duty of care, they’re liable for your injuries.
However, in other cases, a third party is responsible for your accident. For example, if the property is being renovated, and the construction crew leaves debris on a walkway and you trip over it, they would be responsible, not necessarily the property owner.
Identifying the cause of your fall usually also indicates the party or parties responsible.
Establishing Slip and Fall Liability
Winning your premises liability suit involves successfully identifying the party that caused your accident and proving that they did not fulfill their duty of care to keep you and other visitors safe while on the property.
However, sometimes these cases can be tricky; a personal injury law firm in Providence, RI, like the Law Offices of William M. Kolb, has the resources and experience you need to prove your claim.