Proving Liability for a slip and fall claim is never really a black and issue. There are so many factors that make it complicated to define who is responsible and thus liable for the accident. The only way to determine who is at fault is to prove negligence on the part of the accused. However, before that can even be done, the victim has to establish a progression of claims that the accused party falls into.
The Property Owner Owed the Victim A Duty of Care.
Duty of care refers to a moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of others. This simply means that the owner of the property was obligated by law to ensure that their property and its near environs did not have any elements in or around it that posed as a hazard or compromised the well-being of other people in any way.
The Property Owner Breached the Duty of Care.
Next, the victim needs to establish that the property owner breached the duty of care through their actions and or inactions. They will need to prove that the actions of the property owner would have caused the injury and they should have known to act differently and better. From the very beginning of the suit, the victim should be equipped with the services of a good slip and fall lawyer because at this stage and going forward, only their expertise will help prove liability.
The Breach of Duty Caused the Accident and Injuries.
The victim will also need to prove that the breach of duty was directly responsible for the accident and the consequent injuries sustained. Also, the damages incurred, to whatever degree, were a direct result of the accident.
Once these claims have been firmly established, the victim and their attorney will then proceed to prove negligence on the part of the property owner. There are three major things that they need to determine to prove negligence on the part of the property owner:
The Property Owner Knew About the Potentially Hazardous Condition
Property owners are required by law to ensure that their property complies with social safety standards. Wet floors, exposed wired, and even misplaced items can cause anyone to trip, bump their heads, get hit, slip and fall. If these hazardous elements, which are typically obvious, are not taken care of and an accident occurs, the property owner is guilty of negligent behavior and is thus liable for damages.
The Property Owner Deliberately Ignored the Hazardous Condition.
If the property owner noticed the potentially dangerous condition and did not try to fix or eradicate it, they are deemed negligent and will be held responsible for any injuries sustained from an accident that occurs.
The Property Owner’s Negligence Caused the Accident.
Finally, it needs to be proven that the property owner or his employees set up the hazardous condition that led to the accident in the first place. Misplacing items, leaving spills on the floors, or leaving things where they can obviously cause injury is highly negligent behavior. A reasonable person is expected to anticipate the possibility of such an accident and do everything necessary to avert them.
Slip and fall claims can be very tricky to prove however with the help of a good attorney, liability can be proven and the responsible party will have to pay for their negligent behavior.