Who’s to Blame in the Common Slip and Fall Case?
Accidents happen, but sometimes they are the result of negligence. When an accident could have been avoided, questions of who’s to blame arise. Finding fault in a slip and fall case is not always easy but there are some key factors that play into determining if who is responsible.
Proving Negligence and Liability
In order to hold someone responsible for your injury, you must be able to prove one of two things. First you must prove that the property owner or employee should have recognized the dangerous condition where you suffered your injury and then removed or repaired the damage, but they did not. You can also prove that the property owner or their employee actually caused the damage and did not repair it or warn people of the danger. In these cases the damage must be identified as as hazardous by a reasonable person.
In order to hold someone else liable for your injury, you must be able to prove that they were truly negligent and that they failed to act reasonably prudent. When trying to decide whether the defendant acted responsibly, these are some things you should consider:
- Did the hazardous condition or obstacle exist long enough that a reasonable property owner or employee could have taken action to eliminate the hazard?
- Did the property owner or employee have a policy of routinely checking for potential hazards on the property, and if so, is there some sort of log or other record of whether the procedure was followed immediately before the accident?
- Was there a reasonable justification for the creation of the potential hazard? And if so, did this justification still exist at the time of the slip or fall?
- Could the hazardous condition have been made less dangerous through preventive measures such as relocating the hazard, placing adequate warning signage in the area, or preventing access to the location?
- Was poor lighting or limited visibility a factor in causing the slip and fall?