19/07/2023 0 Comments
Determining Negligence is vital in Slips, Trips and Falls Claims
Slips, trips, and falls are a common form of injury in personal injury claims. The owners of property, whether private, commercial, or State owned, are required by law to take reasonable steps to avoid such accidents happening on their property.
It is becoming more common nowadays that the courts are dismissing false or exaggerated claims, so it is important that people taking such cases have had genuine accidents and that they can establish both that the property owner was negligent and that such negligence was the cause of the accident.
Examples of claims that would fail are:
- At the time of the accident the claimant was trespassing on the property. This is where the claimant had no right to be on the property when the accident occurred.
- Where the claimant caused the injury through their own dangerous or reckless actions.
- Where the claimant ignored warnings of the property being dangerous.
- Where there was clearly a dangerous building or part of a building in dangerous condition which the claimant ignored.
A general rule applies to property owners that they owe a duty of care to lawful visitors to maintain their premises in a clean and safe condition. This applies very much in the workplace so that employers, whether they own the property or lease it, have a duty of care to ensure the building is safe for employees to work in.
A claimant in a personal injury case must not only prove the injury sustained but must prove that the property owner was negligent in the management of the property. An example of this would be a slip on a supermarket floor where a person sustains an injury requiring hospital treatment and loss of earnings while out of work. The mere fact that the person slipped on the shop floor is not enough to win the case, the claimant must establish that the shopkeeper was negligent in maintaining the safety of the shop floor. If the shopkeeper can show that the shopping aisles are inspected at regular intervals throughout the day and the spillage occurred between these times, a court could rule that it would be unreasonable to impose a strict duty of care as shopkeepers cannot be expected to predict a slippage that usually happens suddenly. A court will look at whether the accident could have been avoided and if the court believes the defendant did everything reasonably expected of them to prevent accidents, then a court is unlikely to find against the property owner.
Recording the Accident
When an accident occurs in a place of work or shopping centre or wherever else, a note of the incident should be recorded in the event you are going to follow it up with a claim. Keep all records, names of witnesses, dates, and receipts from visiting the doctor. It is always very helpful on the day to take a picture, if possible, of where the accident occurred. Keep all these and give to your solicitor.