Do I Have a Case if I Slip and Fall?
As a former insurance lawyer with over 30+ years of experience, Mark G. Cunningham knows the tactics that are used to defeat slip/trip and fall cases. This guide will address the important issues for someone injured in a slip/trip and fall incident.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE?
There are two parts to every case. The first part is proving that someone was at fault. The second part is proving damages. To prove liability, you will need to prove 1) the identity of the property owner, 2) the property owner was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property, 3) you were harmed and 4) the negligence of the property owner was a substantial factor in causing your harm. You will also have to prove damages. Damages fall into two categories called economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include such things as property damage, medical expenses and lost wages. Noneconomic damages include such things as pain and suffering and emotional distress. All of these damages must be related to the accident or incident. You will be required to prove by competent and credible evidence all of your damages claims.
WHAT PROOF DO I NEED TO ESTABLISH THE PROPERTY OWNER WAS AT FAULT?
When a claim of negligence is based on an alleged dangerous condition, the plaintiff must show there was a dangerous and defective condition and that the defendant had actual or constructive notice of it. A defendant wins if the plaintiff fails to show that either 1) defendant created the condition or knew about the condition, or 2) the dangerous condition existed for at least a sufficient time to be discovered by ordinary care and inspection. Plaintiff has the burden of producing evidence of the existence of the condition complained of for at least a sufficient time to support a finding that defendant had constructive notice of the condition.
WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE?
There are many cases in which the courts have found constructive notice based on the facts of the case. For example, in a supermarket case there was evidence that a puddle of syrup [which caused the plaintiff to fall] had been on the floor for a considerable period of time. The evidence showed the syrup was thick and because the day was cold the court found that it would have taken quite a period of time for the syrup to accumulate to that thickness. Based on these facts, the court found that the puddle was probably on the ground for a substantial period of time, and therefore defendant had constructive notice. In other words, the dangerous condition existed for at least a sufficient time to be discovered by ordinary care and inspection.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO KNOW IF I HAVE A CASE?
You should consult with MCIS Lawyers who can properly assist you with your case. As former insurance company lawyers, we know the objective of the insurance company is to minimize the value of your case. The company will hire an experienced trial lawyer to achieve that end, which is why it is important that you have us on your side. We are trial lawyers and we make the insurance company understand that if a fair settlement offer is not made, we are prepared to go to court. Many lawyers advertise their services, but very few will go to trial. Instead, they will refer your case out to someone else as the case gets closer to trial. One of the first things an insurance company does is check the trial experience of a lawyer. “Low-Ball” settlement offers are often made to lawyers who do not try cases. When you hire MCIS you will have the peace of mind that the firm will aggressive handle your case even if that means going to trial. Schedule a free consultation.