Necessary Elements to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case

Slip and fall accidents occur with great frequency at home, in stores, businesses, and in certain industries where the risks of danger are greater than in others. These incidents may be harmful in minor to major degrees of injury, but when the elderly experience these situations, they may become deadly.

Anyone may have a slip or fall accident in public or private. When on property owned or managed by a company, it is possible the responsible party is the owner or manager. When the fall occurs at home, it could be attributed to various factors to include medication prescribed that causes vertigo or dizzy spells.

It is essential to prove certain factors when pursuing a suit against a person or entity that may be at fault for the event. Many United States citizens believe that any fall completed on the premises of a company or individual entitles him or her to sue the person or organization. However, this is not always the case. There are four elements for slip and fall or trip cases that must be proven with sufficient evidence presented. It may not be possible to successfully complete a case without proving these specific factors in favor of the injured person.

Elements to Prove in Slip and Fall Accidents

The person being sued must either own, control or operate the property. This must be proven in the legal arena. Conditions that may harm others must be known or known the potential existed by this owner or manager. The exact issue that caused the injury must have been considered dangerous without a minor deficiency. Injuries sustained by the victim must have been due to the dangerous condition and not by any other problem that may have occurred. Without proving all four of these elements, the case may fail without any compensation being paid out by the defending party.

Duty to the Victim

This means the owner or manager of the property is responsible in maintaining the property and ensuring there are no harmful conditions that exist. Any issues must be dealt with through reasonable means, or warning signs must be displayed so the problem may be avoided by others. In some cases, the victim must prove that the owner or manager had control of the dangerous area when the accident occurred. This means an owner or manager may interchangeably be in control and the correct person must be determined based on the time and date of the incident. Without proving the duty being owed to the person harmed, the case cannot be successful.

Known Potential for Danger

An important aspect of the claim is that the slip and fall or trip case has a known potential for danger in existence. An expert witness is usually called to explained inspections, maintenance of property and any hazardous procedures used for preventing accidents. If these measures are not taken by the owner or manager, it is more likely to prove this element as the premises manager or owner was improper in his or her care of the area. This means a dangerous situation could arise, and he or she would have known about this potential for a disastrous instance for anyone on the property. Negligence is when the defending party knew the danger existed, did nothing about it and the victim was harmed because of this specific factor.

Dangerous Circumstance

Even if the case has an obvious instance where danger was apparent, it must be proven. The harmed individual must provide evidence that the defending party knew or had reasonable suspicion that someone could have been harmed through the circumstances on the premises. This hazard should have been taken care of in some manner to ensure that others on the property knew of the potential for harm or were able to avoid it. Another essential aspect of this situation is that the property was utilized as it is supposed to be without alteration. This means a dance club was used as a place for dancing and not for horse riding.

Damages Relevant to the Case

The last element is the proving of injury directly caused by the slip and fall through dangerous conditions on the premises. This is often the most difficult to prove because many individuals wait until the physical discomfort is too much to ignore. Sufficient proof must be available that the diagnosed conditions were a direct result of the hazards of the property. In most cases, a lawyer should be consulted on what to do and how to apply these elements correctly. Hiring a lawyer to assist in the claim may provide the best possible chances of success.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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