Individuals who sustained injuries caused by a slip and fall incident on another person’s property may be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, just like any other personal injury claim, a victim will have to prove the liability of the other party in order to recover the compensation they are entitled to. Here, we want to examine the steps necessary for determining fault after a slip and fall incident in Philadelphia.
Proving the Elements of Negligence
There are four elements that must be present in order for a successful premises liability claim to proceed forward. For a slip and fall case, these elements include:
- Duty. It must be shown that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant (the property owner alleged to have caused the slip and fall incident) to the plaintiff (the injury victim). Most property owners do owe a duty of care to those who have a right to be on their premises, though this duty of care will look different depending on the type of property and situation. This duty of care extends to private residence owners, business owners, those who operate government property, and more. All property owners are required to ensure that their premises are free and safe from known hazards or that they take steps to warn guests of any known hazard that cannot be quickly fixed.
- Breach. For a slip and fall incident in Philadelphia, it must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff. In these situations, a breach of duty could include failure to use a “wet floor” sign after mopping or waxing floors, failing to promptly clean up a known spill of food or drink, allowing objects to clutter floors and pedestrian pathways, failing to maintain stairs or pavement, etc.
- Causation. It must be shown that a defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, the failure to not put up a “wet floor” sign will not matter if the slip and fall occurred in an area where the mopping or waxing did not take place. It must be shown that the property owner’s failure is what caused the injury.
- Damages. Finally, it must be shown that the plaintiff suffered some sort of monetary loss as a result of the slip and fall injury. This includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.
One of the most important aspects of proving a slip and fall claim, and indeed proving the four elements of negligence listed above, is gathering evidence. This evidence gathering often begins at the scene of the incident. Individuals present can use their cell phones to take pictures of everything, including the causes of the slip and fall, the surrounding area, injuries, and more.
Other types of evidence can also be gathered later period this includes surveillance footage from nearby cameras, statements from eyewitnesses, accident reports related to the incident, and more. It is crucial to have an attorney work on these claims so they can use the court system to obtain any evidence needed to prove exactly what happened to the insurance carriers or to the jury.
Reach Out to a Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury as a result of a slip and fall incident in Philadelphia, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyer can examine every aspect of your claim. This will include gathering the evidence needed to prove liability, handling all negotiations with other parties, and working to recover maximum compensation for your losses. This includes compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more.