How Can I Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?

Posted On May 3, 2022 Slip and Fall Accidents
lawyer holding Slip and Fall Incident Report form

You are not automatically entitled to compensation if you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property. To recover damages, you must prove that one or more parties are at fault for your injuries.

As a rule, liability for a slip and fall accident rests with (1) the owner of the property and/or (2) a tenant or occupant with control of the premises. In addition to identifying who is at fault, you must present evidence that negligence on the part of the defendant caused you to slip and fall.

Slip and fall lawyers at The Flood Law Firm can help if you suffered injury on an unsafe property. Contact us in Middletown, Danbury, Bridgeport, or Waterbury today for a free consultation.

What Is Considered Negligence in a Slip and Fall Claim?

There are four elements a plaintiff needs to prove in a personal injury case:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  2. The duty was breached as a result of negligence on the defendant’s part
  3. The breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the injury

Legally, negligence is the failure of a party to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. What constitutes “reasonable” care depends on the party or parties in question, as well as the scenario at hand.

Broadly speaking, the party in possession of a property (i.e., the owner) is responsible for keeping the premises in safe condition for lawful visitors. Similar duties apply to a party or parties in control of the property (i.e., a residential or commercial tenant or other occupant).

Negligence on the part of the owner or occupant can take several different forms:

  • The defendant’s negligence causes a dangerous condition on the premises
  • The defendant fails to warn visitors of a slipping or tripping hazard
  • The defendant is negligent in supervising and inspecting the property; as a result, a hazard is not identified and remedied in a timely fashion

Property owners and occupants are not expected to be all-knowing. However, they are expected to take steps that a reasonable person in the same position would take, such as keeping the premises clean and accessible, regularly checking for hazards, posting warning signs as appropriate, etc.

Unfortunately, property owners and occupants sometimes fail in these duties. When this happens, negligence can lead to a host of dangers that result in slip and fall accidents.

Common Examples of Negligence in a Slip and Fall Claim

Some of the most common reasons people slip and fall on premises owned and/or controlled by another party include:

  • Wet floors
  • Buildup of ice and snow on walking surfaces
  • Objects and debris in walkways
  • Uneven and damaged flooring
  • Frayed, worn, and bulging carpets
  • Loose rugs and floor runners
  • Cracked sidewalks and pavement
  • Handrails that are loose, damaged, or missing
  • Improperly designed steps and stairs
  • Poor lighting

To prove liability for your slip and fall injuries, the evidence must show that the property owner or an occupant (or an employee or other agent) failed to exercise reasonable care over the premises. Negligence may result in a dangerous condition like the ones listed above. Alternatively, a slip and fall accident may occur because the owner or occupant was negligent in monitoring the property or failed to warn of a hazard.

What Evidence Do I Need in a Slip and Fall Claim?

Multiple forms of evidence can strengthen your case against the property owner or occupant. Ultimately, you will need to prove not only that the owner or occupant was negligent and their negligence led to your injuries but that you suffered damages as a result of the slip and fall accident.

The following types of evidence are essential for proving negligence, liability, and your losses in a slip and fall claim:

  • Photos of the hazard or dangerous condition on the premises
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Video footage of the slip and fall accident
  • A slip and fall incident report (if available)
  • Your medical records
  • Bills and receipts for any expenses you have incurred
  • Notes you make about the accident and your injuries, including inability to work, daily pain levels, etc.

A slip and fall accident attorney can investigate thoroughly to determine if the property owner or occupant had procedures in place for regular cleaning and maintenance, repair and removal of dangerous conditions, etc. Thorough investigation may reveal additional issues of negligence, such as multiple complaints about dangers on the premises, inspection reports that highlight hazards, and more.

Expert witness testimony can also help support your claim against the property owner or occupant. A slip and fall lawyer can consult expert witnesses on multiple facets of your case, including how negligence on the part of the owner or occupant created the dangerous condition that led to the accident.

Dealing with Allegations of Comparative Negligence

Property owners and occupants (and their insurers) will frequently try to argue that the plaintiff’s own carelessness was a factor in the slip and fall accident. This is known as a comparative negligence defense.

Connecticut law does not entirely bar recovery if you were partly responsible for your injuries (see Connecticut General Statute § 52-572h, which sets the threshold for comparative negligence at 50% for plaintiffs to still be eligible for compensation). However, allegations of comparative fault in a slip and fall claim can limit the recovery of damages to which you would have otherwise been entitled.

An experienced attorney will be prepared for the defense to argue that your negligence was a factor in the slip and fall accident. Your lawyer will assess the evidence, dispute allegations of partial fault, and pursue recovery for all of your losses.

Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer Today

Did you slip and fall on someone else’s property? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages you have sustained.

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling premises liability claims, including those involving slip and fall accidents. We investigate thoroughly and gather all evidence of negligence on the part of the property owner or occupant, then pursue the full compensation you deserve.

Please call The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 today for a free consultation. Our slip and fall lawyers serve clients throughout Connecticut from offices in Middletown, Danbury, Bridgeport, and Waterbury.

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