What You Must Prove to Win a Slip and Fall Injury Claim – Premises liability
Not every slip and fall accident will result in a claim for compensation. To have a case, you will need to prove that the property owner’s negligence caused your accident. You will also need to document your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses to demonstrate what your compensation should be.
An experienced slip and fall attorney in Hawaii can help you build a strong case for the full payment you deserve. To discuss the details of your claim, please contact the dedicated attorneys of the Recovery Law Center for a free consultation.
Proving Your Slip and Fall Injury Case
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, it might seem obvious to you that the property owner should be financially responsible. No matter how clear the property owner’s negligence seems, though, it’s necessary to prove liability to recover compensation.
You and your attorney will need to prove the following elements existed to hold the property owner legally and financially responsible for your injuries:
- The property owner was responsible for keeping their premises safe. Property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors.
- An existing hazard or danger caused your injuries. If a hazard or dangerous condition was present, the property owner or manager should have made reasonable efforts to eliminate or warn visitors of it.
- You were on the property lawfully when you were injured. Property owners do not have to keep trespassers safe, so your claim will need to prove that you were on the property lawfully.
- You were not reckless or careless before the slip and fall. Under the law, you have a responsibility to exercise reasonable caution, so you’ll need to show that you were not behaving recklessly when you fell.
Evidence in a Slip and Fall Case
Sometimes, it’s your word against the property owner’s in a slip and fall case. That’s why it is vital to have strong evidence that supports your claim. The following types of evidence may be helpful proof in a slip and fall claim:
- Incident reports – If you filed an incident report with the property owner, manager, or occupant after your slip and fall, the report could provide valuable information about where, when, and how the accident occurred.
- Photos of the accident scene – Photographic evidence of the scene of your slip and fall may show signs of negligent maintenance, clutter, spills, or missing or obscured warning signs.
- Video footage of the incident – If the property has security cameras, video footage might show evidence of tripping hazards, employee negligence, or the slip and fall itself.
- Eyewitness statements – If a customer or employee saw your slip and fall, the witness testimony could provide valuable support for your side of the story.
- Clothing and shoes – The clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall may be useful evidence. They may have slippery residue on them that could indicate the substance that caused you to slip.
- Maintenance records – Maintenance or cleaning records from the property owner or manager may show that the premises were not inspected, cleaned, maintained, or repaired regularly.
Common Defenses in Slip and Fall Claims
Often, negligent property owners claim that victims are partially or fully responsible for their injuries. In Hawaii, injury victims can recover compensation after an accident if they are less than 51 percent at fault. If a person is found partially responsible for the injury, the settlement would be reduced in proportion to the victim’s share of the blame.
Negligent property owners commonly use one or more of the following defenses to minimize or eliminate their liability for Hawaii slip and fall accidents:
- You were not a legal visitor to the property when the slip and fall occurred. Property owners have no legal responsibility to keep trespassers safe. So they may try to avoid accountability by claiming that you were an unlawful visitor.
- You were injured because you were reckless or negligent. You are responsible for taking reasonable precautions to keep yourself safe. The property owner may argue you were injured because you were engaging in horseplay or other reckless or negligent behavior on the property.
- You were injured because you ignored posted warning signs. If the property owner posted warning signs, the owner might argue that you were hurt because you intentionally ignored or disregarded them.
- You were injured because you did not follow proper safety measures. If safety measures were required or encouraged on the property, the owner might argue that you were injured because you failed to take appropriate precautions.
An experienced slip and fall attorney from the Recovery Law Center can plan for these and other defenses. We will be prepared to fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Is Compensation Possible After a Slip and Fall?
Yes. If you and your lawyer can demonstrate that a property owner’s negligence caused your slip and fall, you could be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses – Compensation can cover past, present, and projected future costs related to your treatment.
- Incidental costs – You might be owed money for the out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of the slip and fall. Examples include the costs of travel to and from medical appointments.
- Lost wages – If you miss time at work while you recover from your injuries, you could seek compensation for the value of any reductions in your pay.
- Lost earning potential – If you suffer long-term or permanent disability after your slip and fall, you could receive compensation for the reductions to your long-term earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – Settlements can include an amount to represent the subjective costs of the physical pain, psychological anguish, and emotional suffering you endure as a result of the accident.