Slip and falls send one million of us to the hospital emergency room every year, are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims, and account for half of all accidental deaths in the home. And while many of us may be quick to blame ourselves and our clumsiness for a fall, the cause may have been a dangerous condition with the floor or surface we were walking on.
In order to recover for injuries based on someone else’s negligence in constructing or maintaining a safe walking environment, you may need to prove the dangerous condition in court. How? By preserving as much physical evidence from the scene as possible.
Property owners have a duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions for guests and invitees. And if the property owner or an employee caused a dangerous condition or knew (or should have known) about a dangerous condition and failed to fix it or warn you, you may be able to sue for your injuries. In order to prove fault in a slip and fall case, however, you’ll need some evidence.
Some of the most important physical evidence to collect may also be the easiest — your own clothing and shoes. If you are contending that the floor was dangerous to walk on, you may need to prove that you were wearing reasonable and responsible footwear. So it would be smart to keep your shoes and what you were wearing at the time, preferably in the same condition.
Scene of the Slip
You’ll also want to document the scene of the fall as much as possible. If you can, keep the cause of your fall, like liquid on the floor, loose items, or foreign debris. If you’re unable to take these items with you, take extensive photos or video of the scene and surrounding areas.
Physical evidence is only one small piece of a successful slip and fall claim. Let an experienced personal injury attorney build the rest of your case.