Slip and fall claims can be difficult to bring, but essential to recovering much-needed compensation for what can be very serious injuries. The key to a successful slip and fall claim really lies at the heart of personal injury liability. This is the legal theory of negligence. If you can successfully prove that a party was negligent, then you will be legally entitled to damages. So, how do you prove negligence in a slip and fall case? We’ll talk about this in more detail here.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?
Property owners and managers have a duty to maintain their premises in a way that makes it reasonably safe to visitors. This means a reasonable standard of care is imposed upon property owners and any potential dangers on a property must be remedied in a timely manner. In order to successfully assert that a property owner was negligent, there are several elements within the negligence claim that must be satisfied. These elements include
- Demonstrating that the property owner owed you a duty of care;
- Proving that the property owner breached this duty of care;
- Showing that the breach of the duty of care caused the slip and fall that led to your injuries; and
- Supporting the fact that you have damages as a direct result of the slip and fall.
This may seem simple enough to satisfy when you look at it in this clearly laid-out list, but it can be difficult to do in reality. Showing that a property owner breached his or her duty of care, for instance, can prove problematic on a number of levels. Sometimes an injured party may try to show this by asserting that the property owner knew or should have known of a dangerous property condition and did not fix it or that the property owner himself or herself caused the dangerous condition. Think of the reality of how you can prove actual knowledge or prove that someone should have known something. It seems, difficult, right? Fortunately, such things can be supported by proof of scheduled maintenance and cleaning checks of the property, among other ways. For instance, if you can prove that the dangerous condition exited on the property for an extended length of time, this may show that the owner should have known about the danger and taken steps to either remedy the danger or, at least, provide adequate warning of the dangerous condition.
On top of the difficulties in proving negligence, there will also be defenses asserted to weaken or negate your claim. For instance, it is fairly common for property owners to assert that they should not be held liable for slip and fall damages because the injury victim was at least partially, or totally, at fault in causing the accident. To strengthen your slip and fall claim and to guard against such arguments, you will need as much evidence as possible for your claim to withstand such challenges. Critical pieces of evidence can include
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Accident reports
- Witness statements
- Photos of the scene and hazardous condition
- Security camera footage
New York City Personal Injury Attorney
Attorney Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. has the knowledge and experience that can make the difference in successfully pursuing slip and fall claims. He is here to fight for your right to full and fair compensation for your slip and fall injuries. Contact our office today.