Slip and Fall Injury Case

How to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Injury Case

Who is liable for an injury that results from slipping and falling? People in their thousands are injured annually – some quite seriously – from slipping and falling on wet floors, icy ground, rough patches of ground or defective stairs, for example. Sometimes the owner of the property or business can be held liable for the accident, and sometimes they are not.

If you have been injured in this way, it’s important to consider that slipping and falling can sometimes be normal and there can be situations where certain things put in the ground have to be there for a purpose, such as drainage grates.

Property owners do need to keep their property maintained, and while there’s no precise way of determining if somebody else is legally responsible for something that you’ve slipped or tripped on, the cases often rely on whether the property owner has taken careful action to avoid slips and trips on their property.

Determining Liability

To be liable for the injuries that you have suffered from a slip and trip accident, one of these three situations must apply:

  • The owner of the property or a business employee should have been aware of the dangerous surface but did not take any action to rectify it
  • The owner or a business employee should have caused the dangerous surface or placed the item that was a trip hazard
  • The owner or a business employee will have been aware of the hazard due to a ‘reasonable’ person maintaining the property, who would have discovered and either repaired or removed it

Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyers will ask questions initially to help you determine whether a property or business owner may be responsible for your slip and fall injuries.

Defining ‘Reasonable’

A negligence claim will often rely on whether the defendant acted in a reasonable manner. In determining the reasonableness of the property owner, the law will typically focus on whether the owner tends to make a thorough, regular effort to maintain the safety and cleanliness of the property.

Your Own Carelessness

In almost every slip, trip and fall personal injury case, it’s important to determine if your own carelessness played a partin the accident. ‘Comparative negligence’ rules will help you to measure your own reasonableness in the actions that you took that led to the accident occurring.

You will likely be asked if you had a legitimate reason for being in the dangerous area, if you ignored any warning signs, such as wet floor signs in the area, or if you were too distracted to notice a dangerous area that you could have otherwise avoided.

While you don’t have to prove that you were careful to an insurance adjuster, it’s important to consider what you were doing at the time and describe it clearly so that the adjuster will understand that you were not injured simply because you were being careless.

Slip and fall injuries can often be difficult when it comes to proving liability, since there are so many conditions that can apply. If you are dealing with this right now, hiring an experienced attorney is the best step to take.

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