How Do I Prove A Slip And Fall Accident Wasn’t My Fault In Florida?
Slip and fall accidents throughout Southwest Florida can be tricky accidents. Throughout the United States, more than 1,000,000 people suffer a slip and fall each year, and of these accidents more than 17,000 have fatal consequences. While older Southwest Florida residents are most at risk of slip and fall, this is a type of accident that can happen to anyone when they’re least expecting it.
One of the trickiest parts of handling a slip and fall case is proving that the accident was not your fault. If you do have fault in the accident, or cannot prove that you didn’t, you may be denied compensation or have your compensation reduced. For instance, if it is determined that you were 20% at fault in your slip and fall, you may only be entitled to 80% of your settlement. For this reason, it’s important for you and your personal injury attorney to work together to prove that the accident was caused by negligence that is not your own.
Proving That The Fault Was Not Your Own
The first step in proving that the fault in your slip and fall was not your own is to prove the negligence of the property owner. Was there a slippery floor in a shop with no sign? Was there a hazard in the walkway that should’ve been removed? Were there no signs posted pointing out uneven pavement or other potentially dangerous hazards? Property owners have a certain duty of care to those who may be on their properties, and this states that hazards should be accompanied by signage or cleaned up with reasonable promptness.
Once you’ve proven the negligence of the property owner, you’ll need to prove that your own negligence did not contribute to the accident. For instance, if you were walking on a walkway not designated for guests or pedestrians, you could be deemed partially at fault for your accident. Because the pathway you were walking was not intended to be used by pedestrians, property owners may not have the same duty of care to look after those areas. Proving that you were walking in a correct and designated pedestrian area is step one.
Next, you’ll also want to prove that you weren’t walking while distracted. For instance, if you were checking a text message on your phone while walking, and in that time you tripped on uneven pavement causing injury, you could be deemed partially at fault. For this reason, it’s important to always give your walking your full attention no matter where you may be in Southwest Florida. If you do need to dial the phone, check a message, or do another activity, stop first and commence walking when you can give it your full attention once again.
If you are walking while distracted, this doesn’t mean that you absolutely cannot seek compensation. You may still be entitled to a settlement, but you may take something of a hit depending on how “at fault” you are considered in your accident. Even if distracted walking is deemed 50% the reason for your slip and fall, that means you’re still entitled to 50% of your compensation amount.
Back Up Your Slip And Fall Case With Professional Help
Seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney should be one of the first steps you make after a slip and fall accident. Your professional attorney will be able to help you to craft your case in a way that proves negligence on the part of the property owner, proves you weren’t at-fault, and builds a strong case for your desired compensation.