Whenever you're involved in civil litigation as a plaintiff, such as when you are filing a slip and fall claim, it's helpful to know the type of defenses that a defendant might make and that you can expect. Then, you and your slip and fall lawyer are able to prepare for crafting counters to these defenses.
Failure to Prove one of the Four Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
To win a personal injury claim, you must prove that the defendant had a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty, that the accident was the result of the breach, and that you suffered damages as a result. Therefore, the defendant might argue that:
- Your injuries weren't the result of the accident
- The defendant showed a reasonable duty of care
- You did not suffer damages
For example, you might have slipped and fell but the defense might argue that you were not injured or that the injuries you are blaming on the incident were actually the result of something else. You may have had a pre-existing condition. Because you must prove each of these four elements, you should start your personal injury case off on the right foot by hiring an attorney.
Open and Obvious Hazards
If the hazards are open and obvious, the slip and fall lawyer might argue that you should have seen the hazard and avoided it on your own. At this point, you would need help from an experienced slip and fall lawyer who will examine the evidence and show that the hazard was not as obvious as claimed.
Also, if you're warned that there is a danger in place and you knowingly expose yourself to this risk, you are likely considered responsible for your own injuries. If there was a sign that instructed you not to enter a dangerous area and you entered it anyway, this might be used to have your case dismissed. However, your attorney might argue that the warning was not as clear as the property owner claimed. The sign might not have been visible or was not legible.
Even if you are able to find that the other party was negligent, you may only maximize your settlement if you can prove that you weren't negligent at all. If your attorney is able to prove that there was nothing you could do to avoid your injuries due to the negligence of the defendant, you are likely able to maximize your compensation.