Having an accident is a difficult experience to endure. Depending on the type of injury, many accidents can leave you worried about your medical and financial future. This is especially true with slip and fall injuries.
If you have encountered a slip and fall accident, you may have legal recourse. There are several factors that determine whether legal actions are possible and required. While having a lawyer can help you determine if your accident constitutes this legal action, knowing a few key properties of slip and fall accidents can also help.
Read on to learn all about these types of accidents and what you need to determine if legal action is right for you.
On the surface, this type of accident is fairly self-explanatory. A slip and fall accident includes any kind of accident where someone loses their footing and falls to the ground. Injuries related to these accidents can range from minor bruising to broken bones.
While the physical experience of a slip and fall accident are easy to recognize, under the eyes of the law, things aren’t as simple. The most difficult legal area is determining liability and fault. While some accidents just happen on their own, other accidents are the direct result of someone else’s negligence.
A slip and fall injury constitutes legal action if it can be proven that someone is responsible for the accident. The location of the accident will determine who might be potentially responsible for costs and damages.
Most often, cases involving slip and fall accidents focus on the property owner during legal action. The most common argument is that the owner failed to prevent the accident or was directly responsible.
Proving responsibility on the part of the property owner can be a difficult task. There are many different factors that go into figuring out whether the accident was preventable or not. More than that, it could be a challenge to determine what kind of responsibility the property owner had towards the injured.
The responsibility of a property owner is towards the people who use or live on the property. In theory, this means that a property owner is responsible for all the potential harms and mishaps that may affect other people.
In reality, however, all property owners are only human. Like anyone else, they are bound to make mistakes or miss certain dangers on their properties. More than that, there are certain things that fall beyond their awareness or control that the law may recognize.
Any legal action during a slip and fall case will try to determine how much responsibility the property owner has and whether or not they had the ability to prevent the accident in the first place.
Another important thing that constitutes a slip and fall accident is the responsibility of the individual. While it is difficult to blame the victim, the truth is, there are certain times where the individual’s own negligence or actions resulted in the accident in the first place.
For example, many slip and fall accidents happen due to a person’s personal carelessness. Whether they weren’t watching where they were going or were doing something in an unsafe manner, these accidents can happen without much effort.
As a result, it is important to rule out any personal responsibility during the accident. If you were injured and personally feel that you were doing everything safely and correctly, then you may have a good case to bring legal action against a property owner.
In order to demonstrate your accident constitutes a slip and fall incident, there are a few different scenarios for liability that you may have to prove. In particular, these scenarios include:
You don’t necessarily need to prove every single liability scenario, but at least one will be required to make a good case. The first scenario can be difficult to prove since it relies on trying to determine whether the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition in the first place.
All liability claims come with the expectation that all the actions taken or not taken were reasonable given the circumstances. In other words, the law isn’t going to expect a property owner or the victim to have acted out of the ordinary in order to know about or prevent the dangerous condition.
Reasonableness is a vague term that requires legal interpretation and arguing. This means that you or a lawyer have to argue what was reasonable in your particular circumstances. This is going to depend on any number of things related to the time, place, and situation your accident occurred in.
For example, a judge may ask how long the dangerous condition was present before your accident. If the condition happened a day or two before, a judge is likely to consider the presence of that condition to be reasonable. However, if it had existed for weeks beforehand, they will likely rule in your favor.
The easiest way to determine reasonableness is to simply think about how normal people would’ve acted in the situation. What is normal to expect a property owner to know about and handle? What is normal for you and your actions in that particular situation?
A lawyer will be necessary to ensure you have the best chance to make your case for a slip and fall incident. An accident only constitutes a slip and fall incident if there’s someone like a property owner to hold responsible, and they acted unreasonably in regards to that responsibility. A lawyer will know if your case meets these requirements and will be able to take the necessary action.