Establishing Negligence in McKinney Slip and Fall Cases
A crucial step in a successful slip and fall claim is to establish negligence on the part of the property owner. An attorney must prove that the property owner or manager owed a reasonable duty of care to the injured party and failed to deliver that care.
The greater the cause and effect relationship between the duty and the injury, the stronger the proof is that but for the breach of this particular duty, the injury would not have occurred. An experienced attorney could assist a plaintiff in establishing negligence in McKinney slip and fall cases and work towards recovering compensation.
Common Defendants in Slip and Fall Cases
In a slip and fall case, the premises owner and occupier are the primary defendants. The owner and occupier are not always the same, however, and could be different people or different companies. For instance, the premises owner could be the landlord and the occupier could be the tenant in a strip shopping center. In some situations, the landlord may not have any knowledge of the premises defect but the tenant, the person actually occupying the property, does have knowledge of the defect. In those situations, it might be completely appropriate to bring a lawsuit against the store owner and not the premises owner.
The same thing can happen in reverse. There are times in which the premises owner may know about a problem that the tenant store owner is not responsible for under their contract. As an example, a shopping center may have a problem with the outside sidewalk directly in front of a particular business. The landlord may be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the sidewalk exclusively, even if it is adjacent to a particular store.
Role of Witness Testimony In Establishing Responsibility
Sometimes, the best evidence of what happened in a particular slip and fall accident comes from witnesses. There may be evidence to show what else was going on around the scene that proves the specific defect was not open and obvious.
For example, a witness may overhear store employees discussing the incident and someone states that the issue should have been corrected months ago. The admission becomes evidence that can be used at a trial to show the property owner knew or should have known of the problem. In addition, witness testimony could establish plaintiff’s damages. Disclosing condition of the injured party before and after the accident is critical to showing the extent of their injuries and the necessity of a complete recovery. An attorney could help find suitable witnesses and collect testimony for litigation.
Valuable Evidence in a Slip and Fall Case
Pictures of the condition or danger, videotapes of what took place, and sometimes videotapes of the fall may all be essential evidence in a successful slip and fall case. Measurements of the hazard that caused the accident are also important, such as the height difference of a curb or door threshold that caused the fall.
Store evidence includes records that only the store maintains about what they do or do not do in certain situations. That is on-the-scene evidence that must be preserved and produced later. No store is going to tell anyone at the scene of an incident right after somebody’s fallen, but careful pleading and discovery can sometimes establish those types of facts.
An Attorney Could Help Establish Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Establishing negligence in McKinney slip and fall cases is an important step in recovering adequate compensation after an injury. An experienced attorney may have the resources and knowledge to collect important evidence and identify which party should be a named defendant in your personal injury claim. Contact a lawyer today.