Slip and fall claims, like other personal injury claims, require one party to be proven to be negligent and thus liable for the victim’s damages. If another party cannot be held liable for a victim’s damages, the victim cannot recover compensation to pay for them. So how can a slip and fall victim prove that a property owner was negligent and liable for their damages?
Specifically, a slip and fall victim needs to prove that the owner of the property either created the hazardous condition that led to the accident or knew of its existence. This is known as proving notice. Property owners have the duty to protect lawful visitors from harm through routine safety inspections of the areas guests frequent. If a property owner breaches this duty by failing to acknowledge a hazard, they are negligent and liable for damages. In contrast, if there is no way a property owner could reasonably have known about a hazard, they are not liable for any victims’ damages that result.
Using Evidence to Prove Notice
When a property owner has explicit knowledge of a hazard on their property, they have notice of the hazard. When they do not necessarily have knowledge of a hazard but reasonably should, they have what is known as constructive notice. Having constructive notice of a hazard is enough to be deemed liable for a victim’s damages.
For example, if a shelf becomes unhinged in a store and is left that way for weeks before a shopper suffers an injury as a result, the store’s owner has constructive notice of the shelf because, if they had conducted inspections on a consistent basis, an employee would have noticed the broken shelf and repaired it. In another scenario, if liquid spills on a store’s floor and a victim slips in it and becomes injured 30 minutes later, the store’s owner may be liable for the victim’s damages because 30 minutes is quite a long time for a spill to go unnoticed in a busy store.
The evidence you use to prove fault in your slip and fall case can include photographs of the hazardous condition and testimonies from individuals who witnessed the accident. Other evidence to use can include security footage from the property and records of how the property was staffed.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Can Help You Seek the Compensation You Deserve
Our team of Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers proudly represents clients who have suffered from slip and fall accidents in Philadelphia. If you are now facing financial damages like high medical bills and lost wages after a fall, fill out our online form or call 215-567-6600 to set up your initial consultation with a member of Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates in our Philadelphia office. We work with clients from Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Upper Darby, Sharon Hill, Wynnewood, Narberth, Clifton Heights, Folcrott, Lansdowne, Glenolden, Drexel Hill, Havertown, Cheltenham, Ardmore, Norwood, Holmes, Essington, Elkins Park, Prospect Park, Gladwyne, Chester County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, and New Jersey.