Take Photos and Use Coins: Tips for Proving your Slip and Fall Claim
Bill Allen | December 6, 2022 | Slip & Fall Accidents
These accidents can lead to extensive medical bills and significant lost wages, not to mention pain and suffering. Unfortunately, slip and fall cases can be hard to prove. Business and property owners may fix the dangerous condition that led to your fall, reducing evidence of their negligence.
They may also claim that you share responsibility for your fall because you weren’t paying attention to your surroundings. The at-fault party may also argue that the accident didn’t cause your injuries but only aggravated pre-existing injuries.
In this article, our lawyers discuss some tips for helping prove your slip and fall case. If you take these steps, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful personal injury claim.
What is a Slip and Fall?
A slip and fall happens when your feet lose traction with the ground or floor while walking. Slip and falls are also closely associated with “trip and falls,” which is when your foot or leg catches on an object while walking.
With slip and falls, a person will usually fall backward. With trip and falls, a person will typically fall forward. In both cases, the person may injure themselves when they fall and impact the ground. Or, they may suffer harm when they use their hands or arms to brace for the fall.
What Injuries Result from Slip and Falls?
Slip and falls can cause a wide range of injuries depending on how hard the victim falls and what body parts are impacted.
A slip and fall victim can suffer the following injuries:
- Fractured hip
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions
- Wrongful death
You can recover compensation for your injuries if a proper or business owner is responsible for your fall.
What Causes Slip and Falls?
There are many different causes of slip and falls. Many are caused by a property or business owner’s failure to maintain their premises in a safe condition.
Slip and falls can result from:
- Poor weather, especially rain or snow
- Improper maintenance
- Slippery substances
- Damaged sidewalks
- Broken handrails
- Damaged steps
- Loose floor coverings
- Overturned floor mats
If a property owner knew about one of these conditions and failed to fix or warn you of them, they may be liable for your fall.
How Do I Prove My Slip and Fall Case?
Slip and fall cases are a type of premise liability claim. Premises liability comes from negligence law. Under Florida law, business and property owners have a duty to protect their visitors from harm. That duty of care differs depending on what type of visitor you are.
The main two categories of visitors are:
- Invitees – Invitees are on a business or property for the benefit of the owner. A customer or store patron is a classic example of an invitee. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. They must regularly inspect their premises for dangers, promptly fix hazards, and warn of dangers that cannot be fixed quickly.
- Licensees – Licensees are individuals on a property whose presence does not benefit the owner. A social guest is an example of a licensee. Property owners owe licensees a lesser duty. They only have to warn licensees of the dangers they know about.
To prove your case, you will need to show that the property owner responsible for your fall failed to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. You will need to show that they failed to inspect their premises for dangers and/or failed to fix or warn you of the hazards that caused your fall.
Tips for Strengthening Your Slip and Fall Claim
The key to any good personal injury claim is strong evidence. After your fall, you can collect certain evidence to strengthen your case.
You should consider doing the following:
- Take photographs and videos. Be sure to take photographs and videos of the condition or hazard that caused your slip and fall. Take photographs from different angles to get an accurate representation of the condition. Remember, the property owner may try to fix the hazard after your fall. Therefore, your photo may be the best evidence of the dangerous condition.
- Use a quarter for size comparison. If you fell on a cracked floor or sidewalk, you can increase the evidentiary value of your photos by providing a size comparison for the crack. Consider placing a quarter or cell phone next to the crack to get an informal measurement of the size of the crack. You can also do this if you slip on food in the grocery store.
By using a coin or phone as a form of measurement, you can provide a striking visual for the size of the crack or object that caused your fall. This type of evidence is far more compelling than just a normal picture of the crack. It’s hard to get a perspective of the size and dangerousness of a crack without a frame of reference.
But everyone is familiar with the size of a quarter or cell phone — including jury members. Therefore, your attorney can more easily use your photos as leverage against the property owner or insurance company. The at-fault party will either have to pay a fair settlement or risk having to explain the photo and hazard to a jury.
The other major thing you can do to strengthen your slip and fall claim is to consult an experienced attorney. Contact Allen Law Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a Gainesville slip and fall accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Contact Our Gainesville Slip and Fall Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville slip and fall accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: