FAQ: How to Win a Slip and Fall Case
Does the fall qualify for a claim?
A slip and fall can take place either on commercial, private or government property, and can be caused by many things like uneven surfaces, and slippery floors, among other conditions, deemed hazardous. Slipping and falling on someone’s property does not necessarily mean you qualify for an injury case. Most slip and fall cases are challenging to prove in court and they all demand an experienced legal representation. If you’re in Atlanta, speaking to an Atlanta slip and fall attorney as soon as possible gives you the best chance of getting a settlement award.
Duty of Care
Negligence in a slip and fall case means that a property owner failed to use reasonable means to provide a safe environment in their premises, resulting in injury or damage to someone else. The first step in winning a slip and fall case is ensuring that you establish a viable case that clearly shows negligence on the part of the defendant. The plaintiff has to show the court that a duty to care was owed by the accused, and they failed to meet those expectations.
Classification of the Plaintiff
The duty owed by the accused differs significantly depending on the classification of the plaintiff. For example, if the plaintiff was trespassing on the defendant’s property, the duty owed in this case is very low. If, on the other hand, the plaintiff had been invited to a party, especially if it was for the financial gain of the owner (like in a hotel), then the duty of care owed is of the highest level. An accomplished Atlanta slip and fall attorney will first determine the classification of the plaintiff with regards to the property and ascertain the level of duty of care owed. Once established, the attorney can ascertain whether the defendant was negligent or not.
Proving Negligence in Court
Proving negligence is always more difficult than establishing it because the burden of proof demands that the plaintiff provide a witness, or some sort of surveillance to corroborate their claim. Lack of a witness will cause a dispute over what actually transpired and may make the case difficult to win. Some of the most important points that the plaintiff needs to prove include the fact that the property owner knew of the hazardous state of the place and failed to take action on it, or if they did not know, they should have known of the danger, and the efforts that the owner made (or did not make) to keep the premises safe. It is expected that a shop owner should keep the floors dry or free of obstacles. Negligence on the part of the plaintiff reduces the compensation package. A skilled Atlanta slip and fall attorney is aware of this and he/she will ensure that the case leans on the defendant’s negligence and not the plaintiff’s.
Atlanta Slip and Fall Attorney
Because every case is different, it is always wiser to let an experienced Atlanta slip and fall attorney best interpret the laws in their own way. Property owners will attempt to use any number of ways to minimize a claim, but a great Atlanta slip and fall attorney will see those tricks and defend the client accordingly.