Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. June 2018

18 JUNE

Road to justice

www.SnellLaw.com | www.SnellInjuryLaw.com

Slip and Fall Cases Are Tough

Especially When You Play Into a Company’s Hands

Injuries that happen at work are covered under workers’ compensation law. But what happens when you’re injured while

shopping, eating at a restaurant, or staying at a hotel? These types

of injuries are covered under premises liability law, and they can be some of the

trickiest personal injury cases to prove.

A lot of people assume that if they slip on a slick floor while walking the aisles of Target, they’ll have an open-and-shut claim. Unfortunately, that’s very rarely the case. Simply being injured while at a business does not guarantee that you’ll receive compensation. Because of this false sense of security, people often do things that undermine the validity of their claim without even knowing it.

The truth is that premises liability claims are a minefield. The law favors businesses, even before you factor in the tactics these companies use to protect themselves. A lot of the mega-retailers have people on staff whose job it is to make sure claims are weakened. These risk-minimization professionals are experts, and you probably won’t realize you’re speaking with one. You should absolutely report an injury to a staff member, but you shouldn’t provide them with anything more than your basic biographical information (name, date of birth, address, etc.) without speaking to an attorney first.

“The truth is that premises liability claims are a minefield. The law

accessible ramp had a divot in it that caused wheelchairs to be overturned. It goes without saying that the business should notice and fix this dangerous divot. Other times, things are a little more complicated, but an experienced attorney can help you strengthen your claim.

favors businesses, even before you factor in the tactics these companies use to protect themselves.”

At The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., we work with engineering experts who can provide key testimony. We

once had a case where a buggy tapped a display, causing it to come tumbling down on an unsuspecting shopper. Our engineers demonstrated that this display was inherently dangerous, and the business should never have put it up in the first place. Similarly, we help

It’s also a good idea to gather whatever documentation you can at the site of your injury. To win a premises liability case, you need to prove that the business was aware or should’ve been aware of the hazard that caused your injury. If you spilled a bottle of soda and fell seconds later, you probably don’t have much of a case. However, if we can prove that a spill existed for hours or that an employee noticed it and did nothing, your claim is much stronger. Essentially, you have to prove that the hazard was open and obvious, and that the business could have taken steps to remedy this. There are times when proving this is pretty straightforward. Let’s say a wheelchair-

recover surveillance footage that can provide key insight into how long a hazard went unattended.

If you’re injured while out and about, we can make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Just remember to help yourself by withholding ammunition that a business can use against you.

–Jim Snell

www.SnellLaw.com | www.SnellInjuryLaw.com | F: 803-359-7691 | P: 803-753-1476 1

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