Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents

Proving negligence in a slip and fall accident can be difficult when there are not any available witnesses. However, difficult does not mean impossible. Negligence can be proven even when there were no witnesses if a proper investigation is conducted.

Case Study

A woman falls in a public restroom at a major retailer. There is no one in the bathroom at the time it happens, but another woman enters the restroom and finds her on the floor. The retailer claims that since there are no witnesses to the accident they do not believe it actually occurred. Therefore, they deny the claim.

Some attorneys may be willing to give up at this point. However, there are ways to prove that there could have been negligence involved, and all you need is reasonable doubt in court. The attorney at that time can subpoena the cleaning records of the restroom and compare the times with the slip and fall. If the bathroom had just been cleaned, there is a possibility that the floor was still wet from mopping and no signs were posted. If there had been considerable time between the last cleaning and the fall, there is room for there to be debris or spills on the floor that could cause a fall.

Negligence Outside the Property

When someone falls outside, there is a good possibility that there will be witnesses. However, even with witnesses, many businesses will claim that it is not their fault or their act of negligence that caused the fall.

Outside claims should not be seen as any more difficult than inside claims. If the victim was in the parking lot of a business, and that business is responsible for the maintenance of that parking lot, any problems within that area are their responsibility. If there is uneven pavement, broken parking curbs, debris in the parking lot, or even slick spots from oil dripped by cars, they are responsible for the accident. A business is compelled to provide a safe environment for their clients, inside and outside of their main structure.

Ways of Proving Negligence

In the end, the attorney, for instance a slip and fall lawyer in Virginia, is responsible for presenting the case in a manner that shows how the negligence of a company was the direct cause of the slip and fall. This can be accomplished through surveillance videos, cleaning and maintenance records, eyewitness accounts, and pictures taken at the time of the event. Pictures taken after-the-fact may also be helpful, especially if it is a visible flaw in the walkways of the business.

Attorneys must use their talents to see where the problem was and how it impacted the decisions of their clients, causing them to fall. Lighting can also play a very large part in proving negligence, especially if the slip and fall occurred at night. The attorney must determine if the area was well lit enough to allow safe passage. If not, this is negligence on behalf of the business owner.

lip and fall accidents can be very serious. While it may seem like a simple accident, many falls can lead to hip and spine injuries that require extensive therapy or surgery. Other injuries, such as torn rotator cuffs and scraped or cut faces have also been related to slip and falls. This is why it is very important to do whatever it takes to prove negligence and help the victim claim the compensation they deserve. 

Georgina Clatworthy is a former law blog editor and now writes consumer focused articles about the U.S. legal system. Price Benowitz LLP is a personal injury law firm, working with those who need the services of a slip and fall lawyer in Virginia. Because negligence in slip and fall accidents can be difficult to prove, it is advisable to partner with an experienced attorney to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.

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