10 Apr WHY YOU NEED STRONG EVIDENCE FOR A SLIP AND FALL CLAIM
Posted By Gruenberg Kelly Della || 10-Apr-2019
When you slip and fall, whether it be in a grocery store aisle or on a real estate property tour, you can sustain serious and lasting injuries. Because of a principle called premises liability, the building’s proprietor will most likely be the party liable for covering your injuries. However, as simple as this may sound, the truth is that slip and fall cases take strong evidence to prove.
At Gruenberg Kelly Della, our skilled personal injury team can help you seek the damages you need after a serious accident. We know how difficult it can be to recover from slip and fall injuries, and we’re committed to pursuing the compensation required for your medical bills, time off work, and other expenditures.
Before you get started, though, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind about negligence and slip and fall claims.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Claim
The legal concept of “negligence” applies in all personal injury lawsuits, and the basic idea is that an individual or organization had to fail some essential “duty of care” towards you, the plaintiff. No matter if it’s running a red light and causing an accident, or failing to operate on the right organ during surgery, certain kinds of failures can make someone liable for your injuries. This is because there was an act of wrongdoing, unintentional or otherwise, on their part.
The same is true in a slip and fall case, but the duty of care is often less clear than in other kinds of personal injury cases. For one thing, building proprietors don’t owe every visitor the same duty: If you were trespassing during the accident, for instance, you may not be able to get any coverage for your injuries at all.
For another thing, you will need to clearly demonstrate that the negligent party actually knew about the slip and fall hazard prior to your fall, and that it was a severe enough hazard to justify a prompt and careful response. As an example, if you were to slip on a single grape in a grocery store aisle, you would be hard-pressed to show that the staff noticed it, or that they knew the risks would be so severe.
Here are some of the things you’ll need to prove to establish negligence:
- That the proprietor or negligent individual knew about the hazard. This is often the most difficult part of the process, as it requires clear and unequivocal evidence that the individual was told about the hazard. Your attorney may have to comb through many eyewitness accounts, emails, phone calls, and meeting minutes to find that hard evidence.
- That the hazard would pose an injury threat to the average person. Although some people are more vulnerable to threats (also called “eggshell plaintiffs”), the cause of your accident has to be an immediately apparent threat to the average person. It sounds intuitive enough, but the defendant will often claim that the hazard was only a threat to the unwary.
- That the proprietor or negligent individual failed to act on their knowledge. Usually, if the proprietor or employees failed to warn people, there will be no hard evidence to bring forward. This leaves room for the defendant to claim that they did, in fact, try to fix the problem — even if no one documented it. The best defense to this is obtaining eyewitness testimony.
- That you sustained life-threatening or catastrophic injuries as a result of that failure. You would think that serious injuries speak for themselves, and yet many personal injury cases hinge on this exact claim. To effectively prove that you needed urgent medical care, request a copy of your full medical record, and note the time between your accident and the first time you got care.
Dedicated Advocates for Your Rights
Even if it can be difficult to prove a slip and fall claim, you deserve compensation and a chance at full recovery after your losses. Our seasoned Long Island attorneys at Gruenberg Kelly Della are caring and committed, and we pursue every case as if it were our only one. By searching relentlessly for the signs of negligence in your case, we’ll go above and beyond to ensure that your truth is heard.
Call (888) 305-6372 today for a free initial consultation!