Is every slip-and-fall case a winnable lawsuit?
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, it’s natural to want compensation for your injuries, time lost from work and your suffering.
However, it isn’t always possible to win every case. Under premises liability laws, you can only demand compensation for your injuries if you can prove — more likely than not — that the property’s owner or manager could have prevented your fall in the first place.
When thinking about your case, consider the following questions:
1.) Would the accident still have happened if you had been more careful of your surroundings? If, for example, you’re playing Pokemon Go on your phone and you trip over somebody’s hose that he or she is using for watering his or her flowers, that’s not generally going to be considered the property owner’s fault. You’re expected to be reasonably careful about where you walk.
2.) Was everything done that a reasonable person would have done to prevent an accident? For example, if it’s snowy and icy outside, did the store you fell in have a rubber-backed rug by the entrance to keep people from falling by the entrance? If there was a spill in an aisle, was there a “Wet Floor” sign put up? If so, the owner of the place might not be liable for a fall, since he or she did take steps to prevent such accidents — unless another obvious step could have also been taken.
3. Did the property’s owner know there was a danger? Should he or she have known? You can’t hold a store’s owner liable for a fall if, for example, someone drops an egg on the floor and you immediately turn around and slip on the yolk. However, if the broken egg had been laying there for a while or the person who dropped it had notified an employee and it still hadn’t been cleaned up, then you would have a right to expect compensation.
It’s always important to think about the reasonableness of a premises liability lawsuit before you proceed. That’s often the first thing that any attorney will do before accepting a case and is something usually discussed at initial consultations.
If you’re in doubt about whether or not you have a case, talk to an attorney about your options.
Source: FindLaw, “Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents,” accessed Jan. 19, 2018