Whenever a victim plans to sue someone who caused harm to them in some shape or form, they need extensive supportive forms of evidence to develop their claim. This requirement is primarily meant to prevent individuals from filing lawsuits against innocent parties, as the documentation must thoroughly prove the damages incurred by the accident and the defendant’s liability.
What Type of Evidence Do You Need to File a Slip and Fall Claim?
There are a few key things you will need to prove when filing a claim for a slip and fall accident. These include:
- The owner of the property in which you fell owed you and other visitors a “duty of care.”
- Note: The “duty of care” is the property owner’s legal obligation to provide a safe walkway, free of excessive risk. This obligation means that any hazards that arise in the walking area must be taken care of in a reasonable timeframe so that dangers are minimized for visitors.
- The property owner was negligent, in that they failed to fulfill their duty of care.
- Their failure was the direct cause of your fall and the injuries or other damages you sustained.
Firstly, you must demonstrate that the property was either leased, owned, or rented by the property owner in question and prove your presence at that property during the fall. Outside of proving these two factors, there is not much you need to do to establish the first point. For this, you are protected by your state’s premises liability law.
For the second and third points, however, you will have more to do. For instance, proving the property owner’s negligence will entail gathering the following evidence:
- Photos showing that there were no visible signs warning of the walking hazard.
- Photos, videos, and an accident report reflecting the hazardous walking conditions.
- Note: Depending on the type of hazard, consider filing a police report as well. Dangers like broken or cracked concrete are likely to hurt many more victims. Alerting the police to the matter can prevent someone else from getting hurt.
- Proof of the property owner’s or manager’s knowledge of the hazard. (This may include documents like maintenance logs, for example.)
You will also need to demonstrate the damages you incurred. This includes both injuries and property damage. Evidence for this includes the following:
- Hospital visit summaries and related medical bills
- Photos of damaged possessions and their estimated value
What Else Do You Need to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
Legally, property owners are expected to have general liability insurance, which will be their primary funding source to cover your injuries. However, the defendant and their insurer will most likely be unwilling to turn over the funds. Instead, they may try to invalidate your case, despite all the information above. Even accusations that the victim’s clothing caused the slip and fall are quite common (for this reason, you may want to save your clothes from the day of your fall).
To learn precisely what types of additional evidence you may need to combat the defendant’s evasive tactics, get in touch with a slip and fall lawyer. They’ll ensure that your case is strong enough to secure the necessary compensation to fully fund your recovery and hold the property owner accountable for their negligence.