If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, there are several things that you need to prove and several types of evidence that can help you meet those requirements. You need proof of an injury. You need proof of causation. You also need proof of notice, among other things. You can get that proof with document evidence or lay witness evidence or expert evidence (among other types). It is, however, essential to be sure you have the evidence you need lined up and ready to present to the court in order to take your claim to trial. To be sure you have what you need for success, talk to a skilled Chicago injury attorney about your case.
L.C. was a woman who was injured in a slip-and-fall accident in a Chicago stairwell. She allegedly suffered significant injures and, as a result, decided to sue. In L.C.’s case, she asserted that she fell due to ice on the stairwell that accumulated as a result of faulty gutters.
When you’re suing a property owner in a premises liability case (which can mean a slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall, among other scenarios), there are several things that you have to show. One of those things is what’s called “notice.” Notice means that the property owner knew, or reasonably should have known, about the hazard that caused your injuries.
There are two different of notice. There is actual notice, which means that the property owner actually knew about the problem, but still took no action (or took action that was unreasonably inadequate.) The other type of notice is something called constructive notice. That means that the property owner inevitably would have known about the hazard that eventually injured you if the property owner had exercised reasonable care.
Another thing you must have is proof of causation. You have to prove that a hazard, which was substantial enough to qualify as something more than trivial, existed and that it was the direct or foreseeable cause of your injuries.
When you are seeking to establish causation, you need to have considerable proof to back up your assertions. This may involve securing lay witnesses who testify about the duration of time that the hazard had existed. It may also involve expert witnesses. In a case involving ice and faulty gutters, for example, you might seek to retain an expert in building engineering, building codes, meteorology, or all of the above.
Whatever proof you present, it is typically important to have something more than just your own assertions. The lack of this type of evidence was a downfall for L.C. She alleged that the gutters were faulty. However, as the court pointed out, the only proof of that was L.C.’s assertion in her complaint. And the only basis for that assertion was the fact that there were icicles hanging from the building’s roof. If L.C. had presented persuasive proof that the building’s gutters were improperly installed or maintained, or that there were code violations that had been assessed based on the gutters, then she might have achieved a more favorable result. However, she had none of that type of evidence, which is why her case fell short of even making it to trial.
If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall, be sure you have the legal help you need. The experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca have been providing effectively representation for many years and are ready to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
A Nightclub Patron’s Successful Use of Default Judgment in Her Illinois Slip-and-Fall Case, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 30, 2018
4 Precautions to Prevent Slip-and-Falls During Winter, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Feb. 8, 2015