The terms falls and slips are used to refer to a type of personal injury that occurs in some cases. These types of accidents are very common, and in the United States they are part of a possible legal claim. They fall under the broad umbrella of premises liability claims. When the accident occurs within the property of another person, this person can be declared responsible for the damage. However, it’s hard to win slip and fall cases if you don’t do it the right way.
There are many causes that can lead to an injury on the property. Uneven or broken floors, poorly placed or lifted carpets, poor lighting, unmarked steps, wet floors, among many others. It can also occur on public roads, when sidewalks are broken or have cracks, or on fixed or escalators. Although it is difficult to win slip and fall cases, if the person is injured for any of these reasons, he has the right to claim compensation.
If slip and fall cases are hard to win, how do you prove it?
There is no irrevocable way to prove liability in an accident of this type. Everything revolves around whether the owner or manager of the property acted in the best way to avoid accidents. If a person is careless, does not use the security measures provided or does not respect the rules, and that causes the injury, the responsibility will be exclusively of the injured party. Therefore, one of the most important issues if you have suffered an accident of this type is to be able to prove it.
It is difficult to win slip and fall cases because the victim must have sufficient evidence. That is, you must be able to show that the conditions of the place were dangerous and that the owner did not act accordingly to solve the problem. It must be a dangerous circumstance present on the property, and one that the victim could not have anticipated in any way. It is taken for granted that people must be vigilant to avoid any danger, otherwise the case will not prosper.
To prove that the owner was aware of the dangerous situation, it is necessary to prove it in some way. Either the owner caused or created the situation, or he knew about it but acted negligently. It is also possible to show that the condition had been around for a long time and the owner should have known about it and predicted the dangerous outcome. For example, if there is a spill in a hallway and it is not cleaned up until the next day, someone could slip. In that case, the situation was foreseeable and the owner was negligent in not inspecting the hallways.
In the event that a law or regulation is being violated, it won’t be as difficult to win slip and fall cases, or at least not as difficult. For example, if a staircase does not have a railing and that causes a fall and an injury, by violating a building code the owner is immediately responsible for that accident. In those cases, the proof for the claim is much more evident and therefore the case is easier to prove.
Responsibilities in a slip and fall accident
In order to make a claim and collect compensation in a slip and fall accident, there needs to be a responsible party. That is, that a person who has acted negligently or carelessly, and has generated the conditions for the accident to happen. While this seems obvious, in many cases it is difficult to win slip and fall cases because they are simply careless accidents. In these cases, there is no one responsible, other than the victim himself who did not take into account the dangers.
For example, if a person does not watch where he is walking and trips over a step that is correctly marked, he will be held responsible. You cannot demand compensation, since the owner of the property acted with all responsibility and took all necessary precautions. This is independent of the seriousness of the injury, since there is no fault for the owner of the property. There are cases in which guilt can be shared, and then the victim is entitled to compensation, but only for a partial amount of the damage caused.
It’s hard to win slip and fall cases on a commercial property
Most of the time, these types of accidents happen in commercial premises, such as stores, restaurants or supermarkets. It is difficult to win slip and fall cases on commercial properties, because you must be able to prove some of the following responsibilities:
- Owner caused the hazardous condition such as spills, uneven surfaces, obstructions, etc.
- Owner was aware of the hazardous surface and did nothing to remedy it.
- The owner should have been made aware of the situation, as they had sufficient time and are responsible for maintaining the commercial property in proper condition.
The third option is the most common, but also the most subjective, as there is no unequivocal way to prove what the owner “should” have done. This is partly why slip and fall cases are hard to win. The decision ends up being according to the common sense of the judge in charge of the case. Likewise, the law determines some safety parameters that the owner must respect to consider that he was prudent and careful.
It is common for a company to rent the property to a third party. In that case, both parties could be held liable in such an accident, and both could be sued. The tenant is the owner of the facilities, since he gives use to the property even if he is not its owner. For this reason, he ends up being responsible for ensuring that the conditions of use are adequate for the activity he performs. While it is difficult to win slip and fall cases, if proven, the company must fairly compensate the victim to cover all medical bills and other damages that may have been caused.
Therefore, if you need a Slip and Fall Attorney in Miami, please contact me.