Slipping and falling on someone else’s property can cause you painful and serious injuries, which take a long time to heal.
These types of injuries are more common than you may think. In fact, the National Flooring Safety Institute reports that approximately 8 million people go to hospital emergency rooms after a fall each year.
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit after suffering a fall on someone else’s property if you can show that they were negligent by not maintaining their property.
Causes of slip and falls
There are many things that can cause you to slip and fall, including icy conditions, wet floors, potholes, trash, poor lighting or improperly maintained carpet or flooring.
However, proving negligence is challenging in a slip-and-fall case. Before you file your lawsuit, you need to figure out who had the legal duty to keep the property your injury occurred on safe.
Sometimes, the person who uses the property is not the owner. For example, if you slipped on ice outside of a store, but the store owner is renting the property, should you sue the business owner or the property owner?
The answer depends on various factors, such as who had control over the property and what the lease says.
The elements of negligence
Once you have determined who to file your claim against, you must still prove negligence.
You must show that the person responsible knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about it and failed to fix it. You must then show that this failure directly caused your injury and resulted in harm.
Proving your case requires evidence. This can be your own testimony about what happened, witness testimony from anyone who saw the fall, photographs of the conditions or your injuries and medical records.
Defending against counterclaims
You should also be prepared to counter any claims that you contributed to the accident. New Jersey law states that your fault for the fall cannot be more than the person you are suing.
If you successfully prove your case, you could receive compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. It helps to work with a personal injury attorney who can help you prove negligence.