Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Ohio, the law provides you with the option of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party for damages. During the civil suit, though, you’ll have to prove that the at-fault party acted negligently. Here’s what you need to know:
What is negligence?
Negligence is defined as one or all of the following.
- A breach of a duty of care
- An irresponsible or unreasonable action
- Another wrongful act
In regard to a premises liability case – the umbrella term that encompasses slip and fall accidents – the property owner has a duty to ensure that his or her property is reasonably free from known hazards. If a hazard is present, the property owner has an obligation to correct it.
Was the risk known?
Based on the definition above, one of the first parts of establishing negligence in a slip and fall accident claim is determining whether or not the property owner knew about the hazard.
For example, if a property owner knew of dangerous walking surface – such as an icy sidewalk – but failed to take action to remedy it, then the property owner may have acted negligently. The property owner will be held liable for your injuries if you can prove this negligence.
Did the property owner cause the dangerous condition?
Sometimes, a property owner is aware of a hazardous condition but isn’t to blame for it. For example, slippery sidewalks caused by snowfall are an example of a hazard that a property owner should be aware of but has no initial control in preventing. Some other types of risks that lead to slip and fall accident, though, are caused directly by the actions of the property owner.
For example, if a property owner has an unreasonable amount of debris/objects on his or her property that he or she placed there, and if the rubble is the cause of the slip and fall accident, then it could be argued that the property owner acted negligently first by placing the objects there and secondly by failing to remove the objects despite their obviously hazardous nature.
How a Premises Liability Attorney Can Help You
Premises liability law is complicated, and there is rarely an obvious answer as to who is liable for a slip and fall accident. If you need help proving the negligence of the at-fault party after a slip and fall accident, call the attorneys at Bressman Law today. The sooner you take action, the better because you only have two years to file your claim (Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10).
We’ll work with you to help you understand all the elements of negligence, and how to prove it before a court. Reach our offices now at 866-777-6680 or fill out this contact page if it is after business hours.