Collecting Evidence to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case

Laws | January 26, 2023

Collecting Evidence to Prove Liability in a Slip & Fall Case

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to collect and protect evidence to support your claim. This evidence can include pictures of the accident scene, witness statements, and your own medical records.

By the end of this guide, you will have a clear understanding of the evidence you need to collect to support your slip and fall claim.

What is a Slip and Fall?

A slip and fall is a type of accident where someone slips and falls on another person’s property. The property owner can be held responsible for the victim’s injuries if they did not take reasonable steps to prevent the accident.

A slip and fall accident can happen in almost any place. You may fall on a wet floor in a public place, or you may slip on an icy sidewalk or parking lot. You may fall in a restaurant, grocery store, or in another public place. It is important to understand that in order to win your slip and fall claim, you will need to prove that the business owner or property owner acted negligently.

Collecting Evidence to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case

What Are the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?

There are many different things that can cause a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common causes include:

– Wet or slippery floors

– Loose carpet or rugs

– Uneven sidewalks

– Ice or snow

– Holes or cracks in the ground

– Stairs that are in disrepair

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you determine if the property owner was at fault and can help you get the compensation you deserve.

What is Negligence?

Negligence is defined as the failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. In order to prove negligence, you will need to establish that the property owner had a duty of care toward you as a visitor or customer, and that they breached this duty of care. You will also need to prove that this breach of duty of care caused you to suffer an injury or loss.

The Duty of Care

The property owner or business owner has a duty of care toward you as a visitor or customer to keep you safe from injuries. The duty of care may be different depending on the type of business or property. For example, a grocery store owner has a duty of care to keep you safe from slipping on a wet floor, but they may not have a duty of care to clear an icy sidewalk.

The duty of care may also be different depending on your status as a visitor or customer. For example, a business owner may have a duty of care to keep you safe from slipping on a wet floor if you are a customer, but they may not have a duty of care to keep you safe if you are a trespasser.

How to Prove a Slip and Fall Accident

There are three elements that must be met to prove a slip and fall accident:

  1. The property owner owed you a duty of care
  2. The property owner breached the duty of care
  3. The breach caused you to suffer injuries

The first two elements are always required for a slip and fall claim, no matter where the accident occurred.

The third element, however, depends on the state in which the accident occurred.

For example, in some states, the plaintiff must prove that the injured party did not contribute to the accident in any way.

This is known as the pure comparative negligence rule.

The plaintiff must prove that their injuries were not caused by their own negligence.

In contrast, in Alabama, the plaintiff can still recover compensation even if he or she is partially responsible for the accident.

This is known as the contributory negligence rule.

If the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation they recover will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility they bear.

For example, if the plaintiff bears 20 percent of the responsibility for the accident, then they will only be able to recover 80 percent of the damages.

In some states, a plaintiff can also recover compensation if the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on the property.

This is known as the mode of discovery rule.

For example, if the property owner knew that a wet floor was present, they should have taken action to fix the problem.

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case?

To prove that the property owner is liable for your injuries, you will need to collect evidence that shows the following:

The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your fall; and

The property owner failed to take reasonable steps to fix the dangerous condition or warn you about it.

Some of the most common types of evidence that are used to prove these elements include:

  • Pictures of the accident scene;
  • Witness statements;
  • Your own medical records;
  • Surveillance footage of the accident;
  • Maintenance records for the property;
  • Incident reports for similar accidents that have occurred on the property; and
  • Expert testimony.

Your own medical records to prove liability in slip and fall case

How to Collect Evidence After a Slip and Fall

The best way to collect evidence is to take pictures of the accident scene as soon as possible after the fall. If there are any visible hazards that caused your fall, make sure to take pictures of those as well. It is also a good idea to take pictures of any injuries you sustained in the fall.

If there are any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information so that you can follow up with them later.

It is also important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the fall. Not only will this ensure that you get the treatment you need, but it will also create a paper trail of your injuries. Be sure to keep all of your medical records, as well as any bills or receipts related to your medical treatment.

What if There is No Evidence?

If you are unable to collect any of the types of evidence listed above, you may still be able to prove your case using circumstantial evidence. This is evidence that indirectly proves that the property owner is liable for your injuries.

Conclusion

If you slip and fall, it’s important to take steps to protect any evidence that could be used to support your claim. This means taking pictures of the scene, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and keeping any receipts or other documentation that could be used to show what happened. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.

AK Law Firm Makes Legal Representation Easier for You

Concerned about changing a Houston accident attorney mid-case? With AK Law Firm, you don’t have to be. We’re committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve, charging only when we win a case. If you’re dissatisfied with your current representation, let us know so we can find a suitable replacement. Call us for a free consultation at (832) 699-5559!