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How to Win a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

Man with backpack falling on slippery sidewalkJust because you slip, fall, and injure yourself on someone’s property doesn’t automatically mean you receive compensation. To be awarded damages, you must prove the defendant’s negligence. Consider what this entails and how a slip and fall attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence.

Elements of a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

In civil cases, including slips and falls, the victim has the burden of proving their claim by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means the evidence must demonstrate that the defendant most likely caused the victim’s injuries. Here are the four elements victims must prove to win a slip and fall lawsuit.

1. The defendant owed the victim a duty of care.

Property owners, tenants, and occupants are responsible for maintaining their buildings and grounds so they are reasonably safe for the public. This is known as a duty of care.

2. The defendant’s negligence breached the duty of care.

The legal definition of “negligence” is the failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. Property owners and occupants are not expected to be all-knowing, but they must take practical steps to promote safety. In the case of slips and falls, negligence could include:

  • Allowing ice and snow to build up on sidewalks
  • Neglecting to promptly identify and remedy wet, slippery floors
  • Failing to rope off or otherwise warn people of slipping or tripping hazards

3. The defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries.

Proving that a slip and fall caused the victim’s injuries usually involves asking an expert medical witness to give a sworn opinion. When the injury involves something traumatic like a broken bone, it’s generally easy to demonstrate causation. However, when the injury is more wear-and-tear related, like a herniated disc, proving the cause can be more difficult.

4. The victim’s injuries caused damages.

Victims can seek compensation for economic damages related to their slip and fall, such as medical bills, long-term care, and lost or reduced income. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering may also apply. It’s necessary to prove the actual or estimated monetary value of these damages to receive compensation.

Evidence to Help Prove a Slip and Fall Case

Multiple forms of evidence come together to strengthen a slip and fall case against a negligent property owner or occupant. These may include:

  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Medical expert opinions
  • Photos of the dangerous condition
  • Video footage of the incident
  • Accidents reports
  • Medical records
  • Bills and receipts for various expenses incurred after the injury

If you need help seeking justice after a slip and fall accident, reach out to Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC. With over 70 years of experience as a slip and fall lawyer in New Jersey, we’re confident we can help you build a case against the negligent party and get you the compensation you deserve! Call us at 862-263-0770 or contact us online today to schedule your free, one-hour consultation. A Spanish translator is available upon request.

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
  • In 2021, a year in which New Jersey courts were basically closed for trials, our firm still settled almost 100 cases for in excess of nine million dollars. Furthermore, our average settlement—for the first time in the firm’s 70+ year history—exceeded $100,000.00. In the last ten years, the firm’s clients have recovered over 100 million dollars.
  • Read more...
  • Results may vary depeding on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
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