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How Do You Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case?

Slip and fall accidents can lead to broken hips, fractured wrists, head trauma, and other serious injuries. Those that suffer injuries in slip and fall incidences can face pain and limited mobility, not to mention extensive and invasive medical treatment to try and repair the damage which has been done. In the face of the pain and anxiety that can come with being in a slip and fall accident, injury victims can face financial struggles. Medical bills can be significant and pile up all too easily. At the same time, an injured person may have had to take time off for work to recover, thus missing out on income opportunities. When you are hurt and under financial pressure, hearing that you can seek compensation through a slip and fall claim can give you great hope. A slip and fall claim is a type of premises liability claim in which a slip and fall victim can pursue financial recovery from a property owner or manager found liable for the accident that caused the injuries. Proving liability, however, can be difficult in such cases.

How Do You Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case?

In order to prove liability in a slip and fall claim, the injured party needs to be able to prove that the property owner or manager was negligent in keeping the property free from dangerous hazards that could do harm to the public. A property owner, however, will not be liable every time a person hurts themselves on their property. Instead, the elements of negligence must be met. These elements include:

  • The property owner owed the person a duty of care.
  • The property owner breached that duty.
  • The property owner’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of injury to that person.
  • There were damages resulting from the property owner’s breach of duty.

Property owners owe visitors to their property a duty to keep the property safe and relatively free of hazards. Whether or not a property owner has breached this duty requires a deep and thoughtful evaluation of the particular circumstances in a case. 

The reasonableness standard acts as a guide to determine whether or not the property owner was negligent. The jury in a slip and fall case will look to whether the property owner acted reasonably under the circumstances. To make such a determination, there will be many different things to consider. Things like how long the hazard was present on the property will likely be relevant. Furthermore, whether the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous property condition will also be relevant to the analysis.

The reasonableness on the part of the injury victim will also be relevant in determining liability in a slip and fall claim. While the property owner owes a property visitor a duty of care, the visitor also must exercise reasonable caution in avoiding hazards. There are, after all, reasonably foreseeable hazards on properties. Water and wet surfaces by a pool, for instance, should be foreseeable. A water puddle inside a store in an aisle, on the other hand, would not necessarily be expected and it is reasonable to assume that your average person may be taken by surprise and injured by slipping on such a puddle.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Slip and fall accidents can result in real and severe harm. Proving liability, however, can feel like an uphill battle. The dedicated personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy will fight for you and your right to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.

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Relevant Proof in Slip and Fall Claims

Slip and fall claims can be particularly complex. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, however, a slip and fall claim can allow you to recover critical compensation. This compensation can cover things such as medical bills incurred due to receiving treatment and follow-up care for your slip and fall injuries. Medical bills can pile up all too quickly as you receive the care you need. This can be particularly stressful if you have needed to take time off of work to recover from your injuries or even needed to leave your job if your injuries have rendered you unable to comply with your job duties. So, while skip and fall claims can be complex, they are needed in order to get the monetary compensation you deserve. Evidence demonstrating that a third party was at fault for causing your slip and fall, and that you were injured as a result of said slip and fall, will be critical if you want to have any success in bringing a claim.

Relevant Proof in Slip and Fall Claim

You will need to prove several important things in order to bring a successful slip and fall claim. Slip and fall claims almost always arise under a legal theory of negligence. The negligence action or inaction of another led to a person’s injuries and, therefore, the negligent party should be held accountable for paying the victim’s injury-related expenses. In a slip and fall claim, in order to prove a party was negligent, there are several things you will need to provide proof of.

You must be able to prove that there was a hazardous condition on the property. The hazardous condition is the first step in showing that a property owner or manager breached his or her or its duty to maintain a reasonably safe property that was relatively free from hazards. The hazardous condition could have been poor lighting, a staircase or handrails in disrepair, obstacles in a walkway or an uneven or slippery surface. Proof that the hazard existed may include security camera footage of the area or pictures of the hazard. Witnesses may also be able to attest to the dangerous property condition.

In a slip and fall claim, it is not enough, however, to simply prove that there was a hazardous property condition. In order to show that a property owner or manager breached a duty of care in maintaining a relatively safe property, you must be able to show that the owner or manager knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed. This can be particularly challenging to demonstrate. Proof of knowledge or proving that knowledge of that hazard should have been present, can involve something like evaluating the maintenance and inspections of a property. For instance, if a property has a regular schedule for someone to clean the area, inspect the area, and check the status of property conditions, this could point to the fact that the hazard should have been by such inspection.

You will, of course, also need proof of your injuries and other damages you sustained due to the slip and fall. This is why receiving immediate medical treatment and consistent follow-up medical care is so crucial to a slip and fall claim or really any personal injury claim. Not only is consistent medical treatment important for your injuries to properly heal, but your medical records will be of central importance in showing the nature and extent of the injures you sustained in the slip and fall.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Slip and fall claims may be difficult, but they are far from impossible to successfully bring. You can count on the team at Cooper Schall & Levy to fight for you. We are here to do everything we can and will tirelessly pursue your right to monetary compensation for your slip and fall injuries. Contact us today.

injured man researching personal injury negligence

An Overview of Negligence in Personal Injury

Proving negligence is often required in pursuing claims stemming from accidents causing injuries. This includes slip and falls and automobile accidents. What, however, is negligence? At its essence, negligence means that someone did not act the way they should have and someone suffered harm as a result. Here, we will go into more details regarding negligence and its legal implications

What is negligence?

In most, if not the majority, of personal injury cases, you must prove a person was negligent before you can hold him or her legally responsible for the harm you incurred as a result of their negligence. To successfully prove negligence, there are four elements to prove, including duty, breach, causation, and damages.

Duty refers to the legal duty a defendant owed to a plaintiff, the injured party seeking compensation for harm suffered. There are certain situations where people owe each other a duty of care. For instance, when operating a motor vehicle on public roads, a person is expected to act with a certain level of care, operate the vehicle safely, and comply with the rules of the road. Other times, it is a relationship between two people that creates the duty. For instance, a doctor owes a patient a duty of care to provide him or her with reasonable medical care.

Breach refers to the defendant’s action or inaction which represented a violation of the legal duty owed to the plaintiff. Courts will use the “reasonably prudent person” standard in most cases to see if a defendant’s conduct breached the duty owed. Essentially, it is a comparison to how the average person would act if put in a certain situation.

The causation element of negligence means that a plaintiff will need to show that the actions or inaction of the defendant caused his or her damages. It is not enough for a person to simply be acting carelessly or recklessly. The negligent action must have been the cause of the plaintiff’s harm. The plaintiff will only be able to recover for the harm that was caused by the negligent action or inaction. With causation, it must also have been reasonably foreseeable that the negligence may cause an injury. Sometimes, through the most random acts of nature, an action may lead to an injury that no one could have predicted. In this type of case, a defendant may not be held liable for the resulting injury

Lastly, the negligence must have directly resulted in the plaintiff suffering harm, or damages. Specifically, the plaintiff must have suffered some harm which would allow a court to compensate him or her for losses sustained due to the negligence. Usually, this compensation comes in the form of monetary compensation for things such as medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and more.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you been injured by the negligence of another? If so, the trusted personal injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy are here to pursue your legal right to a full and fair monetary recovery. Contact us today.

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Slip and Falls

You may have been at work or visiting a friend’s house, or out on a trip to the grocery store. The truth of the matter is that a slip and fall can occur anywhere. While children and older people are particularly susceptible to injuries, anyone can be seriously injured in a slip and fall accident. Injuries resulting from slip and falls are far too common. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated that 15% of all accidental deaths in the U.S. are caused by slip and fall accidents. This makes slip and falls only second to car accidents as a leading cause of accidental deaths in the country. A person or business responsible for managing property has a duty to those visiting the property to maintain safe conditions. A violation of this duty exposes them to legal liability for any resulting injuries caused by dangers on the property.

Common Causes of Slip and Falls

Slip and falls happen at personal residences and places of business. They happen inside and outside in all kinds of weather. Hazardous conditions on a property expose people to unnecessary danger. The most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:

  • Loose flooring (rugs, mats, and floorboards)
  • Sidewalks in disrepair
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Ripped carpeting
  • Cluttered floors, such as those with trash or other debris
  • Recently mopped or waxed flooring
  • Spilled liquids
  • Poor lighting
  • Cords running across a walkway

Also, weather conditions contribute to many slip and falls. While a property owner may not be able to control the weather, he or she should still be diligent in remedying dangerous conditions produced by inclement weather. For instance, in icy winter conditions, streets should be plowed. Sidewalks should be shoveled. Steps and walkways should be salted. Failure to address weather-related hazards on a property opens a property owner up to legal liability for any injuries the hazard may cause.

Ladder and stair related slip and fall incidences are also common. Poorly constructed staircases can be particularly dangerous and lead to severe injuries. A stair related slip and fall may be caused by something like a lack of handrail. Ladder injuries are often caused by a failure to secure the ladder or have someone hold it to stabilize it while in use.

Another common cause of slip and falls that is not talked about as often is improper training. The workplace is the frequent site of slip and falls. Some workers, such as those in manufacturing or construction, may be particularly susceptible to slip and fall incidences, especially if they have not received the training necessary to be aware of hazardous conditions on the job site and how to safely navigate the hazards. Manufacturing and construction workers often must spend a significant amount of time walking on slick surfaces or navigating uneven terrain or narrow pathways. Employers must train workers to make sure they are not only aware of these potential hazards, but they know how to properly maneuver the work conditions.

Trusted Legal Representation for Slip and Fall Injury Victims

The potential injuries caused by a slip and fall may include sprains, strains, broken bones, and head injuries, among other things. These types of injuries are serious and can have substantial health implications for the victim. If you have been injured by a hazardous property condition, you may have the right to bring a slip and fall claim seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the dedicated slip and fall attorneys at Cooper, Schall & Levy today.

After a Slip and Fall

girl with a broken arm in a cast with a doctorStep #1 After a slip and fall: Seek medical attention.

Your first priority following any kind of slip or fall is your health or the health of a loved one. Seek medical attention immediately so that you know you’re getting the treatment you need. What’s more, the quicker you document your injuries, the easier it will be to provide documented proof of the incident.

Commercial and residential property owners are responsible for keeping their grounds in a safe condition. When they fail to do this, injuries can result. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and skill to represent victims and defend businesses in premises liability lawsuits. Contact us  Cooper Schall and Levy to set up a free consultation 215 561 3313.