Slip and fall accidents aren't always as simple as they seem. Just because you slipped on another's property does not automatically entitle you to damages. The barrier to a claim is proof of negligence. Negligence works on two levels. The first part is your own negligence; the second part is the negligence of the property owner or manager.
What is Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases?
You likely know the dictionary definition of negligence, but it's a whole different thing when applied as a legal construct. Negligence in a slip and fall case is more of a question. Who of the two parties didn't exercise reasonable care?
For example, imagine if you slip on a spill in a grocery store, within sight of a "wet floor" sign. Who is the negligent party? You may think that simply because the sign is there, then you are the negligent party and don't have any legal recourse. This isn't true. Negligence isn't so simple. Here are a few things that will come up.
Whether you could see the sign or not – Just because a sign is there, it doesn't mean that you could see it. You may have vision issues or the sign didn't have optimal placement.
Whether the sign was in the right place – Some signs hang from high, some are low, some are not at the center of the spill.
Whether you were in your right frame of mind – You could have clouded judgment If you walked into the store inebriated or on prescription drugs.
Whether the sign was placed in a timely fashion – The spill could have occurred while you were already in the store. It's possible there was no sign there before, so you walked into the situation thinking everything was okay.
These are just a few of the possible negligence queries that can come up. An incident doesn't have to have any complicated elements to become a complicated mess.
Speak to a Slip and Fall Attorney
Proving negligence isn't easy. In some airtight cases, it's not such a problem. But usually, it's possible that both you and the other party are to blame to some extent. This is one of the reasons it's important to seek the help of personal injury attorney (such as one from Putnam Lieb). They have the resources to figure out precisely what happened and who holds fault.
Remember, even if you have partial blame, you can still pursue a claim. A lot of people don't know that and will let injuries go because they think it was all their fault or that they should have known better. In any personal injury case, there are degrees.
Consider the above example. If you slipped in a grocery store, within sight of an easily visible "wet floor" sign, it doesn't mean that you don't have a case. Speak to a lawyer with a history of slip and fall accidents. He or she will let you know where your stand.