Personal Injury

What You Must Prove to Win a Slip and Fall Injury Claim

Written by Mark Schreuder

What You Must Prove to Win a Slip and Fall Injury Claim

Unfortunately, accidents and injuries can still occur even in places where you should have the right to feel safe. It is not uncommon for people to experience slips and falls in public places (such as your local supermarket) which can often lead to more serious back, neck or head injuries. If you are a victim of a slip and fall case, you may be entitled to make a slip and fall injury claim and receive compensation for your injuries. Read on to find out more about what you must prove to win a slip and fall injury claim.

TL;DR

In order to win a slip and fall injury claim, you need to prove that the other party has breached their duty  of care. This can be done by collecting evidence such as pictures and witness statements, consulting a compensation lawyer and checking the timeframes for a slip and fall claim.

What is a slip and fall injury claim?

In any circumstance where you have been injured in a public place due to the fault of another party, such as the supermarket, you may be entitled to make a slip and fall injury claim. This claim is brought against the party at fully or partly fault for failing to take reasonable care of you, such as by failing to reasonably ensure a safe environment free from spillage or slippery surfaces. If your claim is successful, the claim settlement will compensate you for all your related injuries and losses.

What must be proven for a slip and fall injury claim?

If you have sustained an injury on public property, this alone is not enough to lodge a slip and fall injury claim – your injury also needs to be the result of another party’s negligence. For negligence to be established, there are three criteria to be met:

  1. The party at fault owed you a duty of care

A duty of care is owed by an occupier of premises towards all the people who they can reasonably foresee will enter the premises. For example, a supermarket will owe a duty of care towards all of its customers and staff, as it is reasonably foreseeable that they will be on the supermarket premises. This duty of care means that they must ensure the safety and well-being of those people.

  1. The party at fault breached that duty of care

A breach of duty of care means that the negligent party has not taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of those to which they owe a duty of care. A common example is where supermarkets deviate from reasonable practices, such as not having floors cleaned from spillage or not having warning signs or barriers placed around potential hazards, and this will constitute a breach.

  1. You were injured or suffered loss as a result of the breach of duty of care

This may pertain to a physical or psychological injury, damage to property or economic loss.

Step By Step Process To Best Win A Slip And Fall Injury Claim:

  1. Immediate Actions – Collect Evidence

There are certain steps you should take immediately after suffering your injury. If you are able, return to the site of the accident and take a photo of where your injury occurred and what caused it. Speak to witnesses who may have seen it happen and take down their contact details. For example, if your slip and fall accident occurred in a shopping centre, a nearby store worker may have witnessed it, so be sure to contact them.

Seek medical attention so that you have proof of the resulting injuries from your slip and fall accident. Make copies of any medical documents you receive as they will be instrumental in building your slip and fall claim later.

  1. Consult With a Compensation Lawyer

Slip and fall lawyers will be able to summarise the details of your case and provide you with an expert opinion on how to prove you were the victim of a slip and fall accident. Owners and management personnel of public spaces have a duty of care to their patrons, which means you are entitled to a safe, risk-free environment.

Your lawyer will outline your rights and build a strong case for your personal injury claim. Not all slip and fall lawyers will have the expertise to best represent your case, so make sure you do a good amount of research and choose one that has a successful history in these types of cases.

  1. Check Timeframes for your slip and fall injury claim

Time limits for slip and fall claims can be quite strict so check that you are within the appropriate timeframe. Naturally, your lawyer will do this for you, but it is still useful information to know.

Strict time limits do apply in making a slip and fall injury claim, and it is best that all claims should be made within 3 years of the incident causing the injury. If you believe you are eligible to make a claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you have not lost the chance to receive compensation for your injuries. Although you have up to 3 years to undertake any legal action, it is best to start a claim as soon as possible, as the claims process itself can be complex and may take more time than anticipated.

  1. Building Your Case

Once you have consulted with a personal injury claim lawyer, you will be asked to start collecting evidence to strengthen your case. This may involve the photographs and details you collected initially, as well as a statement regarding the incident, medical and travel expenses incurred from the injury and records outlining the resulting loss of earnings.

You will need to launch a public liability claim against the party at fault and their insurance company. The outcome of your claim will be dependent on the following factors:

  • Whether the plaintiff owed you a duty of care
  • Whether the accused party was negligent in providing appropriate care
  • Whether you were hurt or suffered losses because of their lack of care
  1. Settlement Time

The time taken to reach a settlement will vary based on the seriousness of your injuries and losses. In personal injury claims where a slip and fall accident is less severe and the individual recovers quickly, a settlement can be reached sooner. However, cases that involve serious injuries can take longer, as it is harder to assess the full impact of the injuries until the individual has stabilised, so that an adequate compensation amount can be given.

Slip and fall lawyers will have a good idea of the time frame involved regarding your case. It is best to expect your claim to take approximately 12-18 months, but this will vary based on your circumstances. The amount of compensation you receive will also be based on your situation but usually, it will cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, care and assistance, home modification etc.

If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, you should consult with a lawyer about your options for a slip and fall claim going forward. If you are looking for experienced and expert slip and fall lawyers, contact Schreuders today.

slip-and-fall

What evidence do I need to prove my slip and fall injury claim?

You should begin collecting evidence for your slip and fall injury claim as soon as possible. The evidence you can collect helps to strengthen your case against the negligent party and maximise the compensation you can receive. The evidence you should endeavour to collect includes:

  • Any records of correspondence between the injured party and the party at fault
  • Photographs of the location where the injury occurred, and the surroundings
  • Photographs of the injury itself
  • Surveillance footage of the incident
  • A statement of events written by the injured party
  • Medical records of your injury (such as the dates of appointments, medical certificates and x-rays)
  • Names, contact details and statements from any witnesses
  • Receipts or records of any expenses incurred due to your injury (such as the cost of home modification, or travelling expenses)
  • Records of any lost wages due to your injury

Let Schreuders help you today

Anyone can be the victim of a slip and fall accident. A compensation claim may seem arduous, but it is worthwhile to receive the appropriate compensation you deserve. If you find yourself a casualty of a slip and fall accident, you may have the right to submit a personal injury claim. For more information about making a personal injury claim, get in touch with Schreuders today.

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