Many people have certain misconceptions about slip and fall accidents. They typically believe that if they slip and fall on someone else’s property, they can sue and get a financial award for damages as a result. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. To recover a monetary award for a slip and fall accident on another’s premises, certain elements must be present. Personal injury attorneys can dispel the myths surrounding slip and falls accidents and what keeps an accident victim from recovering compensation.
What Prevents Financial Recovery in Slip and Fall Accidents?
When you bring a lawsuit for a slip and fall incident, you bear the burden of proving the case. There are several factors under premises liability law that keep people from recovering a financial award for a slip and fall accident. Those include the following:
- You weren’t explicitly invited to the establishment or premises
- You weren’t conducting business on the property or premises
- You were trespassing
These are just a few determining factors that apply to individuals who fall on a premises. The premises owner has specific duties and responsibilities, which play into whether a case is a valid personal injury where the victim can recover compensation.
No Negligence? No Case
If the person bringing the lawsuit slips and falls on a specific substance (such as an icy patch) and can’t prove the property owner’s negligence caused the slip and fall, then there is no case and no recovery. Generally, the following must happen:
- The establishment must have known the floor’s condition
- The establishment should have fixed or remedied the floor’s condition
- The establishment should have known the condition existed due to the length of time the floor was in that particular condition
- The condition causing the slip and fall accident occurred often and was foreseeable
For instance, if a child spills a soda in front of you and you slip on it immediately, the property owner is not liable for negligence, as he or she had insufficient time to know about the floor’s condition and take action to clean up the spill. Until the spill is identified or ignored, the property owner has not done anything wrong.
Comparative Negligence Issues
Additionally, a slip and fall victim can also contribute to the accident. To recover an award of damages from a slip and fall, the victim must show and confirm that he or she was not negligent and did not contribute to the slip and fall. Comparative negligence provides for the court to assign percentages of fault. The amount of the victim’s financial recovery is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to him or her. At 100% degree of fault, a slip and fall victim cannot be awarded compensation for the accident.
Did You Slip and Fall?
If you experienced a slip and fall accident, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney and discuss the details of your situation. Once the attorney does a case review and gathers any relevant evidence, they will work to ensure you receive the maximum amount of cash award that you deserve.