Personal injury matters can often be resolved without protracted and lengthy litigation, if you have the right attorney who will make your best claim and advocate zealously for you. And when you can’t resolve the matter through settlement negotiations, a lawsuit can be filed and your claim litigated in court in an attempt to recover maximum financial compensation for your injury and lost wages. It is important to understand, however, that not all cases are viable in having a cause of action or damages, and determining what makes a solid case always varies. Take the classic “slips and fall” claim, which can happen anywhere; let’s examine a particular hypothetical excample to determine if this is a case that could result in a reward to help you recover.
Example: You are at a sporting event and need to use the bathroom between quarters. On your way out of the facility your step in a puddle, causing you to fall and incur a compound fracture on your forearm. You look at the ground and realized that someone spilled a cup of beer, which created the slippery spot. After you get up and leave the facility to seek medical attention, you return to take a picture of the spot that caused the accident but found that much of it has evaporated.
Was the slip the result of negligence on behalf of the property owner?
In the specific case listed above, the slippery floor was the result of an accident by another sports-goer, not an indicator of neglect to keep the property clean and safe. How long the puddle remained on the floor can, however, demonstrate that the property owner is not keeping up routine care. This is difficult to determine for a spilled beer. If you returned to the property a short time later and the liquid has evaporated, you can reasonably assume that the time between the initial spill and your accident was too short to expect a janitorial crew.
If you were away from the property for hours to seek medical attention and came back to see the spill had not been attended to, it may be reasonable to assume that a schedule of maintenance is not being kept. This may be grounds for a personal injury suit.
Did you document the evidence?
It’s important to document the conditions surrounding your slip and fall accident so an attorney can evaluate your case and bring a suit to bear against the arena. If you return to the scene of the incident too late to properly document the environment in which the slip was caused, you may not have enough proof to determine negligence.
In the examples above, it may also be hard to tell if the liquid on the floor was caused by drink spill or by a leak in a ceiling or from the bathroom fixtures. Without taking pictures of your surroundings at the time of the accident, you may not have a case.
Find out if you can take your slip and fall accident to court — contact Archambault Law’s Rhode Island personal injury lawyers for an evaluation of your case. We can help you secure repayment for medical care and lost wages due to an inability to work.