How Can I Win Settlement for Wet Surface?
If you are thinking about pursuing a slip and fall personal injury settlement, then you might have a several questions about winning your claim.
The first and most basic question you might have is :
I fell on a slippery surface and got injured. Can I get a fair settlement?
In order to get a slip and fall personal injury settlement you have to prove the other party was at fault. The other party typically being the property owner or the owner’s insurance company.
Showing fault is very difficult. To show fault you have to present clear evidence that the other party was negligent.
Every property owner has something known as “duty of care”. This basically means that they are required to keep their properties safe for all visitors.
However, just because you fell on a slippery surface does not mean that the owner was negligent. You must also show the floor was “unreasonably” slippery and the accident was unavoidable.
Your entire slip and fall claim depends on how well you can convince a judge or potential jury about the property owner’s negligence.
There are several ways to show the owner was irresponsible. For example…
Were there any precautions?
In order show the owner’s fault, you must demonstrate that the owner didn’t take any specific actions to alert you and other visitors regarding the slippery surface.
For example, let’s assume it was raining and people kept walking in and out of the store, making the floor wet in the process.
To show fault you should ask yourself:
- Were there any extra mats to absorb the water?
- Was there a person regularly mopping the floor?
- Were the doors and windows tightly closed to prevent more water from coming in the area?
- Were there any warning signs about the slippery surface?
If you answered “No” to most of these questions, then you can argue that the owner should have anticipated the floor getting wet and potentially dangerous.
By ignoring to implement any precautions they put you and other visitors at risk on their property.
Another question you should consider is….
How long was the floor wet?
After the owner became aware of slippery surface, how long did they wait to take action? Was the action immediate or delayed?
To show the owner’s fault, the length of time to clean up should be unreasonably long. For example, if someone dropped a box of juice in a grocery store and the owner cleaned it up 5 minutes later, that is considered reasonable amount of time.
But if the owner left the juice on the floor for the next hour in a crowded store, that might be considered negligent enough to award you a fair compensation.
In addition to your injuries you should ask….
Were there any other people who slipped?
Ask around and see if you can find any other people who have also been injured (or seen other people get injured) on the property.
Finding witnesses and other victims makes your slip and fall lawsuit more credible. It shows that the owner has a pattern of neglecting safety of it’s visitors. This increases your chances of getting a fair settlement.
The final question to consider is……
Did you know the floor was slippery before you fell?
The basic point of asking this question is to determine if you could have avoided the accident. In evaluating your slip and fall personal injury claim a judge or jury will consider questions such as:
- Were you aware that the area was slippery?
- Did you willingly ignore any posted warnings?
- Even if there was no warning, could you have easily avoided the slippery surface?
For example, you were running in a store during a rainy day and increased your chances of getting injured.
No court is going to give a you a hefty slip and fall personal injury settlement if you were being irresponsible.
In the end if the owner can show that you were somewhat reckless, then the blame will shift to you. Therefore the owner cannot be held responsible for your mistake and you will not receive any slip and fall settlement.
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