How Do You Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case in New Orleans?

Feb 7, 2022

You can get compensated for a slip and fall case, but you need to prove negligence. Learn how to prove negligence in a slip and fall case in New Orleans.

Dangerous conditions on a property could cause slip and fall accidents. The resulting injuries could range from minor fractures to brain injury and even permanent disability. If you have been in such a situation, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans to help you determine if you have a slip and fall case. 

Is a Slip and Fall Accident a Premises Liability Case?

A slip and fall accident is a type of premises liability claim. Other premises liability cases include elevator accidents, dog bites, and amusement park accidents. Under premises liability law, property owners are expected to run their land and buildings in a way that guarantees the reasonable safety of others. Therefore, when property owners fail to fix or warn people about unsafe conditions, they are legally liable for injuries.

Dangerous conditions are hazards that potentially pose an injury risk to people on the property. A reasonable person can also detect such conditions. For example, a property owner should know that an even surface could cause someone to trip and fall. Therefore, they are expected to fix or prevent the accident.

Damages You Could Recover in a Slip and Fall Case in New Orleans

When you file a personal injury claim or personal injury lawsuit, you may be awarded damages if you can prove the premises owner’s negligence. Damages refer to money paid as compensation for a loss or injury. The potential damages you will claim are divided into economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages have a fixed amount, unlike non-economic damages. Here are some of the damages you could claim:

Medical Expenses

The liable party will pay for any medical costs arising from any injury sustained in a slip and fall. This covers expenses such as hospital stays, medications, and physical therapy.

Lost and Future Wages

If the injury sustained makes you unable to work or function optimally, you can potentially recover compensation for your wages. 

You may also be able to recover compensation for the costs of hiring help in your home. Non-economic damages you receive could include disability, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. Occasionally, you may also be awarded punitive damages. This happens when the evidence shows the defendant acted recklessly or maliciously. It serves as a deterrent for future actions.

What Causes a Slip and Fall?

Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time and anywhere. We’ve listed a few dangerous conditions that can cause a slip and fall below.

  • Poor lighting in hallways or staircases
  • Wet surfaces such as a wet or slippery floor. Spills and water leaks could also cause a slip and fall.
  • Uneven surfaces. For example:  potholes, uneven flooring, faulty sidewalks, and loose floorboards.
  • Fallen merchandise and exposed wires 

How Can You Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?

A key factor in getting compensated following a slip and fall case is the ability to prove the property owner’s negligence. However, proving fault can be challenging because the insurance company will attempt to devalue or discredit your claims. Therefore, you should hire a personal injury attorney to help you prove negligence. But first, let’s discuss what to do to prove negligence.

First, you need to prove that the property owner owed you a duty of care. It means that the property owner had to act in a certain way towards you or the public. For example, if you are in a shopping mall, the owner is responsible for ensuring that you are safe to a reasonable extent.

Another factor to consider is that the business owner, property owner, or property manager must have been aware of the danger or, at the very least, should have known about it. If they were aware of it, they should have taken steps to fix the damage or warn people about the danger. Failure to do this is a breach of the duty of care.

In addition, you also need to prove that the hazardous condition directly caused your injuries. However, even if your injuries were caused by the actions of a negligent property owner, you must establish that you exercised reasonable care while on the property. For example, if you were walking through a walkway but operating your phone, you would be unable to see any potential hazard.

If you fail to exercise reasonable care, Louisiana’s comparative negligence law will affect the outcome of your case. This means that if you have any degree of fault in your accident, it will be reflected in the damages the court awards. So, if your ability is 20%, you’ll only receive 80% of your settlement amount.

Some evidence that could help you prove negligence in a slip and fall include videos of the accident, eyewitness testimony, and pictures of the dangerous condition. An experienced personal injury attorney in New Orleans will help you gather this proof and use it to develop a good strategy.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Cases?

A Statute of Limitations places a time limit on your right to pursue a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies depending on the state and the case involved. For slip and fall accidents in New Orleans, the rules are governed by Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492. This code specifies that you cannot bring a slip and fall lawsuit before a court after a year. 

Usually, the Statute of Limitations in a case starts running from the day the accident occurs, except in special cases. Therefore, if you do not file your slip and fall lawsuit within a year, you can expect the other party to move for it to be dismissed.

Get the Help You Need From New Orleans’ Premises Liability Lawyers

If you get injured on another person’s property, you may have a slip and fall case on your hands. This is regardless of whether the property is private or public property. First, examine the facts of the incident to be certain that it is a slip and fall case. Alternatively, you can hire a personal injury attorney to help you with this.

At Wright Gray, our lawyers have extensive experience representing several slip and fall victims. Therefore, we are in a great position to represent or advise you as you pursue compensation. Our law firm also offers a free initial consultation for potential clients, and we work on a contingency fee basis. So, give us a call today, and let’s help you get the compensation you deserve.

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