Anyone who has slipped and fell on a business floor may be able to file a lawsuit. However, not every instance of this is worth pursuing legally. There are several circumstances that potential plaintiffs must consider before pursuing these cases.
Understanding The Nature Of Slip And Fall Cases
There are a couple scenarios when a business is liable for an injury that must be proven in slip-and-fall cases. For example, if the business owner or someone who works for the business creates a slippery floor and doesn't do anything to fix it, they are putting the health and well-being of their customers at risk. People who slip and fall in these instances may have a case.
However, not all slip and fall cases are automatically going to stick. That's why it is important to gauge liability and to ensure that the person who slipped and fell was not the one who caused their own painful accident.
It Can Be Hard To Prove The Business's Liability
When suing a business in a slip and fall case, it is necessary to prove that they were liable for the conditions that led to the fall. The plaintiff cannot have contributed to the fall. For example, if they were aware of any dangerous conditions or should have known and failed to walk safely, the owner is not likely to be found liable. If the owner gave the plaintiff warning about the problem and they ignored it, the blame falls on the plaintiff's shoulders.
There is also a situation known as "assumption of risk." If it can be reasonably assumed that walking in an area is dangerous, then the plaintiff has no case. For example, walking on slippery ice at an ice skating rink is an assumption of risk and falling and getting injured is not the business's fault. Likewise, a person walking on a clearly marked slippery floor and falling is liable for their own injuries.
Weighing The Possible Awards
Another important consideration when pursuing a case of this type is the possible money that can be earned. For example, the maximum amount typically awarded in small claim courts ranges from $2,500 to $15,000. The exact amount will vary, naturally, and the difficulty of proving this kind of case is typically easier than pursuing a larger slip and fall lawsuit.
Why? When someone is being sued for such a small amount of money, they are likely to settle, rather than pursue the case. However, when pursuing a case as high as $100,000, the defendant is more likely to let the trial play out. As a result, the plaintiff will have to gather evidence that they suffered from medical harm and that liability lay with the business owner, not with them.
This can increase the cost of the case and make it more difficult to win. That said, if the case is won in court, the payoff will definitely be bigger. There's a trade-off that is best handled by slip and fall lawyers.
By weighing these concepts with a good slip and fall lawyer, a plaintiff can decide whether or not they want to pursue a case. In this way, they can protect themselves from pursuing a lawsuit that they can't win.