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Slip-and-fall accidents – what it takes to prove fault

Slipping and falling is a common type of accident that often results in serious injuries. From concussions to broken bones, people can easily end up with high medical expenses after such a mishap. But when this happens, whose fault is it? Is it your fault because you were not paying enough attention or was it your favorite New York supermarket's fault for not putting out a caution sign about the wet floor?

Proving a slip-and-fall claim can be very difficult. Certain conditions have to exist in order for you to be successful in winning your case. Read further for more information on proving a slip-and-fall claim.

Property owner's duty

The first item that you should address if you are considering filing a personal injury claim for a slip-and-fall accident is whether or not the property owner did everything possible to maintain a safe property. In other words, could you have avoided the accident if the owner had taken steps to ensure that the dangerous area was inaccessible to customers?

In general, property owners have to make sure that their property is sufficiently safe from hazards. However, people that enter the property also have to exercise reasonable caution. For example, if you decided to climb on the store's shelves to reach an item that was just out of reach, the court may decide that you did not use reasonable caution and you played a large role in causing the accident.

Establishing liability

In order to walk away from court with a win, at least one of several conditions must exist in your slip-and-fall case. For one, a reasonable person should have been aware of the hazard, and therefore the proper owner or one's employee should have known about and corrected it. Another possible condition is that the owner or employee knew about the issue but did not take any steps to fix the problem or limit customer access to the space. Finally, if the owner or employee caused the hazard, then the court may rule in your favor.

Comparable negligence

In some cases, the court will reduce your award by the amount you contributed to the accident. For example, if you ignored a warning sign about a dangerous area because you were busy texting, the court may decide that you were 40 percent responsible for the accident. The judge would then reduce your award by 40 percent.

If you have suffered injuries due to a slip-and-fall accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages due to missing work.

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