Are You Not Sure if You Have a Case for Your Slip and Fall? Get Help from an Experienced Attorney to Learn More
The owner of the property is not always at fault or accountable for your injuries if you slip and fall there. This holds true even if a spill caused the fall. However, there are circumstances under which this particular circumstance can result in a successful premises liability action.
Discover what constitutes an accident and what establishes a case in the following paragraphs. Call the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation if you think you have a case.
First, we must demonstrate that a risk contributed to your slip
The first step is to establish that a hazard existed that led to your slip. Then, we must demonstrate that the slip led to the injuries you are suing for. A slip and fall disaster could happen, for instance, if there was a spilt drink in a restaurant or a pool of milk on the floor of a grocery store. Whether the spill was caused by a patron or a restaurant employee is irrelevant.
Then, we must demonstrate how long the hazard remained
The next step is to demonstrate how long the hazard remained. Why? Because it is not legally obligatory for business owners to witness everything and be aware the moment something is spilled. They are unable to maintain control over every aspect of their land. However, they are obligated to identify and eliminate hazards in a timely manner. When they fail to do so, they are then responsible for any harm that result.
Techniques for demonstrating the length of the hazard
The particulars of the case will determine the best technique to demonstrate how long the incident went unchecked. It would be ideal if there were surveillance footage that could demonstrate when the spill happened and when the person collapsed. Eyewitness accounts of when the spill occurred and when it was discovered by others are another piece of evidence that can be useful.
Using the spill itself, one can estimate its age. Examples of evidence that the spill had been neglected for a long time include the presence of footprints, the drying of some of it, or the presence of something that had been frozen and then melted.
Finally, you can demonstrate that the manager or owner generally neglected to maintain and examine their property. This could be accomplished by identifying incomplete or faked maintenance logs or by demonstrating how filthy the floors are. This can support the argument to a court or jury that the spill could have easily existed for a long time without anyone intervening.
It must have been a spill for more than 20 minutes
Of course, this raises the question of how long is “too long” until a spill gets cleaned up. Most of the time, 20 minutes is regarded as sufficient time for the property owner to have cleaned it up. But that depends on a number of variables, including the number of workers and passersby nearby. Call Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation to learn your odds of succeeding in a case.