When you are the victim of a slip and fall due to the negligence of a property owner, this may result in serious injuries, significant medical bills, continued treatment, and the possibility of lost wages or diminished earning capacity due to the fall. Fortunately, under certain circumstances, a victim of such an injury is potentially eligible to pursue a legal claim against the property owner which may result in the payment of all medical costs, reimbursement of lost wages, as well as an additional award for pain and suffering.
Speak with an Attorney
If you are a victim of a slip and fall, it is best to consult an attorney immediately, as insurance companies will often intervene with unrepresented victims and try to pay out as little compensation as possible. An attorney will make sure your rights, health, and financial security are all protected. Once you choose an attorney, they will begin to investigate and build your case, consult with experts to help understand why and how the fall occurred, who is ultimately responsible, and establish the causal relationship between your fall and medical injuries.
Proving a Slip and Fall
In order to successfully prove a slip and fall, you must show that a hazardous condition existed which presented an unreasonable risk of harm (for example, liquid spilled on the floor, poor lighting, broken or uneven pavement, etc.). The attorney must then establish that the property owner had “actual notice” or “constructive notice” of the hazard, meaning that it had been there long enough that the property owner should have discovered it. Next, it must be proven that the owner could have reasonably expected that someone would not have discovered the danger, and that the property owner neglected to take reasonable steps to fix this defect.
A defendant may respond to such a claim by arguing that the plaintiff was partly or entirely at fault for causing the accident, citing they were either comparatively or contributory negligence. A defendant also may respond to a premises liability claim by arguing that they lacked sufficient knowledge of the hazard on the property. Essentially, this means that the plaintiff cannot meet a required element of the claim, which is actual or constructive notice. If it is unclear when the hazard arose, or if the plaintiff lacks evidence to show how long it existed, this defense can be effective.
Hire an Attorney
It is extremely burdensome to prove these cases, and therefore that is why it is essential to consult legal advice immediately. If you are a victim of a slip and fall, it is always most important that you seek medical treatment immediately, as no dollar figure from settlement or trial can ever fully compensate for your diminished health. Next, you should always consult with a legal professional as to what your next steps should be, as it is an uphill battle and the insurance company has ample defenses to any slip and fall claim. Contact a lawyer, like a slip and fall lawyer in Towson, MD from Seigel & Rouhana, to get help today.