While motor vehicle crashes are fairly straightforward, slip and falls are more difficult lawsuits to prove. It usually requires proving that a property owner had knowledge of a hazard, which can pose some problems. Given the unique aspects of Memphis slip and fall cases, it is in your best interest to seek assistance from experienced attorney David E. Gordon.
Slip and fall cases are unique because of the requirement to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Many people think that every injury that occurs on the premises of another is the owner’s responsibility, but that is not what the law says. The owner is only responsible if they created the dangerous condition, or knew about it and failed to correct it. This is a substantial hurdle to clear for an injured person.
That is why it is important to get photographs of the dangerous condition and the names of any witnesses to it. It is also important to write down anything that the owner or the employees say about the situation.
A remark by an employee such as, “I knew somebody was going to get hurt there,” or “I told him to clean that up,” or “That refrigerated unit has been leaking for weeks,” are important admissions of fault. Those kinds of comments can be crucial to establishing the legal liability of the owner.
What makes slip and fall cases unique from other personal injury cases in Memphis is the fact that a person must prove that there was a dangerous condition and that the dangerous condition was created by the owner or was known by the owner and ignored. The injuries in a car accident and in a slip and fall might be similar, but the steps to establish legal liability are entirely different.
One of the first things that David will want to see is the dangerous condition itself, whether that is in person or through photos. This might not be possible if the hazard was a spill in a grocery aisle or ice on the sidewalk that has since melted. That is why taking pictures immediately is a good idea. The limited window to gather evidence of the hazard is one of the unique aspects of slip and falls in Memphis.
Another item of evidence that is important to a case is the incident report, which a business must usually create when someone gets injured on their property. The incident report should have a description of the accident, as well as the name and phone number of any witnesses.
Another key piece of evidence that a lawyer will want to have would be the names of witnesses. Any person who saw the fall and might be aware of the dangerous condition is likely an important witness.
The business owner will potentially try to avoid liability by claiming that they had no knowledge of the condition. Sometimes a witness can testify that the condition had been present long enough for management to have been notified of the danger.
For example, if the entrance to a restaurant has become slippery as a result of customers entering the restaurant on a rainy day, then management might have been notified of that fact. Some customers could have already told management that the entrance is dangerous. In other situations, a customer might slip, but catch themselves and complain to management A witness to that incident would be vital to the claim.
Certain slipping hazards can be cleaned up or disappear quickly, which means time is of the essence. If you have a Memphis slip and fall case, a lawyer from the Law Office of David E. Gordon can help you navigate the unique challenges that it poses. Call us for a free consultation at your earliest convenience.