Many folks believe that we live in an overly litigious society where business owners can be sued for almost anything. There are even websites dedicated to the most ridiculous lawsuits of any given year. Stories of irresponsible suits also provide fodder for late night talk shows, like the 13-year-old Little League player who was sued by a spectator that got hit with a baseball or the drunk driver that plead guilty to manslaughter, then turned around and sued the victim.
Most of these cases are downright ridiculous and give the legal system a bad name. They also make it harder for people with legitimate claims to be taken seriously. Slip and fall cases, for example, are one of the most misunderstood types of lawsuits. They can also be extremely difficult prove because the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent in some way.
What to ask a Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer?
If you have been injured in a trip or a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, whether private, public, or commercial, you may be able to sue them for damages. With that said, the courts can be quite strict when it comes to these cases, mostly because they are so common and injuries are fairly easy to fake.
So, how do you determine liability? At the very least, one or more of the follow must be true:
- The owner of the property or his/her employees must have caused the issue that resulted in the accident, whether a spill, worn or damaged area, or other dangerous surfaces that could reasonably cause a slip and fall.
- The owner or employees were informed by pedestrians or shoppers that the surface was unsafe, but nevertheless failed to correct the problem in a timely manner.
- The owner or the employees of the premise should have known about the problem because it was so egregious that they couldn’t have possibly missed it.
All of the aforementioned criteria are important, but if we had to select one that Boca Raton slip and fall lawyers typically pay the most attention to, it would have to be number two. If they can establish that a property owner or store manager knew about the problem and did nothing to fix it, the case is almost certainly a homerun. All owners have a responsibility to address these issues and if they do not, they may be found negligent.
How much should you expect?
When injured because of someone else’s negligence, most courts will award you the cost of your medical bills, at the very least. You may also sue for pain and suffering and lost wages, if you missed work because of the injury. However, many of these lawsuits are dismissed because the plaintiff’s carelessness was a contributing factor. What does that mean?
There are many definitions and interpretations, but it generally means that a careful person would have recognized a dangerous spot and avoided it. If, for example, you were talking on your cell phone and failed to sidestep the damaged area, it may be much harder to prove negligence, since the defense will argue that you were distracted and therefore did not exercise proper care. (Contact us here for more information)