When Should I Take A Slip And Fall Case To Court?

Posted on: 30 April 2015

If you have fallen and been injured on another's property, then you may be wondering what legal reparations you're entitled to. Slip and fall lawsuits are complex and often hard to prove, so here are a few questions you should ask yourself before taking your case to court.

1. Were you careless?

The biggest question you'll need to answer before seeking out a lawyer is whether or not you can be to blame in any way for your fall. If so, your case will not fare well. Carelessness can be determined by many things. If you were on your phone, not paying attention, ignored a caution sign, or did not display basic common sense, then you are most likely partially or fully at fault for your injuries.

2. Where did it happen?

Another thing you must consider before pursuing a slip and fall lawsuit is the type of property the incident happened on. There are different rules set for determining responsibility for commercial, residential, and government property.

  • Commercial. For a commercial property to be responsible they must have caused the dangerous conditions and either ignored or should have known the risks.
  • Residential. Residential property responsibility falls on the landlord or property owner. The owner is responsible unless the fall area was unreasonably expensive to fix or not foreseeably dangerous.
  • Government. A lawsuit against a government entity is difficult because they have set rules in place to defer liability. You must file a notice of claim within 60 days to be able to move your case forward. Find a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if your injury was obtained on government property.

3. Can you prove fault?

It's not enough for the accident to have happened on someone else's property. You also have to be able to prove liability. If you were not careless, take a look at the circumstances. Did the owner, resident, or employee cause the slick or dangerous surface? If not, then they have no legal responsibility for the accident. For example, if you slipped on a spill in a restaurant caused by another customer and the restaurant did not have time or knowledge to clean it up, then the restaurant is not at fault.

4. Was there reasonable negligence?

What's harder to prove than liability is whether or not the defendant had "reasonable" negligence. Even if it is determined that the danger was caused by the property owner or other reasonable parties, unless negligence led to your injuries, they may not be legally responsible. If a spill had just happened or the buildup of snow on their lot did not seem in the way, then the court may determine they had no reasonable responsibility. Reasonableness is generally categorized by common sense and intent of safety, so it is naturally subjective.

5. How serious is your injury?

If your above answers check out, then you have grounds for a lawsuit, but it should be worth considering how serious your injuries are before pursuing legal ramifications. The litigations process is often a grueling and expensive one. And though you have the potential to earn a large settlement, there are no guarantees. If the injuries you've sustained are minor, it may be worth considering forgoing the extensive legalities of a slip and fall case. Visit http://www.putnamlieb.com for more information.