A slip and fall is a type of personal injury. It covers situations where someone else failed to maintain their property in a safe condition, causing you to slip and fall.
Some slip and fall accidents can result in minor injuries, but others leave you with an incredibly painful and even permanent injury. In many cases, you will have a stack of medical bills, missed paychecks, and other expenses that you are stuck dealing with.
The good news is that you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages. If this is your first time navigating the legal process, you probably have several questions about where to start, how it works, how long it takes, and what you are entitled to receive in terms of financial recovery.
Possible Responsible Parties in a Slip and Fall Case
When you file your case, you must show who the liable party was and how they failed to adequately maintain the premises.
If your slip and fall accident took place at a business, RS 9:2800.6 requires you to show:
- The condition that caused you to slip and fall, like spilled liquid, posed an unreasonable risk of harm.
- The merchant created the situation and had actual notice or constructive notice of the danger before you were hurt.
- The merchant failed to use reasonable care in fixing or warning against the condition.
A complex issue that often comes up in these cases is constructive notice. To prove that the merchant had constructive notice, you must show that the dangerous condition existed for a long enough period of time that they should have discovered it if they were acting reasonably. However, it can be difficult to show how long spilled liquid was sitting on a supermarket floor.
Another complex issue involves cases against government entities. Many slip and fall accidents happen on publicly-owned property like sidewalks and government buildings. There is a different set of elements that you will need to prove in order to win a slip and fall case against the government, according to RS 9:2800. For example, you must show that the government had custody or ownership of the place where the injury took place.
Private Property Owners
If the property owner is not a merchant, there is another set of elements that you must prove. In general, the plaintiff will need to show that the property owner created the condition, knew or should have known it existed, and that it was still dangerous when the plaintiff was injured.
If you are confused or not sure about which standard applies to your case, it may be a good idea to consult a lawyer about your potential case.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Gathering Evidence Is Critical to Your Case
Because it is so important to prove each element, you will need to gather a sufficient amount of evidence to support your case. There are many factors to consider in a slip and fall case, and they usually involve proving the period of time that the dangerous condition existed before your accident.
Although it may seem impossible to piece this information together, there are a few ways that your lawyer can make sure you identify as much helpful evidence as possible.
Many businesses and government entities keep maintenance records, for example, or receive complaints about dangerous conditions on the property. Any prior accidents involving the same condition would also show that the property owner had actual knowledge that there was a dangerous condition.
Damages for Slip and Fall Victims
If you are able to meet the required standard in your case, you will be allowed to offer evidence showing the damages that you have suffered as a result of the slip and fall accident. You should start keeping records now so that you can receive the full amount of compensation that you may deserve. This documentation may include receipts, invoices, bank account statements, and more.
In general, you are entitled to receive compensation for any expenses that are a direct and foreseeable result of the accident. Some common examples include:
- Emergency vehicle transportation fees
- Emergency room charges
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
These are just a few examples. There may be other types of damages that you are eligible to receive.
Get a Free Consultation
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers offers a free consultation to help you learn more about your situation and whether you can pursue financial recovery. You have nothing to lose by speaking with us, and there is no obligation to continue after the consultation is over.