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In slip-and-fall cases, negligence is often difficult to prove

It's a reality of life that accidents involving trips and slips happen. In many cases when these types of accidents occur at retail stores, restaurants and hotels; injured parties attempt to take legal action. Even in cases where an accident is simply just that or where an individual’s own actions contributed to their injuries, businesses throughout New York State are often targeted in lawsuits claiming negligence in slip-and-fall cases.

When successful, damages awarded in premise liability lawsuits related to slip and falls can total several thousands of dollars or more. For businesses and their insurance companies, it's important to hire a skilled attorney who can vigorously defend against these types of legal claims.

In premise liability lawsuits involving slip-and-fall accidents, the onus is on the plaintiff to prove negligence. These types of cases must be thoroughly investigated and reviewed on an individual basis. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove that his or her injuries resulted from a "dangerous condition." Additionally, a plaintiff must prove that such a condition posed "an unreasonable risk" that any and all responsible parties "should have anticipated."

Say for example that a grocery store employee spilled a bottle of cooking oil while stocking the shelves. If he or she fails to take action to clean up the spilled oil and, two hours later, a customer slips and falls; the grocery store and associated responsible parties may be held liable in the case. If, however, the employee takes action to section off the area where the spill occurred and to clean it up, it's unlikely that a plaintiff would be successful in recovering compensation.

Source: FindLaw.com, "The Small Business Owner and Slip-and-Fall Accidents," April 1, 2015

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