Over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury every year, according to the (CDC). Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, such as back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries. If you are planning to file a claim, you may be wondering what your chances are for success. In fact, slip and fall cases are tricky to prove and almost always require the claimant to hire an experienced Slip and Fall Attorney Daytona Beach. An attorney will help you establish the validity of your claim and increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve. In this article, we will discuss what you must prove to win a slip and fall injury claim.
Establish Negligence in a Slip and Fall
The first step to building a successful slip and fall case entails establishing negligence. A slip and fall accident occurs because of the negligence or carelessness of the property. All property owners owe a duty of care to visitors on their property, whether it is commercial or residential. The claimant must prove that the property owner owed them a duty of care but failed to meet that duty.
It is important to note that there are many types of land entrants and depending on the classification of the claimant, the duty owed to them may differ significantly. For example, a person invited to private property for the financial benefit of the property owner is owed a higher level of care than a trespasser who enters the property without the consent of the owner.
To establish negligence, a Slip and Fall Lawyers Dayton Beach will first have to determine your role on the property and then determine what level of care you were owed. If the property owner failed to meet that duty, negligence is established.
The next step to building a strong slip and fall case is proving negligence. Sometimes, it is difficult to prove negligence in a slip and fall accident, especially if there are no surveillance or eyewitnesses. Thus, there may be a dispute over what actually caused the accident. According to Florida Law, the plaintiff must prove the following to show negligence in a slip and fall case:
- Either the property owner or their employee should have known of the dangerous condition – Negligence may exist if the property owner or their employee should have known about the dangerous condition because another, “reasonable” person in their position could have known about the dangerous condition and fixed it. This first scenario is the most common in slip and fall accidents and focuses on the efforts of the property owner to make their property a safe premise. However, this situation is the most tricky to prove due to the words “should have known”. After presenting your evidence and arguments, it will be up to the jury or judge to determine if indeed the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident.
- Either the Property Owner or Their Employee Knew About the Dangerous Condition – You can also prove that the property owner or person in charge of the property was fully aware of the danger but intentionally failed to fix it.
- The Dangerous Condition Was Caused by the Property Owner or Their Employee – Negligence can also exist if the property owner or their employee caused the dangerous condition that resulted in the slip and fall accident.
Comparative Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
The final step entails examining the role of the claimant or plaintiff in the incident. Did you contribute to the fall in any way? The state of Florida follows a Comparative Negligence Doctrine that reduces compensation by an equal amount to the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff. For example, if you were awarded $20,000 in damages, but it is established that you’re 20% at fault for the incident, your compensation will be reduced by $4000. So, you will only receive $16,000 as compensation from the property owner.
If you are able to prove the above three things, you may have a valid claim of negligence for a slip and fall accident. You will want to determine the types of damages for which your lawsuit will seek compensation, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, pain, and suffering as well as lost income.
Note that every slip and fall case is different, and there are nuances to state laws that are best interpreted by an experienced personal injury attorney. In addition, the property owner will present several defenses to minimize your claim. A seasoned Daytona personal injury lawyer is aware of those tricks and knows how to defend your case. The lawyer will help you collect sufficient evidence to help you build a strong case. All this will increase your chances of receiving a full and fair amount of compensation.