A slip and fall case hinges on negligence, which can be a tough thing to prove without a premises liability lawyer. The simple truth is that very few slip and fall cases are considered “open and shut” because of all the complex questions surrounding each party’s negligence.
Personal injury lawyers are adept at sifting through these questions thoroughly and efficiently, helping their clients consider every angle of the case. Just as important, they help ensure that their clients document the extent of their injury to ensure they do not pay for related injuries out of pocket down the road.
Slip and Fall Accidents and Liability
Not every slip and fall accident counts as a “tort,” which refers to injuries or damages you can sue for. Some accidents are purely the fault of the victim, no matter how severe their consequences. Other accidents can be considered completely unavoidable for property owners, such as an injury occurring during a tornado in a building completely up to code.
Generally speaking, the only instances that qualify as a “tort” are when either the owner of the premises or their employees:
- Deliberately caused a dangerous condition without proper reason or warning
- Knew about a dangerous condition, yet chose to ignore it
- Should have known about the dangerous condition as any “reasonable” person charged with taking care of the property would have noticed it and corrected it somehow
Proving the first two can be clear-cut given the right evidence, but the third option happens to be both the most common and the most difficult. Proving that the premises owner did not take reasonable steps to discover and correct the danger involves delving into whether or not the owner behaved negligently compared to a reasonable person.
Alleging Negligence and Determining “Reasonable” Actions
Those who own and maintain property have a whole history to look to for examples of successful upkeep practices that avoided danger. Additionally, insurers, builders and installation contractors tend to offer helpful advice to avoid upkeep issues. On top of all this, regulations exist to eke out the gray areas and ensure that property owners are held accountable when certain incidents occur.
In order to explore whether the property owner ignored all of these sources of knowledge, a personal injury attorney can examine things like:
- Their inspection and repair practices, including how well they are documented
- The owner’s history of handling repairs or defending against other premises liability torts
- The duration that the dangerous condition was allowed to exist, including if it had gotten progressively worse during the period
- The decision-making process for placing potentially dangerous objects in footpaths or using hazardous substances like soapy water — e.g.: Was there a reason for the decision? Did safer alternatives exist?
- Whether or not warnings or barriers were placed near obvious hazards
- The general documentation and management practices of the property owner
A Personal Injury Lawyer Helps Investigate and Prove Your Slip and Fall Case
All of these factors that your personal injury attorney examines adds strength to your case and helps counter any defenses or arguments the other side could make. Increase your chances of getting compensation by having an expert Odessa personal injury attorney stand by your side during your slip and fall case.
Contact us for a free case review and to get your case started today.