Evidence Needed to Prove a Slip and Fall Claim
Most of us have slipped and fallen at least once; or more than likely, a few times in our lives. Whether it was because of a toy on the floor, carpet on the stairs, or spilled liquids, many of these accidents result in nothing more than a few days of aches and maybe some bruising. However, a slip and fall outside of your home, especially one that involves hard floors or a lot of nearby objects, can result in injuries that are more severe.
If you are the plaintiff in a slip and fall case, you, or your slip and fall lawyer, will have the burden of presenting evidence that supports the defendant’s liability for the fall and shows you were not negligent. This is often easier said than done which is why you should ask a [location] slip and fall lawyer to help you sort out the evidence needed in these cases. That being said, most of this evidence should be gathered as quickly as possible after the slip and fall; therefore, you should do your own part (when possible) to preserve anything that you may be able to use.
Take as many photos of the scene as possible
Get the contact information of witnesses
Report the accident to the owner or manager
Get medical attention as quickly as you can
Follow your doctor’s orders
Avoid speaking to the alleged liable parties’ insurance company until you’ve talked with a slip and fall lawyer
Why You Were On a Property May Affect Your Ability to Recover Your Damages
Slip and fall injuries generally happen when something has been left on the floor. Usually, the owner of the property will be liable. However, whether you can recover compensation will depend on the reasons you were on the property in the first place.
Business or Social Invite – If you are an invitee, you are owed a higher duty of care. The person who owns or manages the property must ensure the premises are safe. If you happen to slip and fall as the invitee of a premise, such as a restaurant, you may be able to recover your damages.
Licensee – If you have been permitted to enter a property or premise, but are not engaging in business, you may be considered a licensee. In this case, the owner has a responsibility of warning you of any dangers, but does not have to watch you or make the property safe just for you.
Trespassers – A trespasser is anyone who may not be allowed onto the property. In this case, the owner does not owe you any duty whatsoever. If you slip and fall while trespassing on a property, the owner generally does not owe you any duty of care.
Young Trespassers – Young trespassers, or children, typically are owed a duty of care if the owner features “attractive nuisances”. These may include a swimming pool, swingset, or other items that could be an attraction to children.
If you pursue compensation, a slip and fall lawyer will need to demonstrate what kind of guest you were. For example, if you were using the restroom of a restaurant, but were not eating there, you may be a licensee and not an invitee. This changes the duty of care that is owed to you; therefore, the case.