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Factors That Affect Your Slip and Fall Claim

The content on this site is informational and does not create an attorney-client relationship or offer legal or medical advice. Every situation is different.

There are a few key criteria that encompass the very outcome of your case. The following list outlines the most critical aspects of a s lip and fall claim for both you and the defendant.

Plaintiff

Awareness

Proving that you were aware of your surroundings at the time of the accident is important to settling your claim. Were there signs instructing you to exercise caution that were visible? The defense will attempt to deem you as what they would call an "unreasonable patron" meaning that your lack of awareness and/or basic caution were the only reasons you suffered an accident. Present the fact that you were fully aware of what was going on the property at the time and that unforeseen, dangerous conditions were the determining factor.

Conditions

These are the "where, when, why and how" of an accident. Be prepared to explain these, as they set the stage for the rest of your trial. Were you somewhere that you were not allowed access to? Entering somewhere that has been closed off to the public will leave you in a position to be made fully responsible for your accident. Had the conditions been present long enough for them to be serviced, or improved in any way? Could any other reasonable person suffer a similar outcome within those conditions?

Self-preservation

Self-preservation highlights practices that lessen your chances of suffering an injury in your everyday life. Practices such as wiping your shoes after a walk in the rain, tying your shoes after you put them on, or holding a handrail while descending a flight of stairs. Daydreaming, "zoning-out," or listening to music are examples of arguments that will not support your claim. Those fall within the realm of awareness; if you were so preoccupied with any of those sorts of activities that it resulted in the accident, then it will be ruled you were not actively paying attention to your surroundings. Your sense of self-preservation is the key determinant in whether or not you are a "reasonable patron."

Defendant

Awareness

Was the defense aware that you had entered the premises, or was it implied that you were? Under circumstances where the setting is a retail store, office building, or any other sort of non-residential area, it should be implied; these places see many visitors for many reasons and should, therefore, be a safe environment for everyone. Was the owner aware of the condition of the area at the time of the accident? Were they aware for some time beforehand also?

Conditions and Regulations

In order to proceed with the case, you must prove that the conditions were either caused or left to worsen by the owner or his employees. It is the responsibility of the staff to clean up or repair hazards and making the affected area inaccessible to patrons. If there was awareness of the conditions and they were simply left as they were, then liability falls onto the defense. Does the defendant have a procedure for surveying damages and hazards on their premises? Is there proof of regular maintenance? Often times, the hazard that caused the accident is a piece of equipment that was out of place. In the case of foreign objects, if there was no legitimate reason for it to have been there, or if it had a safer place for it, then the defendant is liable.

There are a great number of factors that can and will affect your Slip and Fall claim, and you can be sure that the company held at fault for your injuries will try to use any detail possible to direct the blame towards you. When it comes to knowing exactly how to combat these claims and prove that you were not accountable for the accident, you'll need help from a respected and experienced personal injury attorney who will defend you and give you the compensation you deserve.

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