Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Case

Wet floor sign - visual concept for blog discussing the Michigan Slip and Fall Law.

A slip and fall or trip and fall injury claim is a type of premises liability case that arises when a person falls and is injured because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. A fall can lead to serious, sometimes permanent injuries. If you were injured in a fall on someone else’s property, you might be entitled to compensation. But proving liability in a slip and fall or trip and fall claim can be challenging. For more than 40 years, the Michigan slip and fall lawyers at Muth Law, P.C. have been representing people injured in fall accidents on other people’s property. We know how to navigate Michigan slip and fall laws to obtain the compensation you and your family deserve.

Examples of Negligence in a Michigan Slip and Fall Case

Various hazards can cause people to suffer injuries in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. Common causes of slip, trip, and fall injuries include:

  • Debris or objects in walkways
  • Wet floors
  • Snow or ice on sidewalks or other walkways
  • Damaged or uneven flooring
  • Cracked pavement or sidewalks
  • Poor lighting
  • Loose floor runners or rugs
  • Loose, damaged, or missing handrails

To win your slip and fall or trip and fall case, your slip and fall injury attorney must prove the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care and that their negligence caused your injuries.

How a Slip and Fall Injury Attorney Can Help with Proving Liability

Proving liability for a Michigan slip and fall accident can be challenging. You must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

  1. The property owner had a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe
  2. The property owner violated their duty
  3. You were injured as a result

Establishing the Duty of Care

The basis of premises liability law is the notion that a landowner is more knowledgeable about potential hazards on their property than a visitor. As a result, the property owner owes a duty of care to anyone who comes onto their property. The duty of care owed depends on the relationship between the property owner and the injured person. A person who comes onto someone else’s land can be classified as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Different rights and duties apply depending on why the person was there.

  • An invitee is on the property at the invitation of the owner. The invitation may be express, such as when a visitor is invited into someone’s home, or implied, like a store that is open to the public for business. The property owner owes an invitee a duty of ordinary care.
  • A licensee is on the property with the express or implied permission of the owner but is there for their own benefit. A property owner is liable for reckless or willful behavior that injures a licensee.
  • A trespasser comes onto the property without the owner’s permission. Property owners owe a limited duty to trespassers and are only liable for willfully, recklessly, or wantonly causing harm.

Proving a Violation of the Duty of Care

To prove a property owner violated their duty of care, the injured person must establish that the property owner knew or should have known of a dangerous condition on their property and failed to address it. To prove the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, your lawyer may present witness testimony to establish how long the hazard existed, evidence of prior accidents, or video surveillance to show the property owner knew or should have known of the hazard.

Causation and Damages

Finally, you must prove your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. This is typically accomplished through medical records and expert testimony to establish the cause and extent of your injuries.

Your lawyer can establish the full measure of your damages by presenting evidence of:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

What To Do After a Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Injury

Suffering an injury on someone else’s property can be scary, and you may not know what to do next. Many slip and fall or trip and fall accident injuries are covered by the property owner’s insurance company. But unfortunately, the property owner and their insurance company may deny your claim or try to pay you less than your claim is worth. The experienced premises liability lawyers at Muth Law can protect your rights and increase the likelihood of a successful resolution. Here are six steps you should take to protect yourself after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident.

Our attorneys have been helping people injured in slip and fall and trip and fall accidents for over 40 years. We know what it takes to get results, and we will work towards a favorable resolution in your claim.

To put our expertise to work for you, call 734-481-8800 or contact Muth Law today to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Categories: Personal Injury