What Do You Have to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, an experienced Henderson, Nevada slip and fall attorney at Nettles Morris can help.

Accidents can occur anywhere, including at other people’s properties, and injuries will occur as a result. If you get injured due to another person’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. However, the million-dollar question is: what must be proven to receive compensation? In this short document, we will look at the key issues in a slip and fall accident claim. 

Whether you are filing a lawsuit or trying to get an insurance settlement, you must provide evidence showing that another person’s negligence caused your injury.

In a slip and fall claim, the main questions for the case are:

  1. Who are the potentially liable parties?
  2. Were those parties negligent in either causing the accident or failing to prevent the accident?

From the victim’s standpoint in a slip and fall lawsuit, another important element is proving that the injuries caused were not of their own carelessness.

The Theories of Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

For the other party to be held responsible for a slip and fall accident, the victim must prove the following:

The property owner or agent should have recognized the danger:

The victim must prove that the property owner had identified the dangerous condition (uneven walkway, pothole, opened manhole, unlighted apartment corridors, etc.) but failed to repair or eliminate the hazardous condition. The main point is: would a reasonable person have identified the unsafe condition? If so, did they have enough time to eliminate the danger before the accident occurred?

If the property owner or employee actually caused the danger:

Under this point, the victim must prove the defendant caused the accident by knowingly creating a dangerous or hazardous environment. For example, leaving hazardous obstacles where someone might walk, lack of proper warning signs while cleaning, etc.

Proving Carelessness and Accountability

In a slip and fall accident litigation or settlement negotiation, the term ‘reasonable’ is often used. That is because for the at-fault party to be held accountable in a slip and fall case, it must be proven that they failed to act as a reasonably sensible person would in a similar situation. Below are the factors considered when assessing this:

  • It must be proven that the hazardous situation or condition existed long enough that a property owner could have taken action to eliminate the problem or danger.
  • It must be proven that the landlord, employee, or agent regularly inspected the property for potential risks. If this is true, there must be some record of whether the process was conducted before the accident.
  • Was there a reasonable justification for creating a potential hazard? If this is true, was the justification present before the accident?
  • Was limited visibility or poor lighting a factor in causing the slip and fall accident?
  • Was there a possibility of making the hazardous condition less dangerous by taking preventive measures like relocation, placing warning signs, etc.?

How to Prove You Did Not Cause the Accident

In most cases, the defendant will look for a way to shift blame from themselves to the victim. You should expect the property owner or insurance carriers to shift blame, arguing that you are partially or totally at fault for the accident.

This is a type of argument made under a legal concept called “comparative fault.” Laws regarding fault differ from state to state and affect a plaintiff’s ability to receive or recover compensation if they are found to be partially or totally at fault for the accident. 

For example, in states where they follow contributory fault rules, the victim will be disqualified from recovering compensation if they are found to bear any percentage of responsibility for the accident. On the other hand, in states that follow comparative negligence rules, a victim’s recovered compensation will reduce based on the percentage of fault assigned to them. For example, if a victim was to recover $100,000 for their injuries but was found to be 25% at fault, the total amount will reduce by 25%, making it $75,000. To learn more about the negligence laws in Nevada, contact a Henderson, Nevada slip and fall attorney.

However, how is a victim assigned blame? Well, below are a few things or questions the courts will try to answer:

  • Did the victim have lawful access to the location where the accident occurred, or was there a valid reason the plaintiff had to go to the hazardous area?
  • Did the victim engage in an action that may have barred them from noting the danger, such as talking or texting, where other reasonable persons would have noticed the danger?
  • Were there adequate warning signs, or were all safety measures implemented?

Suppose the defense team can prove one of these. In that case, it means that the victim’s injuries were due to their own negligence, and the chances of winning compensation decrease.

Get in Touch With a Henderson, Nevada Slip and Fall Attorney

If you are a victim of a slip and fall accident, you should contact our personal injury law firm in Henderson, Nevada. Our attorneys are highly skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable when it comes to slip and fall cases. When you get in touch with us, we will review your claim and help you identify your legal options.

We offer a free initial consultation, and we work based on a contingency fee. In other words, you do not have to worry about our legal fees until we win the case, which gives you time to recover. Call Nettles Morris today and schedule your free consultation.