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How to document a slip-and-fall case

| Mar 16, 2018 | Premises Liability |

An individual in Ohio slips and falls in a store and immediately realizes this is going to require medical attention. Going to the emergency room can be expensive, though. Is it possible that the owner of the business will pay? Can he or she be taken to court?

FindLaw explains that one of the major factors that the plaintiff has to prove in a premises liability case such as this is that a dangerous condition that the owner knew about or should have known about caused the fall. Therefore, the victim should take stock of his or her surroundings before leaving the scene of the accident, if possible.

An insurance company will probably try to show that the victim was personally responsible for the conditions that caused the fall. For example, FindLaw notes that the shoes are typically a focus of the defendant in court. Are they damaged? Are the treads worn down and slick? Would the plaintiff be likely to fall on any surface while wearing them? To counter these arguments, it is a good idea to take pictures of the condition of the shoes, and then take them off and save them as evidence.

Demonstrating that the victim was not responsible for the fall is not the same as proving that the property owner was responsible. Pictures of the scene, including the floor, lighting, objects nearby and signage can help show that the accident was caused by a condition that any reasonable person would have taken care of. A recently mopped floor with no warning signs or a leaky roof over wet tiles could be the proof the plaintiff needs.

Witnesses may help verify that the dangerous condition existed, that the owner was negligent in not fixing it and the victim was simply walking across the floor in a normal manner when the accident occurred. Medical records of the exam and treatment are also important.