Accidentally slipping and falling can be scary. At best, you’re a little shaken and continue your day. At worst, a significant fall can cause severe injuries and negatively impact many facets of your life.
Since slip and fall accidents could give you a reason to pursue compensation, it’s essential to learn how to prove negligence in a slip and fall accident. However, victims investigating potential slip and fall negligence cases must consider many factors. Research the features of these cases before hiring slip and fall lawyer to help build a strong argument for negligence.
What Is Negligence?
Before pursuing a slip and fall case, it’s essential to understand what constitutes negligence. This feature will be the main determinant of whether or not you receive damages and the amount.
Negligence in a public space means that a party responsible for the duty of care fails to fulfill their obligations, directly resulting in someone’s injuries. While this is the most basic way to understand what constitutes negligence, more specific factors determine the balance of negligence in slip-and-fall negligence cases.
What Damages Can You Seek Due to Negligence in Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accident cases can pursue various damages, both tangible and intangible. After establishing liability and fault in the case, the courts may issue these damages to amend the impacts of the accident.
For example, tangible damages include compensatory recovery for expenses like medical bills, ongoing care, personal expenses, lost wages, or item replacements. Meanwhile, intangible damages provide compensation for factors like emotional distress, prolonged pain and suffering, negative emotional changes, and related impacts. The potential damages for any slip and fall accident case depend heavily on the balance of negligence and establishment of liability.
How to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident
How do you prove negligence in slip-and-fall negligence cases? Proving slip and fall negligence is arguably the core of these accident cases. Since negligence functions as the primary determinant in fault, settlements, and damages, understanding how to prove negligence in a slip and fall accident is crucial.
For those wondering what is required to prove negligence, there are four categories that require evidentiary support.
These four categories include:
- Duty: Property owners are responsible for guaranteeing the safety of anyone on their property. If potential hazards could injure someone, they need to take immediate action to mark or eliminate these dangers.
- Dereliction: Dereliction is the failure of an owner to fulfill upkeep and hazard warning duties after receiving a warning.
- Direct causation: Duty and dereliction must lead to direct causation, as the accident must result from the same area the owner failed to demarcate.
- Damages: Evidence directly links your accident to tangible and intangible losses.
Washington residents should also consider comparative negligence when asking, “How do you prove negligence?” Comparative negligence is one caveat in slip-and-fall negligence cases that reduces your compensatory damages.
The defendant may try to prove your role in an accident. Some common arguments for a victim’s involvement could include the following:
- Improper footwear
- Walking in a clearly hazardous area
- Ignorance of available signs and warnings
- The owner didn’t receive word of the hazard in time to take action.
Regardless, the proportion of the slip-and-fall negligence the court determines you’re responsible for will reduce your compensation by a percent. For example, if the court assigned compensatory damages of $1,000 but determined that you were 20% responsible for the accident, you only received $800. Professional legal counsel can help contextualize these factors in negligence cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Slip and Fall Accident
Below are some frequently asked questions about slip and fall negligence cases.
What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Accidents?
Common slip and fall accidents include sprained ankles, broken limbs, chronic headaches, concussion, torn ligaments, or dislocated joints.
What Is the Highest Settlement for a Slip and Fall?
In a comparative negligence state like Washington, the highest settlement for a slip and fall case is receiving 100% of the damages determined. The exact number of these damages depends on the circumstances of your case.
What Is a Common Cause of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include spilled liquids, uneven flooring, construction issues, poorly installed carpets, compromised railings, and lack of hazard signs.