Posted on August 30, 2013 in Personal Injury
Slips and falls on someone else’s private property or on public property are common forms of personal injury. The defenses to slip and fall claims often put forward by attorneys on behalf of property owners include establishing contributory negligence by the victim and asserting that the defendant was not negligent.
What you need to disprove to win your case
The property owner will claim that you were at least partially responsible for your fall and/or that that they took precautions to ensure the property was safe.
? Contributory negligence refers to a situation wherein the injured person was at least partly responsible for the accident. For example, the property owner might claim that you were not looking where you were going e.g. that a reasonable person would not have run into the store and would have remembered to wipe their feet on the mat at the entrance on such a rainy day.
? The defendant was not negligent if they took appropriate and reasonable steps to ensure that their property was safe or that the danger was such that they were not aware of and could not have been aware of it. For example, the property owner might claim that you purposefully walked through an area of the store that they had blocked off, or that a wet spot at the entrance to the store was caused just moments before you slipped on it.
Gather strong evidence to rebut any defense
If you have been injured on someone else’s property and the property owner raises any of the defenses mentioned above, it’s essential you have evidence to rebut their claims. Experienced Brooklyn personal injury lawyers can help you consider the following aspects of your case:
? Was the floor surface smooth and even? Professional tests can ascertain the extent to which the surface was slick or slippery. The commonly accepted test involves the use of a pendulum to calculate the distance a rubber shoe slips on a floor, and the test is usually conducted in both dry and wet conditions.
? Were warning signs visible? If a floor has just been cleaned, the owner or contractor is obligated to warn anyone passing by. A sign is normally sufficient.
? Was the area well lighted? It is, of course, harder to see obstacles or dangers on the ground where there is poor lighting or glare. Property owners and managers must ensure that any areas of their property that are likely to be visited by people are well lighted, so that potential hazards are identifiable.
? Did other people notice the hazard? Others may have noticed or been aware of the hazard, even though you were not. This can possibly harm your case, as it implies that your injury was caused by something that others would have spotted or avoided. On the other hand, someone’s noticing the danger demonstrates that the owner may be at fault by not removing it or identifying it.
Call today for a free consultation about your slip and fall case
Slip and fall cases can be notoriously difficult to win. The lawyers at Dornfeld & Nasis, LLP have significant experience fighting the technical defenses put forward in such personal injury cases. Your first consultation with us is free, and we do not collect a fee until you receive your compensation. Contact us for an appointment at one of our offices in Hauppauge, Jericho or the Bronx.
Slip and fall cases are among the most common types of personal injury cases — and they can be difficult to win. Usual defenses include contributory negligence and the assertion of non-negligence. The lawyers at Dornfeld & Nasis, LLP have significant experience fighting the technical defenses put forward in such personal injury cases.