Slip and fall is the most common type of accident there is. While you don’t usually pursue the matter if it’s mainly due to your carelessness, that’s not the case if the accident is purely the result of the property owner’s negligence. Examples include lack of signage for a wet floor or the presence of slippery objects that should’ve been taken care of by the staff long ago.
However, there’s no surefire method of determining who’s liable for the incident, as usual in many accidents. After all, it might be that you’re simply not watching where you’re going.
Of course, seeking help from an agent from a law firm is an option, but there are a few things you can do or use to prove fault in a slip and fall accident.
Common Scenarios Of A Slip And Fall Accident
When proving fault in a slip and fall accident, your main goal is to ensure that the property owner, or at least an employee of theirs, played a significant role in the accident. Two common scenarios in a slip and fall accident include the following:
- The property owner or an employee of theirs caused the problem (e.g., spilling liquid on the floor, dropping dangerous objects, removing necessary signage).
- The property owner or their employee knew about the root of the problem, but did nothing to eliminate or at least minimize the chances of an accident.
Unfortunately, unless you took some measures to preserve the scene, it can be tricky to prove that it’s the property owner’s fault, especially since they can lie or feign ignorance of the cause of the accident. However, with the following tips, the process should become a lot easier:
- Take A Photo Of The Scene
Since judges and juries mainly use their common sense when determining which party is liable in an accident, a photo would go a long way in proving your case. So, the first thing you need to do after the accident, besides seeking medical attention, is to take a photo of the scene.
You want to capture any and all information that may prove to be helpful in the proceedings. These include the area where you slipped or fell, or any object that may be related to the accident. It would also help if you can include the lighting in the photo, especially since limited visibility may have played a massive part in causing the accident.
However, remember that photos won’t be enough to prove that the property owner is at fault. At the very least, you can only prove that your case is, indeed, valid.
After all, who’s to say that the property owners were already planning on taking care of the problem, and you just happened to be unlucky and got into an accident beforehand? You need to gather more information in that case, and you can do so by asking the staff.
- Ask Nearby Employees
Aside from the property owner, employees would know the property best. They’d know how the owner examines the area and if the owner is genuinely doing their best to minimize the possibility of slip and fall accidents. On that note, you’d want to ask the employees a few questions.
Did the owner know about the problem? Were they planning on fixing it? Does the owner regularly check for obstacles that may lead to an accident?
These are some of the questions that you can ask nearby employees to get considerable and valuable information. It allows you to get a general idea of how the owner deals with problems, whether they’re doing their best to fix the issue or if they’re simply negligent, in which case, it should be relatively easy to prove fault in the accident.
- Prove Your Innocence
If you’re spending a lot of effort and time proving that the accident is mainly the owner’s fault, chances are the owner is doing the same. If they win the case, you might even have to pay them for the inconvenience you’ve caused. With that said, you should also take some steps to prove your innocence. Some of the things they can use against you include the following:
- If you’re using a smartphone during the accident, you’re highly likely to be held responsible for your own injury
- If the accident happened in an area restricted to employees
- If there were warning signs in the area
To further prove your innocence, you should consider hiring a good lawyer, especially if you think your argument isn’t necessarily the most convincing.
Proving the owner’s fault and your innocence all at once can be pretty challenging, but the payoff is worth it. You’d be able to pay for the medical bills resulting from the accident, and you can even get some extra money as a result. However, make sure you stay cautious throughout the whole process since the opposite party can use your statements against you.