Accidents happen every day. When they happen on someone else's property, however, they could be the basis for a special type of lawsuit called a premises liability suit. In a premises liability suit, the injured party seeks monetary damages for their injuries, which may include medical bills and pain and suffering.
If you've been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else's property, you may have a case provided that you can prove the property owner was negligent in some way. Following are a few things you should know about filing a premises liability case before you file a lawsuit.
There Must Be a Responsible Party
Before you can file a lawsuit, you must determine who is at fault for your injuries. If you were injured in a store, you may assume that the store is at fault. They may be, but it is usually not that straight forward. For example, if a vendor visits the store to set up a display and leaves something in the aisle for you to trip on, the vendor, not the store, may actually be at fault. Additionally, if you contributed to the accident -- let's say by not wearing your glasses when you can't see without them -- you may be partially or fully responsible.
To determine who the responsible party is, your lawyer will comb through the evidence so you can file a suit against the responsible party or parties.
You Have to Prove Negligence
In order to win your case, you have to prove that the responsible party was negligent. You can prove negligence if the responsible party caused the conditions that made you fall or if they knew of the conditions and did nothing about it. The law also gives the responsible party a reasonable time frame to fix the issue.
As you can imagine, there may be circumstances where it is impossible to prove negligence. For example, if a customer spills a gallon of milk and you slip on it immediately after, the responsible party will argue that they didn't know about the spill or have a chance to address it.
Some Types of Properties Are Exempt
While most slip-and-fall accidents that happen on commercial or residential property are able to be prosecuted, falls that happen on government property may not be. Some government properties are immune to liability and lawsuits. If you were injured on government property, it's very vital that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
If you've been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to cash damages. However, you have to prove who the responsible party is and that their negligence caused your injury. Contact a lawyer, such as Greg S. Memovich, if you think that you might have a case.