Slip, trip and fall cases can be difficult for a number of reasons. One main reason is that there are usually problems with proving liability. Many folks who have fall accidents because they slipped or tripped over some thing like water, debris, etc. often wonder if they have a valid fall accident case. The answer depends on two questions.
1. Are the damages significant enough to warrant filing suit against the owner?
There is a cost-benefit analysis which the injured person must consider prior to making the decision to file suit. On the one hand, there is the injury, damages, pain and suffering, etc. On the other hand, there is the cost of filing a lawsuit and other costs, the hassle of going through the lawsuit, taking time off work to meet with lawyers, prepare for and testify at a deposition, attend and testify at trial. The deciding factor is whether the injuries are significant, such as broken bones, spinal injuries, head injuries, etc.
In many slip and fall accident cases, the person is embarrassed and may be shaken up, but does not suffer any real injury. They may suffer very minor injuries, such as a sprained ankle or a few bruises or scrapes. Absent additional damages, a bruise, scrape or even a sprained ankle would not be significant enough to file suit. That’s because the cost of filing suit can be costly.
Obtaining records, fling a complaint and having the proper parties served can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Then, the discovery process can add several thousand dollars to the total tab, and that excludes the high cost of preparing any case for a jury trial. Expensive expert reports may be needed from medical professionals. These costs must be considered before deciding to file suit. If the injuries are minor, then the potential costs weigh against proceeding with a case.
2. Is there evidence of liability?
The strength of a slip and fall case depends on proof of liability. The more proof, the better the case. In fall down accident situations, the moments after the accident often offer invaluable evidence of liability. However, that depends on whether an incident report was filed or the accident was at least witnessed by another party. Incident reports are crucial pieces of evidence and often lead to additional sources of evidence.
Initially, after a fall down accident, the injured person may not file an incident report with the establishment. This does not defeat a fall accident case, but often makes it more difficult to prove. The store may have invaluable surveillance footage which gets erased or is otherwise lost. An incident report helps to establish critical facts, such as what time the accident occurred, whether there were any witnesses, etc. Failure to file an incident report immediately after an accident occurs can cause significant problems.
For instance, a grocery store shopper who has a fall down accident may simply walk out of the store, go home and minutes later realize they are significantly injured. The person goes to the ER and has to have surgery for a broken bone. By the time the individual thinks to contact the store, days have passed. The store’s surveillance footage capturing the accident is recycled and recorded over. The footage could have validated the person’s version of events.
Determining whether to proceed with a slip, trip or fall down accident case should be done after at least one consultation with a slip and fall accident lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a fall down accident, feel free to ask one of our lawyers for a free consultation. Click To Call.
Related Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Legal Articles:
- Department Store Liability for Slip and Falls in Philadelphia, PA
- Slip & Fall Accident Hazards – Debris in an Aisle
- Philadelphia Slip and Fall Law – Business & Store Liability
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
The law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent has helped many slip and fall and trip and fall accident victims. The firm offers a FREE, INITIAL consultation. Contact our Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers. Click To Call. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.