When someone sustains an injury due to slipping or tripping on someone else’s property, the property owner can be at risk of being held liable. Property owners have a duty of care to keep their property reasonably safe and fix or adequately warn trespassers of any hazardous conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five falls results in a severe injury. By filing a lawsuit, the injured victim is at liberty to seek compensation for financial relief. When someone is injured from a slip and fall accident, it’s essential that they know what to do to have a successful claim.
Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim
- The Victim Was Allowed on the Property
A significant element in a slip and fall-related injury claim is legally being allowed on the property.
This is someone visiting the owner’s property for their own purposes. Typically this includes the property owner’s family or friends who are coming to visit.
This is anyone who visits the owner’s property to benefit the owner. This typically includes maintenance workers, business customers, or tenants of an apartment building.
Trespassers are anyone illegally on the property without the owner’s permission. Even though owners will not be held liable for a trespasser’s safety, they are still not permitted to harm the person who is trespassing purposefully.
- A Hazard was Present on the Property
With their duty of care, property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe at all times. To prove fault in a slip and fall claim, the victim must prove that the property’s conditions were not safe and it created a risk for legal guests. Common hazardous conditions may include:
- Cracked sidewalks
- Wet floors
- Uneven flooring or walkways
- Debris on the floor
- Unorganized cords on the floor or walkways
Victims must also prove the property owner was aware of the hazard and did not properly maintain or ensure their guests were adequately warned. This is one primary reason working with an attorney is important when dealing with slip and fall premises liability claims because they will be able to get evidence of the hazardous scene before the property owner tries to fix it. When reviewing a claim, the court may assess what other business owners would do in similar situations. Contributing factors may include:
- Procedures that the property owner used to check for dangers
- How long the hazardous condition was present
- If the hazardous conditions could be less dangerous if the proper preventative measures were taken
- If the Property Was Routinely Checked for Potential Hazards
- The Victim’s Injuries Were a Direct Result of the Hazard
Determining whether the victim’s injuries were directly caused by the property owner’s negligence hazard is also an essential element of a slip and fall-related personal injury claim. The claim would not be valid if the injuries sustained were not caused by the accident on the property owner’s premises. The best way to prove the relationship between the two is by seeking proper medical attention as soon as possible. Victims should keep all medical documents organized and upkeep to provide the best supporting evidence to the case.
- The Victim Suffered Damages as a result of the Property Owner’s Negligence
For a successful case, victims must also have to suffer from damages. Through The slip and fall personal injury claim, victims will be able to seek compensation for damages such as:
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to earn income
- Past and future medical treatment
- Prescription medication
- Medical assistive equipment
Contact an Attorney
Filing slip and fall claims can be challenging and tedious, especially when you have no prior experience. Working with an attorney can benefit victims looking for financial compensation after their accident. Here at The Law Offices of John R. Mathias, P.A., we have a team of skilled attorneys dedicated to seeing our clients win and fight for their rights. Let us help you get the justice you deserve.