Determining Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
Posted in Slip and fall on January 8, 2024
When individuals sustain a slip and fall injury, they often require significant emergency and even ongoing medical care in order to recover. This type of care, combined with lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses arising due to the incident, becomes costly very quickly. Slip and fall accident victims could recover compensation if their injury was caused by negligent property owners or the actions of another party. In order to recover compensation, slip and fall victims have to prove that the other party or parties were liable.
Evidence Helps Determine Fault After a Slip and Fall Incident in Tennessee
Winning a slip-and-fall accident case against a property owner or manager involves gathering as much evidence as possible. Evidence is the key to showing insurance carriers or a personal entry jury exactly what happened and why it happened. For a Nashville slip and fall accident claim, some of the most common types of evidence used to determine liability include the following:
- Incident reports. These are often generated by businesses or properties where the accident occurred. They detail the specific circumstances of the incident and can sometimes show prior knowledge of a hazardous condition that was not addressed
- Surveillance videos. Video footage can be critical in showing the order of events leading up to the incident. It can capture when and how the hazard was created and whether reasonable steps were taken to address it
- Photographs. Pictures taken immediately after the incident can document the conditions that led to the fall, such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, or poor lighting. These should include wide shots of the area as well as close-ups of specific hazards
- Witness statements. Eyewitness accounts can provide valuable perspectives on the incident, including the conditions that led to the slip and fall and the response of the property owner or staff
- Expert witness statements. Professionals like building code experts, flooring experts, and medical experts can offer insights into whether a property violated codes, the nature of the flooring, or the connection between the fall and your injuries
- Scene recreation. Accident reconstruction experts can analyze all available evidence to recreate the scene and demonstrate how the accident occurred. This can be a powerful tool in proving fault
- Security camera footage. Many public places have continuous surveillance, and these recordings can be crucial in capturing the fall and the conditions that led to it. However, obtaining this footage often requires legal intervention
- Local and national building codes. Violations of building codes can be a strong indicator of negligence. If a property failed to meet certain safety standards, such as adequate lighting or non-slip surfaces, this can be used to establish fault
- Medical bills and records. Documenting your injuries and their connection to the slip and fall is essential. This includes all medical reports, bills, and records of treatment
- Verification of lost wages. If your injuries resulted in missed work, documentation from your employer verifying lost wages can support your claim for compensation
- Receipts for replacement services. If you had to hire help due to your injuries (like child care or housekeeping services), receipts for these services can be part of your claim
- Cost of property damage. If personal items were damaged in the fall (like a broken watch, damaged mobile phone, or torn clothing), the cost to replace or repair these items can be included in your claim
- Injury diary. A detailed account of your experience after the fall, including pain, limitations in daily activities, and emotional distress, can help illustrate the impact of the injury on your life
Will Evidence Help You Recover Compensation?
The ultimate goal of all of this evidence is to recover compensation for your losses. An attorney will likely work to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your slip and fall accident claim.
Economic damages for a slip and fall accident case in Tennessee include the calculable expenses victims will most likely incur. For a slip and fall accident case, this usually includes:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and prescription medications
- Verifiable lost wages or loss of future earnings
- Out-of-pocket expenses are rising as a result of the incident (child care, assistance with household services, etc.)
Non-economic damages after a slip and fall accident case revolve around more immeasurable losses the victim will likely incur, losses that do not necessarily have receipts or estimates that can be calculated directly. Instead, there are various methods that can help quantify a slip-and-fall accident victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as their loss of enjoyment of life.
How Quickly Do You Need to File Your Claim?
Slip and fall accident claims in Tennessee must be filed relatively quickly. The personal injury statute of limitations in this state is one year from the date an injury occurs, which means slip and fall injury victims must file their lawsuit against an at-fault party within one year. Failing to do so will likely mean the case gets dismissed, leaving the accident victim with no availability to recover compensation for their losses.
However, the sooner our claim gets filed, the better. Evidence disappears quickly after an injury incident, and memories begin to fade. The longer a slip-and-fall accident victim waits to file their claim, the less likely they are to recover compensation. Contact an attorney as promptly as possible after the incident so they can start the claims process on your behalf.
Call an Attorney for Help Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you need to contact an attorney today. A Nashville slip and fall accident lawyer can conduct a preliminary investigation into your claim and help guide you toward the path most likely to recover compensation for your losses. An attorney for consultation and slip and fall accident victims will not have to pay any legal fees until after their attorney successfully recovers the compensation they are entitled to.