Proving Fault In A Slip And Fall Accident
December 27, 2018
Slip and fall accidents occur in Pennsylvania all the time. However, not every victim of a slip and fall accident receives monetary compensation for his or her injuries from the at-fault party. This is because the victim in a slip and fall accident must be able to prove that the injuries he or she sustained in the accident were the fault of another person. So, how does one prove fault in a slip and fall lawsuit sufficient to be awarded monetary damages for one’s injuries?
Elements of a Slip And Fall Case
In Pennsylvania, to secure monetary compensation for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, the injured person generally files a negligence action against the liable person. In order to prevail in a negligence claim, the injured party must have evidence sufficient to establish the following four elements:
- That the responsible party owed a duty of care to him or her;
- That the responsible party breached this duty of care by failing to act appropriately;
- That the responsible party’s breach of the duty of care owed caused the injured party’s injuries; and
- Actual damage to the injured party resulted
In slip and fall cases, the theory of negligence injured parties alleges is called premises liability. The theory of premises liability permits injured parties to sue the owner of the property on which he or she was injured. In a premises liability action, the duty of care owed to the injured party depends on the purpose for which the injured party was on the property. If the injured party was trespassing on the property at the time of he or she sustained injury, then it will be hard to prove that the property owner is at-fault for his or her injuries because property owners generally do not owe trespassers, people not permitted to be on the property, a duty to protect them from harm.
If the injured party is a licensee, or, stated differently, a person allowed to be on the property for social reasons, then the injured party can prove fault by establishing that the property owner owed him or her a duty to warn or protect against, known, latent conditions on the property, that the property owner breached this duty by failing to act accordingly, and the breach of duty caused his or her injuries. If the injured party is an invitee, a party on the property for a business purpose, then the injured party need only establish that the property owner owed them a duty to protect them from known dangerous conditions or the property, failed to do so, and this failure caused his or her injuries.
Evidence of Negligence In A Slip And Fall Accident
In order to prove the four elements of a slip and fall negligence claim, the injured party can submit the following evidence at trial or to the judge in a pretrial motion:
- Witness testimony – It is generally a good idea to have eyewitnesses and experts testify as the details surrounding the slip and fall accident and whether a dangerous condition on the property caused the accident to occur.
- Video from the accident scene – Video footage of the accident can help to establish that there was a dangerous condition on the property and that the dangerous condition caused the slip and fall to occur, which resulted in injury.
- Photographs of the accident scene – Photographs of the accident scene can also help to establish that there was a dangerous condition on the property at the time of the accident, which caused the accident and resulting injuries to occur.
- Records of Damages – Keeping records of the injuries sustained in the accident is important to determine how much money a jury or judge should award the injured party in a slip and fall lawsuit. These records should include any medical bills, medical reports and diagnoses, and records of lost wages.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Slip and Fall Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party, or their insurance company, to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Quinn Logue, LLC represent clients injured because of a slip and fall accident in Pittsburgh, Penn Hills Township, Mount Lebanon Township, Bethel Park, and throughout PA. Call 412-765-3800 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 200 First Avenue, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, as well as offices in Scranton, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.