Fall and winter are truly the seasons for slip and fall injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent statistics, in 2017 there were 20,460 workplace injuries related to ice, sleet, and snow. Wet, rainy sidewalks and slippery flooring after a fall storm are also frequent factors in slips and falls.
Unfortunately, many slip and fall injuries are serious and require intensive (and expensive) medical treatment. And the harsh reality is that insurance companies are not always willing to pay what you are owed for a slip or fall unless you can convincingly prove your case. Below I explain what you need to prove to potentially win this type of case. Keep in mind that if you are injured after a slip or fall, a Passaic County slip and fall attorney at Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli may be able to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a free consultation on your case.
1. There was a dangerous condition on the owner’s property.
The first thing you must prove in a slip and fall case is that a dangerous condition existed on the property where your accident occurred. One of the best ways to prove this is by taking photographs as soon as possible after your accident.
A variety of scenarios may qualify as dangerous conditions, including a loose board on the stairs, a spill on the floor of a grocery store, or ice someone has failed to remove from a sidewalk or driveway. Even something small like clutter on a floor can qualify as a dangerous condition if the property owner acted negligently and it caused an accident. The key takeaway here is to make sure to document any conditions that led to your accident. If you can’t do it yourself due to an injury, ask someone else to do it for you as soon as possible.
2. The property owner acted negligently.
Once you’ve proven that a dangerous condition existed on the property, there is still more you’ll need to do to support your case. Just because there was a dangerous condition does not necessarily mean the owner was negligent.
However, if the property owner was aware or should have been aware that the danger existed, AND they had sufficient time to fix or warn guests about the hazard but failed to do so, you might have a case. Some of this depends on the timeline. If a spill happened moments before you slipped and the property owner or manager didn’t know about it, they will not likely be considered negligent. If, on the other hand, the puddle you slipped on sat there for hours and was never cleaned up, you might have grounds to hold them responsible.
Timelines in these cases can get tricky, and as the victim, the burden of proof is always on you, so working with a Passaic County slip and fall lawyer is often in your best interests.
3. You were not responsible for your accident.
Who is at fault for any slip or fall accident is another area where New Jersey law can get muddy. In the state of New Jersey, we have what is known as comparative negligence law, which means that if the victim was at fault for the accident in any way, the amount of compensation they are entitled to will be reduced by the percentage to which they were at fault.
For example, if you were texting and didn’t see the loose floorboard that caused your trip, you could be held partially responsible. In other cases, the property owner could put forth what is known as an “open and obvious” defense, stating that a reasonable person would have recognized the hazard and avoided the injuries.
In a case where the victim is partially or mostly to blame, it can sometimes be difficult to recover compensation. However, even if you were somewhat at fault, you can still recover some compensation for the accident. Again, it’s a good idea to work with a Passaic County slip and fall lawyer to build the strongest case possible. If you have questions about the extent of your responsibility, Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli can answer them. We have been working on these types of cases for over 28 years and have vast experience in this arena.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents
Each and every slip and fall case is different from the others, and compensation can vary significantly. If your case is complicated, working with an attorney can be immensely helpful. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
To find out more about the types of compensation you might be entitled to, get in touch with Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli for a free consultation. We can tell you about your rights and a Passaic County slip and fall lawyer will take the time to discuss the best strategies for moving forward. We treat all of our clients like family, and your recovery is always our top priority.
Call us today at (973) 785-9522.