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Proving fault in a slip and fall case

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | PREMISES LIABILITY (PLAINTIFF) - Slip-and-Fall Accidents |

We’ve all slipped on something and fallen at times, but sometimes a slip and fall can cause you serious injuries. You could sustain broken bones, a head injury or any other type of injury that requires medical attention.

When the fall occurs on someone else’s property and you believe a dangerous condition caused the fall, the property owner could be held legally responsible for the conditions. This means they could be ordered to compensate you for the costs you incurred because of the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Negligence requirements

Holding a property owner liable requires proving negligence. You must show the property owner had a duty to prevent harm to you or others and they failed in that duty.

For example, if you were injured after slipping and falling on ice outside of a grocery store, the property owner may have failed in their duty to place salt down or take other measures to ensure the area was not slippery.

Next, you must show that the failure caused your injuries. Finally, you must prove your damages. If you are asking for $100,000 in compensation, you must prove that amount through showing medical bills, wage statements or other evidence to justify that number.

Did the property owner know about the danger?

There are a couple additional requirements in a slip and fall case. You must show the property owner knew about the condition and waited too long to correct it. If you slip on something that spilled on the floor, but it only spilled a minute before you slipped on it, the property owner could argue they did not have enough time to clean it up.

Finally, New York’s negligence laws follow the contributory negligence rule. This means the amount you recover is reduced if your own negligence contributed to the accident. A determination that you were 50% responsible for the accident would reduce your awarded recovery by 50%.