Slip-and-fall accidents can result in serious injuries. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest. It is important to know this so you can make sure to gather what you need to build a strong case.
In a recent example, a man claimed he slipped and fell while at a cafeteria. He stated that the fall led to a head injury that caused prolonged symptoms including headaches, pain, and stuttered speech. He presented over $20,000 in medical bills and requested reimbursement for these bills and additional expenses like lost wages.
Unfortunately for the man, surveillance video surfaced that showed him getting a cup of ice water, dumping it on the floor and then laying on the floor. It appears the fall never happened. When confronted with the evidence, the man admitted to staging the entire accident. He plead guilty to insurance fraud. The court has ordered him to complete two years of probation and 14 hours of community service.
The case is an example of the way the unscrupulous have built hurdles the seriously injured must overcome when building a slip-and-fall case. Two of the biggest questions you can answer for the court to help move your case forward despite these obstacles include the following.
#1: Why were you there?
It is important to show that you were either invited in as a customer or guest. The law does not extend to protect trespassers as they generally do not have an expectation of safety when on another individual or business’ property.
#2: Did the owner take care of the property?
Next, it is important to show that the property owner failed to take reasonable care of the property. In a slip-and-fall case, this could include showing that a business owner did not encourage employees to walk around the store and check for any puddles or slippery spots. It could also include showing that the property owner was aware of a hazard but failed to take reasonable steps to fix it.
#3: BONUS: Was there surveillance video?
Although the man’s plans were thwarted by surveillance video in the case discussed above, true victims can benefit from the presence of video of the accident. Such footage may be available in security feed or even a ring camera from a nearby home that had a visual of the accident.