How Do You Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere. Yet, they will not all result in a successful claim for monetary compensation. If you have fallen on another person’s property, your ability to hold the owner liable for your injuries will depend on the facts of your case.
Slip and fall accidents often boil down to how a property owner responds to a hazard on their premises. If they failed to address a danger in a reasonable amount of time, the New York City slip and fall lawyers from our team might be able to help you hold them accountable.
Common factors in slip and fall accidents
Understanding negligence in a slip and fall accident starts with how this happens. The factors that go into causing a fall can vary dramatically. Some of them are man-made, while others arise due to inclement weather. The way that a court might hold a property owner responsible can differ depending on the cause of the fall—which might include:
- Accumulated snow and ice
- Loose carpet
- Broken steps or handrails
- Spilled drinks
- Loose extension cords
- Bunched rugs
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Abandoned wells
Addressing these hazards or at least warning a visitor of their existence can impact a claim dramatically.
Establishing Liability for a Slip and Fall Claim
You will only succeed if you can show the owner was negligent. This typically results from a failure to address a hazard in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, it can also involve an individual who created dangerous conditions on their property—and didn’t post warning signs.
In all instances, the plaintiff must show that the defendant:
- Had a duty of care over the premises making them responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property,
- Was aware of the dangerous slip and fall hazard or should have known about it,
- Had a reasonable amount of time to address it, and
- Failed to do so.
Many of these claims will depend on what the court finds reasonable. For example, a court might give more leeway to a business owner who fails to prevent a fall due to a spilled drink. They might not be as lenient if it remained on the floor for eight hours before it caused a fall.
How to prove your case
While success in a slip and fall claim is never guaranteed, the steps you take after could dramatically improve your chances. Your claim will benefit from as much evidence as possible. This could include photographs, witness testimony, or even a sample of the substance that caused you to fall.
It is also important how you interact with the property owner. You should notify them as soon as a fall occurs. If this accident happens at a business, you should file an accident report. Most companies open to the public have a form they can provide.
You should also take note of your surroundings. Were there witnesses? Were there signs warning you of the condition you failed to see?
Contact us at Douglas and London today
While the steps you take to prove a slip and fall claim are important, your choice of an attorney is possibly the most significant factor. At Douglas and London, our New York City personal injury lawyers have years of experience taking on these claims. We look forward to discussing your claim at your free, no-obligation case evaluation.