When pursuing a slip and fall claim you need to be able to prove cause, effect, and liability. Secure your claim by learning what to look for in your case.

Determining Cause and Liability of a Slip and Fall Injury

Everyone has experienced an embarrassing moment where they’ve tripped and fallen flat on their face in public. Sometimes, these stumbles are due to personal clumsiness and other times they are a result of someone else’s negligence—either way they can be quite painful.

Due to the potential seriousness of slip and fall injuries, as well as the potential for liability claims, it is important that after a slip and fall accident you determine exactly what caused the accident. If the cause was the carelessness or inattention of someone else, like a property owner or business manager, you may be owed compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other damages caused by your injury.

Common Causes of Slip and Falls

When determining the cause of a slip and fall the first thing you should look for is evidence of these common hazards:

  • Foreign substance or object on the floor. Many slip and fall accidents occur when a person steps into something that just shouldn’t be on the floor. Substances could include spilled liquids, water, melting snow, or ice while foreign objects may include broken pieces flooring, boxes, cords, or improperly secured carpeting.
  • Uneven flooring. Uneven ground is the cause of many slip and falls as a result of a disruption in gait. You develop a rhythm as you are walking. When this rhythm is disrupted by uneven footing, instead of immediately adjusting, your body will stumble. Issues like broken floorboards, torn carpeting, broken stairs, cracked concrete, and uneven surfaces are all hazards that can lead to a serious fall.
  • Poor lighting. If an area is not properly lit by property owners it could pose a serious risk to visitors. An unlit area could conceal hazards or cause a misstep.
  • Lack of safety features or warning signs. In some cases, falls take place because of a broken handrail, an unmarked step, a missing hazard sign, or a missing balcony rail. Visitors to these properties should find reasonable safety features in the area and should be warned about dangerous conditions, including wet floors.

Any one of these hazards can cause a dangerous accident and require extensive inquiries into liability issues.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine Liability

At the heart of all slip and fall cases is one important question: What was the actual cause of the fall and the resulting injury? This is the question that your insurance company, the property owner, and your judge will be most interested in having answered. The answer will also be the determining factor in whether you’re owed compensation for your injuries. This is why, before pursuing a slip and fall accident claim, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Were there any warnings (signs, cones, caution tape, etc.) of danger in the area where you fell? If so, did you proceed with caution?
  • Would someone other than yourself have noticed the dangerous area and avoided it?
  • Did you have a legitimate reason for being in the dangerous area? Was the area in a public place?
  • Were you doing anything that could have added to the likelihood of the accident? Were you distracted so you didn’t notice the danger? Were you running, talking on a cell phone, speaking to someone you were with, or doing anything that could have increased your chances of slipping and falling?
  • Was there anything you could have done to prevent your injuries?

Determining who was at fault for your slip and fall can be difficult and may leave you on unstable ground. Get the support and advice you need from the lawyers who have stood their ground for over 20 years. Visit our Bellevue office today to ensure that you’re taking the proper steps for a successful slip and fall claim.