Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you may be eligible for a settlement, if you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property. Many people are injured or even killed in slip and fall accidents on someone else’s property. Just keep in mind that the property owner may not always be responsible. Wear and tear are normal in properties as-is erosion from the elements. Keeping this in mind, your personal injury lawyer will tell you that the owner may not be liable if you broke your leg after tripping and falling on the ground drainage gate on his or her property.
Many property owners know this and take extra care to make their properties as safe as possible. A small percentage of property owners aren’t mindful and can be sued if their careless leads to someone else getting injured on their properties. Your personal injury lawyer in Cambridge will tell you that these are the rules that are used to determine liability in these instances.
One of the following factors must have been present at the time of the accident for the property owner to be held liable:
● The owner or employee must have caused/been aware of the precarious situation that caused the accident
● The owner or employee should have known about the negligent condition because a reasonable person modified, repaired, or removed it.
The words ‘should have known’ make the third factor the hardest to prove. The third factor is the culprit behind most slip and fall personal injury accidents. The judge or jury will use common sense to determine if the property owner is indeed liable. The steps the owner took to remedy the dangerous situation are also considered.
What is reasonable?
Negligence claims are determined by the actions of both the plaintiff and the property owner. Both have to be reasonable for the plaintiff to win a settlement. You can ask these questions either during the negotiations process or the trial to determine if the owner had indeed acted reasonably at the time of the accident:
● If you tripped over a dangerous spot, was it there long enough for the owner to have known about it?
● Does the owner regularly repair or maintain his property? If so, does he or she keep regular records of this?
● Was the object that caused your accident supposed to have been there?
● If the reason for the object’s presence no longer exists, could your accident be prevented if the object had been covered or otherwise made safe?
● Could the property owner have easily placed the object in another place?
● Could a simple warning or barrier have prevented the accident?
● Was poor or broken lighting a cause of the accident?
You probably will win your case if even one of these answers is yes. However, the defense will try to bring your own carelessness into the equation. Contributory or comparative negligence rules will determine the amount of settlement you will get if it is determined that you were indeed at fault (at least partially.) You and your personal injury lawyer must establish that your actions did not contribute to the accident if you want to obtain the largest settlement possible. You and your lawyer can determine this by asking the following questions:
● Did you have a legitimate reason for being on the owner’s property?
● Would a careful person have noticed and avoided the dangerous condition?
● Did you see any warnings of danger?
● Were you distracted when you encountered the dangerous condition?
There is no need to provide proof if the answer to any of these questions is yes. Now that you know more about slip and fall accidents, you’re in a better position to win your case or claim!