Thousands of people are injured annually as a result of a slipping or tripping and falling. Some of these slips and falls result in serious injuries. While tripping, or slipping on slippery, uneven or defective floors, or other surfaces such as stairs, is common, it can sometimes be as a result of negligence on the part of the property owner.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may want to consider making a claim for your injuries. However, you will have to prove that the owner of the property ought to be held responsible for the accident.
What slip and fall isn’t
Tripping, slipping and falling are a normal part of life. It is normal to trip or slip on a smooth or uneven surface. You may even trip on something that has been placed in the ground such as drainage gate. It isn’t always the property owner’s fault.
You may not be able to hold a property owner responsible for tripping or slipping on something that any ordinary person would know to avoid. Everyone has an obligation to be aware of their surroundings.
Gathering evidence of negligence
It is the responsibility of a property owner to ensure that his property is safe and secure for visitors. A property owner can be held responsible for accidents that occur on their premises, if negligence (such as failure to warn or remedy a known unsafe condition) can be proved.
The following can be admitted as evidence of negligence.
- A report of the accident and injury
The initial incident report offers an account of the accident and the injuries it has caused. It is important to report an accident as soon as it occurs. This increases the credibility of the accident report.
- Witness accounts
It is important to get contact information from people who may have witnessed the accident. These witnesses may be observers, employees or medical professionals. Medical experts are brought in as witnesses to your injuries whether mental or physical.
- Photo evidence
If you are able, take photos of the scene. Photos of the accident scene may be admitted as evidence. They give the jury and judge a clear view of the conditions at the scene. Be sure to highlight the factors that you believe led to the accident.
- Records showing damages
Records that show damages that you have suffered as a result of the accident should be stored and presented as evidence. These may include medical reports and bills, records showing lost wages and any other related documents.
Other evidence that may be relevant includes evidence that the property owner or someone with authority at the property knew or should have known about the unsafe condition. An experienced personal injury attorney will help to guide you in collecting evidence and proving liability.