How fault is assigned after a slip and fall accident

Posted April 1st, 2015 by .

Categories: Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Slip and Falls.

slip-and-fall-accidents-at-workBe careful it’s slippery out! With three inches of snow on the ground in many parts of New Jersey and warmer temperatures in the forecast, you can expect that outside conditions are pretty slick. Perfect conditions, in fact, for slip and fall accidents. We’ve spent most of the winter writing about slip and fall accidents and what you should do after you have one. But we left out the most important piece of the puzzle: How fault is proved in a slip and fall accident.

As you can imagine, proving fault can be tough after any type of accident, especially after a slip and fall accident. As we have said before, when you have an accident on someone else’s property, the fault generally lies with the property owner. It is the owner’s responsibility to keep the property safe for visitors. But how can you prove that the area was unsafe before your accident?

For instance, let’s say you’re walking into your local grocery store and you slip on the soaking wet mat at the entrance, causing you to fall and injure your elbow. If the store had known about the wet mat beforehand yet failed to warn its customers or do something like block off the area, then it’s easy enough to prove the store’s owners were responsible for your accident. But if the store didn’t know about the mat’s condition or had placed signs cautioning its customers, then it’s a little harder to prove fault. In this case, the store may say that if you were more aware of your surroundings and had saw the signs before the accident, then this situation would not have happened in the first place.

If you plan to purse a lawsuit after a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, be aware that you will have to show one of the following causes in order to have a successful outcome:

  • The property owners or employees should have known about the dangerous condition
  • The property owners or employees did know about the condition but did nothing to fix it
  • The property owners or employees had caused the dangerous condition (i.e. spilled a beverage on the floor)

Of course, the other party’s defense may be that you were careless or clumsy and that’s why the accident occurred. This is why you need an experienced personal injury attorney  when pursuing a lawsuit of this nature. For more than 26 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been helping slip and fall victims throughout New Jersey. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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