If you haven’t had a nasty spill on privately owned property, you may think that slipping and falling is no big deal. However, when a banged-up knee results in surgery a few weeks later, you’ll wonder what you need to do to win a slip and fall lawsuit.
The owner of a business must provide a reasonable duty of care and maintain their space so that no entrants become injured. There are a few different types of entrants, from trespassers to invitees. The owner owes a greater duty of care to an invitee than a trespasser, so it’s your best bet to prove that you’re an invitee.
If you were at a business while it was open as a shopper or employee, you should have no trouble proving you’re an invitee. If you were on the premises without the owner’s permission, the defense might argue that you were trespassing.
For this aspect, you must prove that the defendant didn’t act “reasonably prudently” to take steps to prevent your injury. For example, if you slipped on a spill caused seconds before, the defendant would not have had reasonable time to address the problem. If the spill was there for an hour, a judge would likely consider that a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue.
Responsibility (or Fault)
While this is the toughest part to prove, it’s also the key. Your best course of action is to talk with an experienced attorney who knows how to handle lawsuits like this—you probably won’t be able to prove fault on your own.
No company wants to lose a slip and fall lawsuit case. Payouts can be quite high, so many organizations will attempt to wait out the plaintiff in the hopes that they drop the suit. If you want to stand up to these well-funded defendants, you should consider pre-settlement funding for your case.
Now that you know what you need to do to win a slip and fall lawsuit, talk with a lawyer and see if you have a case!