What’s the main reason slip and fall cases fail? Find out in this article so you don’t have to worry about losing your claim.
What would be worse than slipping, falling, missing time from work, racking up a pile of medical bills, and then finding out you’re not able to win your injury claim, even though it’s 100% someone else’s fault?
It can happen in slip and fall accident claims. And it’s more likely when you have an inexperienced personal injury lawyer.
What Is the Top Reason Slip and Fall Claims Get Denied?
In one sentence: proof of notice of a dangerous condition.
Most Defendants argue they didn’t have actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition that caused the injuries. Defendants simply say, ”I did not know about the dangerous condition. And it’s not my fault that I didn’t know. There is no way I could have known. I don’t know how long the dangerous condition was present.”
How Do You Show Defendants Knew, Or Should Have Known About, a Dangerous Condition?
In many cases, it boils down to how long the dangerous condition was present. You have to prove the dangerous condition existed long enough such that a reasonable property owner should have known about it.
If you slip and fall inside a store, and evidence shows the store didn’t perform an inspection of its floors for the last couple hours, that could be enough proof to win your injury claim. You may also be able to find evidence of property management best practices in the industry and show how the defendant deviated from that.
These types of notice are called “constructive notice.” The proximity of store employee(s) to the dangerous condition is also a factor that is considered. For example, if a spill was located right next to a cashier it is easier to argue the condition should have been discovered timely due to its proximity to the store employee.
The other form of notice is called “actual notice,” which means someone provided written or oral notice to the property owner. Actual notice is very difficult to prove, so most attorneys will try to show some form of constructive notice, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Actual knowledge, however, can be presumed when the property owner or manager created the dangerous condition at issue. For example, if a store employee mopped a floor and left it in a still wet condition with no warning sign the argument exists that the employee, in fact, created the dangerous condition and obviously had actual knowledge of same.
You Must Have a Skilled Attorney on Your Side
The skill of your attorney comes into play in large part here. They may have to question the defendant quite rigorously to reveal the information necessary to support your slip and fall injury claim. It’s another reason you go with experienced Dallas injury lawyers who have already won many slip and fall cases.
Since all personal injury lawyers only charge a fee when you win, you can hire the very best one available. You don’t have to go with an inexperienced one that may not be able to get you the legal outcome you deserve.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years (since 1983). Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.