Potential Defenses To A Slip And Fall Accident

You might think that a slip and fall accident would be the most straightforward injury case to pursue. You were walking on a shopping mall's floor, slipped, and broke your arm; how hard can it be to prove such a thing? Unfortunately, proving that you were injured is only half the battle; even if you can prove that, there are still defenses the defendant can use to deny your claim. Here are four examples of such defenses:

The Danger Was Obvious

You can't be compensated for an injury caused by an obvious risk that a reasonable person would have avoided. For example, you can't expect the government agency charged with road maintenance to compensate you after driving in a giant sinkhole in the middle of the road on a clear day. For the same reason, the owners of the premises where you slipped and fell may claim that the condition of the floor (for example if there was an ongoing construction) was so obvious that any other person would have sought an alternative path.

The Defendant Didn't Have Time to Correct the Danger

You can only hold someone responsible for your slip and fall accident if they knew the danger existed and had time to correct it but failed to act in time. For example, shopping mall operators who leave spilled oil on their floor for days are clearly liable for the injuries the oil spill may cause. However, if oil spills (maybe from another shopper's bag) and a second later you slip and fall on it, then the owners of the premises may get off the hook because they didn't have time to react.

You Were Careless

The defendant can also claim that you were careless, and your carelessness led or contributed to your injury. Examples of how carelessness may contribute to slip and fall injuries include running on a wet (and slippery) floor, ignoring a warning notice, and stepping over a physical barrier. In any of those circumstances, even if your claim isn't denied outright, it is likely to be reduced considerably.

You Were Trespassing

Premises' owners aren't expected or required to show the same duty of care to trespassers as they should show to legitimate visitors. Therefore, the defendant can claim that you were trespassing on the property (for example, if you went to the mall after closing hours). Your chances of recovery are very low in such a case.

Therefore, don't take it for granted that you have a settlement waiting for you just because you were injured in a slip and fall accident. You still have a mountain to climb in the form of disapproving the above (among other) defenses. To continue reading more, check out the sites of local person injury attorneys.