Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time, in any place. Many of these incidents are caused by hazards and could have been prevented by property owners. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you could hold the property owner accountable for any damages that you suffered.
Proving negligence in a slip and fall case is necessary to recovering a fair settlement. To establish the property owner’s liability, you will need to gather sufficient evidence to prove three key elements: duty of care; breach of duty; and causation.
Duty of Care
The first step to proving negligence in a slip and fall case is to establish the property owner’s duty of care. Owners have several responsibilities to tenants, residents, and lawful visitors of their properties, including the following:
The duty to maintain safe premises;
The duty to respond to and fix any hazards that arise on the property in a timely manner; and
The duty to warn visitors and tenants about any hazards if they cannot be fixed right away.
To establish duty of care, you will simply need to prove that you had a legal right to be on the property at the time of your accident. An owner is generally not liable for injuries that befall someone who was trespassing. However, if you visit a store or public place, or are invited onto someone’s private property, you could establish duty of care.
Breach of Duty
After you establish the property owner’s duty of care, you must show that he or she breached the duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. For example, a landlord who fails to repair a set of broken stairs violates his or her duty of care. Grocery store employees who fail to clean up or properly mark a spill also breach their duties.
You can use multiple pieces of evidence to establish the owner’s negligence, such as the following:
Photos and videos recorded at the scene
An incident or accident report
Correspondence with the property owner
Property maintenance records
Finally, you will need to prove that the property owner’s breach of duty caused your slip and fall accident. You can leverage many of the same pieces of evidence that you used to prove the owner’s breach of duty.
One of the best ways to establish causation is to seek medical attention after the accident and use your records to prove the nature and extent of your injuries. If you seek treatment immediately after the accident, your medical information will include important details.
These details can establish that your injuries are consistent with a slip and fall accident, which can have a major impact on proving causation. If you can establish the property owner’s negligence, you can hold him or her liable for any damages that you suffered.
Contact an Augusta Slip and Fall Attorney About Your Case
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney can conduct a full investigation into your accident and help prove the property owner’s negligence, establishing your right to fair compensation.
After your slip and fall accident, do not speak to the property owner, insurance representative, or anyone else about the case. Instead, contact an Augusta slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible following your collision.