Injuries from a slip and fall accident can range from the mild to the severe, and the circumstances surrounding the incident will be unique in every situation. These cases revolve around proving negligence and liability, which are often difficult things to demonstrate. So how do you prove your case and win the compensation that you need to get your life back on track?
Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer is critical to winning a slip and fall case, as an attorney will understand the types of evidence you need to compile, and even more crucially, can help you determine if you have sufficient evidence to bring a successful case. In this post, we will outline some things you can do to help your attorney prove your case, and some of the ways your slip and fall lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
One of the first questions you will need to answer is, who exactly is liable for your accident? If you slipped off of a sidewalk in New Jersey and broke your leg, does NJ own the sidewalk? Would that make the state of NJ liable? Wherever your fall takes place, liability could fall on the shoulders of one, or any number of parties. For instance, the liable party could be a:
- Business owner
- Large corporation
These entities may be fully or partially liable for your accident, depending on the circumstances. A skilled attorney can take a look at the bigger picture and help you determine who is at fault in your particular case. Making sure you are bringing your case against the proper entity will help ensure you have a successful lawsuit.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?
In order to prove negligence, you will have to show that the liable party should have “reasonably” known about the hazardous situation that caused your accident, and failed to remedy it. Some questions you may want to ask yourself when assessing for negligence are:
- How long was the hazardous condition in place?: If the hazardous condition was there for a long period of time, it will be harder for the liable party to say that they didn’t know about it, or couldn’t have posted warnings about it.
- Did the business perform routine maintenance?: If they did, and there is a schedule, that can help prove that they either failed to conduct necessary checks, or did, and still left the hazardous condition.
- Was there anything the business could have done to prevent the accident?: If there were easy ways for the business or individual to have prevented the accident, such as placing warning signs, or blocking off the area, then this will help you prove they were negligent in preventing your accident.
The negligence that contributed to your accident may have been accidental (such as a spill that no one noticed), or intentional (such as a spill that someone did notice, but failed to clean up or place warning signs around). Your attorney’s job will be to prove that regardless of intention, your accident could have been prevented if reasonable actions were taken to secure the hazardous area.
What Evidence Do I Need to Win a Slip and Fall Case?
You will also need to prove that you did not cause the accident yourself with your own careless actions. Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that as long as you were not more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you can claim compensation for them.
Your lawyer can help you determine what evidence you might need, but you can help by collecting evidence such as:
- Photos of the scene and your injuries immediately after the accident
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- A schedule of safety inspections at the business
- Security camera footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Cell phone records showing you were not on your phone at the time of the accident
How Much Should I Settle for in a Slip and Fall Case?
Your settlement amount will vary with the severity of your accident, but should include compensation for all of your medical bills related to the accident, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
If you are ready to win your slip and fall case, call the experienced lawyers at Thistle Law today. Our attorneys have a proven track record with premises liability and slip and fall accidents and can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your case. Call us at 215-525-6824 or fill out our form here.