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Proving Fault After a Slip and Fall Accident

Nolo.com offers thousands of articles on nearly every legal topic.  Today we will be looking at proving fault after a slip and fall accident.  Though our practice focuses on laws and regulations in Connecticut (Conn) the advice and information here is pertinent across the nation.

Who was responsible for your slip and fall accident?

This is a question that must be answered early in your slip and fall case.  Responsibility determines liability.  If you have been injured during a slip and fall or trip and fall we must determine if the property owner has been careful in the maintenance of his or her property.  Though some trip risks, such as carefully placed drainage grates, do not necessarily point to negligence, other risks do.

How is liability determined?

This is a tricky question.  In most cases the fall must have been caused by one of the following scenarios:

  • The owner, manager or employee caused a spill, worn or torn area, other slippery or dangerous surface.
  • The owner, manager or employee knew about the dangerous surface but did not remedy the situation.
  • The owner, manager or employee should have known about the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person responsible for the care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.

Though the third situation is most common even it is up for interpretation.  Judges and juries can feel differently about the wording of these stipulations.  In order to ensure that you are well represented make sure that your attorney has extensive experience proving negligence in slip and fall law suits.

Did you expose yourself to harm?

We are always careful to get the full story of how the slip and fall accident occurred.  Though no one is careful and cautious every moment there are things that people do to put themselves in harms way.  Depending on the actions of the fall victim a case may fail to bring compensation or the amount of the compensation will be significantly reduced.  Though an insurance adjustor may want to know the following things DO NOT answer any questions without speaking with a lawyer.  The adjustor is attempting to get you to admit fault, thereby saving his company money and ensuring that you are not properly compensated.

  • Did you have a legitimate reason for being where the dangerous area was?
  • Would a careful person have noticed the dangerous spot and avoided it?
  • Were there any warnings that the spot may be dangerous?
  • Were you doing anything that distracted you from paying attention to where you were going or where you were running, jumping or fooling around in a way that made falling more likely?

Again, please DO NOT discuss the event with an insurance agent or anyone connected with the property in question until you speak with your attorney.

The staff and attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren hope that the information provided here helps you better understand the complexities of slip and fall cases.  We have been winning slip and fall cases for over 30 years and can help you understand your case and get you maximum compensation for your injuries.  Please contact an attorney today for your free consultation.

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