On Your Side After An Injury

Why must I prove a property owner knew of a dangerous condition?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2020 | Firm News

A slip-and-fall lawsuit requires evidence that a property owner failed to warn you of a dangerous condition. Hazards, such as wet floors or broken elevators, require clearly visible warnings to prevent you from sustaining injuries in an on-premises accident. 

If you fail to exercise caution when presented with a reasonable warning, however, your lawsuit may not result in success. The party you sue could persuade the jury that you received ample warning of a dangerous condition but you chose to disregard it at your own risk. 

Reviewing evidence 

The court generally looks at the evidence presented by both parties to determine fault. As a plaintiff, you need to show that the property owner had an awareness of a dangerous condition and failed to correct it, as noted by business.com. 

In response, a premises owner may present evidence of actions taken to warn you of a possible hazard. Examples of reasonable warnings include orange cones placed around a wet floor or easily seen signs advising visitors to avoid an area under repair. 

After reviewing both sets of evidence, the court calculates a percentage of how much each party contributed to the accident. 

Shifting blame 

A property owner may claim you ignored visible warnings, had a preexisting medical condition or wore unsafe shoes; one or more of these factors caused you to slip, trip or fall. If the property owner’s assertion convinces the jury, it could reduce your damage award. 

The jury may attempt to determine how much you contributed to your own injuries. If the court finds that you were 30% at fault, you could find the damages awarded to you reduced by 30%. 

Presenting details of prior and similar accidents may help to prove that you exercised all possible care and caution but still sustained an injury.