How to Prove Fault in Slip and Fall Claims

Broken Step May Be Liablity

Slip and fall personal injury claims can be very complex because there may be multiple parties legally responsible (liable) for injuries.

As with all personal injury claims, liability is at the heart of slip and fall claims. In order to “win,” your lawyer must be able to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries and that the defendant was negligent. In order for liability to be proven in a slip and fall claim, the injured party must show one of the following:

  • A property owner (or employee) should have recognized a dangerous condition and repaired or removed the potential danger but failed to do so.
  • A property owner (or employee) actually caused the dangerous condition that lead to the slip and fall injury, and it was reasonably foreseeable that someone would be injured.

It can be difficult to recover compensation in a slip and fall claim because insurance companies often try to place the blame for the slip and fall on the injured person. An experienced premises liability attorney will know how to fight insurance companies that are trying to pay out the bare minimum (or nothing at all). Your lawyer’s goal will be to prove that the other party is responsible so you can recover the compensation you deserve.

Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Cases

Proving fault in premises liability cases is not always clear cut, and because the water can be murky in a slip and fall claim, many people don’t know how to pursue one or even whether they’re justified in pursuing a claim against a negligent property owner. By following the suggestions here, you will provide your attorney information he’ll need to start building your case.

File an accident report: As soon as the slip and fall occurs, and as soon as you’re physically able to, file an accident report. If your fall occurred at a place of business, you must notify the business owner or manager immediately. Most large companies have accident reporting forms on site, so ask for one right away.

Many slip and fall claims fail because the injured party waited too long to report the incident. Even waiting until the next day may be too long, so please don’t delay. If the business manager or employee tells you there is no accident report form to fill out, you must document everything that happened related to the incident and contact a lawyer immediately. Even if you feel you are not injured or only sustained minor injuries, please take the accident report seriously as those minor injuries may become worse over time.

Collect witness information. It’s very important to collect contact information for any person who may have witnessed your fall. Witness testimony is crucial in slip and fall cases, especially if you fall in a location that is not covered by security cameras. Keep in mind that it will be your word against the business owner or manager, so the more credible witness testimony you have, the better your case.

Evidence of injury. It’s imperative to document any injuries sustained in the slip and fall. Keep the clothing and shoes you wore at the time of the accident separate from your other stuff as those items may provide valuable proof of what happened. A business owner may claim that your pants were too long or that your shoes were untied, and these things led to a fall instead of a slippery floor or debris. Take copious notes about the fall, your injuries, and the surrounding area while it’s all fresh in your mind. Be sure to keep track of all medical appointments and treatment related to any injuries you sustained in your slip and fall.

Video footage. Security camera footage and even personal phone video can help your case. You know that people will record anything they find interesting these days, so if you fall in a large public place, someone may have filmed the whole thing. Most stores have video footage of inside and outside the premises, and this video footage can certainly help prove your claim. You have every right to ask for copies of the camera footage at the time of your accident, and if you’re given the run around by the store owner or manager, be sure to let your lawyer know this immediately, also. Most stores do not keep video footage very long, so you want to act quickly before any footage to help prove fault disappears.

Who May be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall?

The following parties may be liable in a slip and fall injury claim:

  • Property owner
  • Property manager
  • Employee
  • HOA (homeowners association)
  • Rental company
  • County, city, state, or federal agency (sidewalks, parks, courthouses, etc.)

Property owners and operators owe a duty of care to people who come onto their property, and when the property is a business, the owners owe the highest duty of care because people come onto their property by unspoken invitation. It is the property owner’s duty to make sure the building and surrounding areas are clean, neat, safe, and secure for their business invitees. If you’ve been injured, talk to an attorney about your slip and fall injury claim.

Lynn Fugaro About Lynn Fugaro

Lynn has been writing web content since 2007 after a lengthy career as a middle school English teacher and administrator. Writing web content seemed a natural progression following a career teaching adolescents about the beauty and the power of the written word, and she quickly got hooked on the challenge of writing SEO- and reader-friendly content that could be found on Page 1 of Google and other search engines.

Having written content for physicians and attorneys for the first few years of her writing career, Lynn has most recently produced original, informative, entertaining, and relevant content for the entertainment industry, the automotive industry, senior communities, pet rescues and numerous other businesses hoping to increase website traffic and page views for all clients looking for informative, vibrant content.