What are often referred to as “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” cases can be complicated and difficult to prove. This is because an enquiry needs to be made as to what was the cause of the slip or trip. Many might say it was just an accident but in our experience accidents do not happen. They are caused. Once a determination has been made as to the cause of the slip or trip then consideration can be given as to whether same resulted from any negligence on anyone’s part which would entitle the person injured to prosecute a claim for compensation.
The onus of proof rests on the person bringing the claim and therefore that person must establish, ultimately to the satisfaction of the court, that the slip or trip and the resultant injury which flowed therefrom, was caused or materially contributed to by the negligence or breach of duty of care on the part of the owner or occupier of the premises where the accident occurred.
Slip and fall cases can be tricky. Often the slip arises as a result of some contaminant upon the floor. For example an ice cream which has been spilt within a shopping centre. A decision as to whether a claim can be brought or not may rest on the evidence available to establish how long that ice cream was on the floor. If, for example, the ice cream had only been spilled a matter of seconds before the fall occurred then the courts will generally not hold the owner or operator of the shopping centre liable as it had not been afforded a reasonable opportunity to have detected the ice cream spillage and cleaned same. If however the evidence establishes that the ice cream had been on the floor for quite some time, had melted and was clearly visible then the court would be more likely to hold that the owner or operator of the shopping centre should have been alerted to the spillage and taken steps to have removed same or at least barricaded the area where the spillage was thus preventing patrons from traversing that area and facing the risk of injury.
With trip and fall cases it is often a matter of establishing some defect within the floor which caused the trip. This could be a differential in height, for example, between a carpeted area and a tiled area. Alternatively there may be a grate missing from a drain which causes a person to trip as they pass by. There may also be a raised screw or nail emanating from carpeting or a timber floor. Whatever the case consideration must be given to the facts to determine whether in the circumstances the cause of the trip establishes negligence or breach of duty of care on the part of the owner or operator of the premises where the accident occurred.
If negligence or breach of duty of care can be established on the part of the owner or operator of the premises where the accident occurred then the person injured will be entitled to claim damages for their injuries.
Brydens Lawyers are the experts in the bringing of slip and fall or trip and fall cases so as to ensure that in circumstances where the injury occurs as a result of the negligence or breach of duty of care on the part of the owner or operator of the premises, the injured person receives the compensation to which they are entitled. Contact us today.
For over 40 years now Brydens Lawyers has been operating a ‘No Win – No Fee”, policy which, simply put, provides that if a personal injury or compensation client is unsuccessful in their claim then Brydens Lawyers will not raise a tax invoice for having acted on behalf of the client. That is, if the claim is unsuccessful we do not get paid. More information about how this works can be found on our No Win – No Fee page.