• Who’s at Fault When You Slip and Fall in A Public Place?

    Has anybody you know ever been in a slip and fall accident? If it was in a public place, did they file a claim against the owner or management of the business?

    A lot of people think that getting hurt on someone else’s property automatically means the property owner or operator has to pay for all your medical expenses, and other damages too. But to hold the property owner responsible you need to prove that they were negligent and that they should have anticipated that the condition of their property could lead to an injury. Faced with a slip and fall claim, the owner will probably try to prove that they couldn’t have known. They’ll also raise the question of comparative negligence.

    What is Comparative Negligence and How Does it Work?

    Comparative negligence raises the question of whether the person who got hurt had any responsibility for their own injury. For example, if a person falls down a flight of stairs at a hotel and hurts their back, incurring $10,000 in medical expenses, they might file a slip and fall lawsuit against the hotel owner and its management. The victim may say the lighting on the stairs wasn’t bright enough. But if the hotel proves that they were texting on their cellphone at the same time that they were going down the stairs, the hotel may argue that the injured person is partly responsible for what happened to them. If the jury agrees, then they’ll decide the comparative responsibility: what percentage of the blame lies with the hotel, and what percentage of the blame lies with the victim. If they decide that your responsibility was contributory but that the hotel’s lack of light was to blame for more than 50 percent, they will reduce the amount of money that the hotel owes you by the amount that you are responsible.

    Proving Comparative Negligence

    The person or organization being sued in a slip and fall accident doesn’t raise the subject of comparative negligence until after they’ve been found to be at least partially responsible: they use comparative negligence to reduce the amount of money that they have to pay. Having an experienced slip and fall attorney representing you is the best way to be ready for this defense, and make sure that you get the greatest compensation possible.

    Contact the attorneys at Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr today to learn how our representation can help you.

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