Human beings might fall due to accidents; mistakes are a part of human nature. It is how we learned to walk, run and even jump. As we grow up, we realize accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, and instead of crying, we move on.
However, not all accidents can be categorized as mistakes and cannot be written off. Some accidents occur due to the negligence of others. Sometimes it can be due to a property owner or the city officials. You are entitled to fair compensation if you fell because someone failed to fulfill their obligation. To get fair compensation, you will need a law firm like calillaw.com, which specializes in such cases.
Slip-and-fall claims and cases can get tricky because it is often difficult to prove negligence. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between pure slips and falls and accidents occurring due to the negligence of a third party. That is one of the reasons why it is advised to consult a law firm before pursuing such claims.
What Is Negligence? How is It Defined?
Negligence refers to the failure to behave reasonably to prevent harm to others. Simply put, if someone fails to act against a possible hazard even after understanding the situation, it can be deemed negligence. Different elements of this slip-and-fall claim include:
- Duty: Every landlord and apartment owner is obligated to fix, repair and maintain any hazards and issues that can harm the residents and visitors. They are legally bound to provide and ensure a safe environment for visitors and residents.
- Breach of duty: If the landlord or the property owner fails to take care of any possible hazards reasonably, it is said to be a breach of duty and can be found negligent.
- Causation: Proving that their negligence directly caused your slip and fall and thus led to all the physical, emotional and mental damages.
- Damages: This includes all the injuries suffered by you due to the slip and fall that occurred due to the third party’s negligence.
Documentation And Providing Proof
In slip-and-fall claims, the liability of proof often rests on the prosecution. So it is important to document the event and provide proof to support the claim. The most commonly used proofs in slip and fall claims include :
Video and photo evidence: It is important to gather any photo, video or CCTV evidence to establish the chain of events and to prove the cause of your fall.
Eyewitness Statements: Since these accidents do not often occur at places with cameras, eyewitness statements are your next best bet to establish and prove the cause of your fall.
Accidental Reports: In all cases, once the event is reported, police or paramedics create an accident report; this can help support your claim.
Medical Records: Medical records help you establish that all the injuries are sustained during this fall; this is essential in proving damages and causation.
Bills, Receipts, and Other proofs of incurred expenses: To be fairly compensated, all the damages incurred to you must be properly recognized and documented. This will help get you a fair claim for the slip and fall.
Duty Of Care Vs Negligence Vs Liability
In several cases, the property owner might have failed to fulfill their obligation, but he might not have directly committed negligence. In such cases, negligence can be proved against the third-party contractors, other visitors, employees or manufacturers. Identifying and filing claims against the apt negligent party is important for a successful slip-and-fall claim.
In most cases, the liability often rests with either :
- The property owner
- Third-Party businesses
- Third-party manufacturers
In situations where slip and fall occur within business premises, liability often directly falls into the hands of the business owner. At the same time, if third-party contractors were working on modification or renovation within the premises, the liability falls to the third-party contractor.
Theory Of Liability For Proving Negligence
There are mainly two common theories used for proving liability and establishing negligence. This includes:
- The negligent party was aware and should have been aware of the possible hazard and never took any steps to fix or eradicate the hazard.
- The accused caused the hazard and failed to address and fix the issue before the slip and fall occurred.
Common Cause Of Slip And Fall
To start a successful slip and fall claim for negligence, it is essential to know the cause of your fall. This will come in handy later on while proving negligence. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall include :
- Standing Rainwater
- Uneven Floors
- Broken Steps
Commonly Used Defenses Against Negligence
During such cases, insurance companies and property answers often raise several defenses to put partial blame on you. Knowing these common defenses can help you file and claim a suitable settlement for the damages. These defenses include :
- You have trespassed on the property
- You were looking at your mobile phone at the time of the accident
- Warning signs were placed in well-lit locations, and you failed to recognize them.
It is important to ratify their defense and rectify the arguments properly and successfully; documenting the accident environment, signposting, and cause of the accident is quite important. This can help you defend against their claims and prove your side of the story.
It is often difficult to prove slip and fall claims and win in court, mainly due to accidents. But slip-and-fall claims can get you a fair settlement with the help of a good law firm and proper documentation and evidence.
Due to the nature and difficulty, it is always advisable to be aware of the surroundings; the property owners should put up signs when maintenance works are carried out and even when the floor is wet. A small signposting, repair work or renovation can differentiate between being negligent and being a good, responsible landlord or a property owner. These minor differences often help you avoid a lawsuit.