A slip and fall case is winnable. It’s important to know, though, that these are very difficult cases to win. The fact is, most of the time, when a person falls, he or she is able to get right back up and back to their daily lives. You may have a bruised ego or a bump on the head, but you are overall okay. This is not the type of slip and fall case that you can win in most cases. However, when you are suffering due to this type of injury and it isn’t your fault it occurred, it may be possible you have a case that can be won. The question is, what does it take to win this type of case?
A $1.2 Million Verdict Says It’s Possible
As proof that a slip and fall case can be won, consider the Scott County jury that awarded a woman $1.2 million in February of 2014 (read the whole case here). The woman fell on ice at a hotel. The ice was on a private walkway. How did she obtain this type of award?
The difference here is in the details. When Ms. Alcala slipped on the ice it was only after the hotel, the Marriott Bettendorf, had plenty of opportunity to do something about it. The woman sued under the premises liability law. Here are some of the key reasons she won her case:
- The attorneys tracked down 2 additional customers who were at the hotel at the same time. They put these customers on the stand as well. Both stated that ice was present and very slippery.
- Attending paramedics who responded to the scene to help the woman after her fall had to apply their own salt to avoid falling.
- The woman suffered significant damage. She shattered her right ankle as a result of the incident. This required two surgeries to fix. And, she later developed arthritis as a result. The woman now walks with a limp.
- She suffers from chronic pain, can no longer travel, and had to change her work times (with a pay cut) as the result of the accident.
Proving Fault Saves The Day
As you can see, there are several key things that make this a stand-out case when it comes to slip and fall matters. The hotel had ample opportunity and advanced knowledge of the ice occurring and being present. They knew that leaving the ice there put others at risk but did not otherwise improve the condition to allow for someone to walk safely. This helped prove negligence. To do so, the risk had to be present, had to be something the hotel knew about, and had to be something they didn’t try to fix to avoid the problem.
The second factor is that she suffered significantly and long term losses. As mentioned, a bruise isn’t going to help you to win your case, but this type of medical limitation and long term implication does.
In short, to win a slip and fall case, you need to prove these two factors are present. With the right attorneys and the right overall factors in the case, it is often winnable.