Who Might Be Liable for a Slip & Fall Accident?
When you slip or trip on someone else’s property, it might result in nothing more than a bruised ego, or it might leave you with devastating injuries. Fortunately, for those who find themselves facing the latter, there’s often legal recourse.
While filing a premises liability claim won’t turn back time and erase the accident, it could at least provide the funds needed to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Of course, before you can file such a claim, you must determine who’s ultimately responsible for your injuries. In order to do so, start by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Who Owed Me a Duty of Care at the Time of the Accident?
Who was responsible for maintaining the premises where you slipped and fell? Chances are it was either the property owner or the occupier that was renting the space from them.
Under premises liability law, both owners and occupiers have an obligation to maintain their premises to a reasonably safe standard. This obligation extends to protect invitees and licensees, though trespassers are usually excluded.
2. How Was the Duty of Care Breached?
If you were merely having a clumsy moment, you probably won’t be able to build a strong premises liability claim. If, on the other hand, you slipped and fell because the owner or tenant failed to address a hazard, you can likely make a case for negligence. Characterized by a violation of the duty of care, negligence is the foundation of most personal injury actions.
To convince the insurance adjuster the opposing party is, in fact, liable, you’re going to have to present compelling proof that they knew or should have known about the hazardous condition but overlooked it. Consequently, they put you and everyone else on the premises at risk.
3. How Did the Negligence Cause My Injuries?
How did the owner or occupier’s negligence cause you to get hurt? Did they fail to mark an inconspicuous threshold on which you tripped? Did they ignore a spill, causing you to slip? Did they overlook a broken step or disregard a missing railing so you tumbled down the stairs?
The injuries you sustained must be consistent with the way you fell, and they must be a direct result of the accident. Otherwise, the party you name in your claim will be able to dispute liability.
Evidence that can help you prove causation includes medical records, photographs of the scene, surveillance footage, and eyewitness testimony. If you were hurt at a business establishment, their standard operating procedures and maintenance logs could also support your claim.
Call 561-299-3999 to Discuss Your Case with a West Palm Beach Premises Liability Lawyer
If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, turn to Donaldson & Weston to determine how best to proceed. Our tenacious team has recovered more than $100 million for injured parties and their families. To set up a free initial consultation with a premises liability attorney in West Palm Beach, call 561-299-3999 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.