What Needs to Be Proven to Win a Slip and Fall Case?
If you have recently been involved in a slip and fall accident, you likely have many questions. Luckily, the dedicated team at The Henry Law Firm are available to guide and assist you through the process. Did you know that approximately one million reported slip and fall injuries each year that require hospital treatment in North America? The likelihood of you falling and hurting yourself increases with each decade of life.
Most slip and fall accidents occur with those aged 65 and older, but individuals at any age can be involved in a slip and fall accident. Slip and fall accidents are also one of the leading causes of workers’ compensation claims and are the primary source of occupational injury for people who are older than 55.
This article explores a few questions you might require answers to, such as what must be proven to win a slip and fall case.
What Is a Slip and Fall Claim?
Usually, the term “slip and fall” is utilized for a personal injury case when someone has slipped or tripped and has injured themselves on someone else’s property. In many instances, a slip and fall claim will fall within the broader premise liability claims category. Should you have slipped and fallen at a property owned or maintained by someone other than yourself and have injured yourself, the property owner may be legally responsible for your injuries.
Yet, accidents happen, and not every type of slip and fall case on someone else’s property can result in a compensation claim. That’s why you must speak to one of our attorneys as they can guide you and teach you everything you need to know.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
In Ohio, there are quite a few common causes of slip and fall accidents. Knowing these causes will help you establish if you could potentially have a viable slip and fall claim. So before we have a closer look into what must be proven when proceeding with a slip and fall case, we should look at the common causes:
- Food or liquids that have spilled
- Loose carpeting or tiles.
- Loose floorboards
- Uneven surfaces
- Areas that have been poorly lit
- Decks, stairs, and balconies that have been poorly maintained
- Loose handrails or areas without handrails that should have them
- Holes or cracks in sidewalks and pavements
Four Things You Need to Prove to Win Your Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall cases can be complicated and challenging to navigate. They can also be hard to prove. If you want a successful claim, it would be best to consider working with a slip and fall attorney, as they can work alongside you to prove your accident was not your fault.
Below we have broken down what you will need to prove by providing a summary. We have also gone into brief detail about the key points surrounding proving liability and negligence. In addition to this, we also looked at the points that will determine if you might be partly or wholly responsible for the slip and fall accident that caused your injuries:
- The property owner where you slipped and fell and hurt yourself owed you a duty of care.
- The property owner knew about the endangerment situation or should have known there was a hazard.
- The property owner did not fix the hazard or warn you about it.
- You sustained injuries due to this hazard.
Proving Liability and Negligence
When you are trying to claim compensation for a slip and fall accident that caused you injuries, you need to prove the property owner had a duty of care. They breached that duty by allowing a dangerous condition to exist, and the dangerous condition caused your fall. You will need to prove that the property owner did not act as a reasonable owner should – negligence is a failure to act reasonably.
For example, the property owner knew about the hazard that caused your injury leading up to your accident but did not fix it. Another example would be when a property owner did not make a hazardous situation less dangerous by instating preventative measures such as using appropriate danger signage.
Proving the Accident Was Not Your Fault
Generally, you need to prove that the slip and fall accident was not your fault or was only partially your fault. You need to do this to initiate and attain a fair settlement during a slip and fall case. Many insurance companies and property owners will argue that you are partially or fully responsible for your slip and fall accident. This type of argument is made based on the legal concept of comparative negligence or contributory negligence. In Ohio, comparative negligence is followed.
This means that the compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault. If you are not found to be at fault, you will receive all damages owed to you in your slip and fall case.
However, if your share of the blame is more than 51 percent, Ohio laws will bar you from recovering any compensation. Below we have given a few questions that a lawyer will evaluate to determine if you could be partly or wholly responsible for your slip and fall accident:
- Did you engage in an activity that could have prevented you from noticing a hazard, and an otherwise reasonable person would have recognized this hazard? Activities that could have done this include texting and talking on your phone while walking – or being in a hurry.
- Did you fail to adhere to or ignore warning signs and other safety measures put in place for your safety? Examples of this could be walking on wet floors that have a sign not to do so and taking stairs that are broken.
- Did you have permissible access to the area where your slip and fall accident occurred or was there a legitimate reason for you to be in that area? An example of this would be trespassing on private property.
Evidence Needed to Prove a Slip and Fall Accident
If you want to win a slip and fall case, you also need to quickly collect as much evidence as you can to present it to your lawyer. Fortunately, if you work with our team, you will be able to help you gather the evidence you need to build a winning slip and fall case.
- All correspondence between you and the party you deem to be at fault
- Photographic evidence of the injuries that you sustained in your slip and fall accident
- Any surveillance footage of the accident
- Photos of the location where your accident happened
- All your medical records, including medical certificates and X-rays
- Your descriptions of lost wages
- All statements and contact details you were able to get from witnesses
Contact an Ohio Slip and Fall Attorney Today
When you have sustained minor or major injuries due to a slip and fall accident, it’s crucial to consider speaking with an Ohio lawyer who understands the proceeding associated with slip and fall cases. At The Henry Law Firm, we have the experience required and the legal know-how of what needs to be proven for you to build and win a case.
With our expertise, you stand a better chance of gaining the compensation you deserve. Attaining fair and just compensation will allow you to focus on your recovery while we handle all your legal needs. To speak with our trusted lawyer, contact us today.