What Evidence Should I Gather After a Slip and Fall?
Tampa Slip and Fall & Trip and Fall Accident Lawyer
If you were seriously hurt after slipping and falling on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Just because you’re entitled to pursue compensation, however, doesn’t mean you will automatically secure a payout.
In order to achieve a satisfactory settlement or verdict, you will have to put together a strong claim, the foundation of which will be evidence. Let take a look at the kinds of evidence that contribute to every winning slip and fall claim:
1. Evidence of Negligence
Characterized by a breach of duty, negligence provides the grounds for most personal injury claims. To prove negligence, you’ll have to demonstrate how the property owner or occupier failed to act with reasonable care. For example, did his or her staff fail to clean up a spill that they knew about—or should have known about—in a timely manner?
Since the strongest evidence of negligence will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident, your legal team will want to conduct a thorough investigation, which may yield some combination of the following:
- Photographs of the hazard in question;
- Surveillance footage of the accident;
- Eyewitness testimony; and
- The facility’s standard operating procedures.
2. Evidence of Causation
In order to be entitled to damages, you’ll have to prove how the slip and fall was directly responsible for the injuries you sustained. Proof of causation generally includes statements from accident reconstruction experts and medical specialists.
Such professionals can explain how your condition is consistent with the incident in question. Your medical records and photographs or footage from the scene can bolster their testimony.
3. Evidence of Damages
Before you can recover a payout, you must prove that you incurred actual damages as a result of the accident. In Florida, recoverable damages include:
- Hospital bills;
- Ongoing rehabilitation;
- Anticipated medical expenses;
- Home care;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Property repairs;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Domestic help;
- Child care;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Pain and suffering.
You can prove your economic damages by preserving relevant bills, receipts, invoices, and paystubs. As for proving your non-economic damages, start a personal injury journal as soon as possible, and use it to record the ways in which your injuries are affecting your everyday life. Statements from friends, colleagues, and mental health experts can also shed light on your mood, behavior, and demeanor since the accident.
If the defendant intentionally tried to hurt you—by creating the conditions that caused the slip as a kind of “prank,” for example—you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Since the burden of proof will lie with you, however, you’ll have to present additional evidence of the defendant’s misconduct in order to secure a punitive award. Such evidence might include surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, or a valid confession.
Speak with a Tampa Slip and Fall Attorney
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, contact Capaz Law Firm, P.A. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages against all responsible parties. Call 813-440-2700 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a slip and fall lawyer in Tampa.