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What do you need to prove in a slip-and-fall claim?

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Personal Injury

Sustaining an injury in a slip and fall may give you a cause of action to pursue a legal remedy against the responsible party. Proving that you fell is fairly straightforward, but establishing liability is more difficult.

Here are a couple of key considerations about what you will need to do to make a successful slip-and-fall claim.

Obtaining evidence of the cause of a fall

To make your case, you must present evidence that there was a hazardous condition on the premises that caused you to fall. This might be photographic evidence, video surveillance footage, or eyewitness testimony.

Proving negligence

The presence of a hazard may not necessarily signify that the owner or operator of a property acted negligently. Slip and fall claimants have to show that a party failed to take reasonable steps to prevent a foreseeable hazard or remedy a known hazard.

For example, if a store’s personnel were aware of a leak and did not repair it, that business acted negligently. In contrast, consider a situation in which a customer spilled a beverage that he or she brought into a store, causing someone to slip and fall only seconds later. In this scenario, it might be hard to show that a business knew or reasonably should have known that the floor was slippery.

Meeting your burden of proof

In personal injury claims, plaintiffs do not have to prove their claims beyond a reasonable doubt. This burden of proof is applicable to criminal trials, not civil litigation.

To prevail in a premises liability action, you must be able to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. Under this legal standard, there must be sufficient evidence to convince a trier of fact that your allegations are probable.