Tulsa Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
Slip and falls are no laughing matter. If you sustained more than a bruised ego in a slip and fall incident, you may want to talk to an attorney.
Slip and fall accidents are so common that most people brush them off as nothing more than embarrassing events. As children, individuals fall off skateboards, trip over shoelaces, and fall over sports equipment. Employees may trip over random items they forgot they placed in an aisle for inventory or over open desk drawers. Ask any parent, and he or she is sure to tell you that he or she has tripped over his or her kids' shoes, toys, and other neglected items more times than he or she can count. In most instance, the fallen individual gets up, brushes it off, and goes on with his or her day. However, for some people, getting up and brushing off the incident is not possible, as those peoples' slips and falls result in serious, life-changing injuries. If you are reading this now, you are likely one of the latter types of individuals.
Slips and falls have been known to cause fractures, breaks, concussions, and even serious brain injuries. They have also been known to result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. If you or a loved one is the victim of a slip and fall injury, you may wonder if your own clumsiness caused the incident. At Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker , we have seen enough premises liability cases to feel confident in telling you that you are likely not to blame.
Proving Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
Because civil courts are already so overburdened, they have developed criteria for accident victims who hope to bring about a slip and fall suit. This criterion was designed to eliminate frivolous suits and ensure that only those with real merit made it before a judge. If you sustained an injury on another person or entity's property, ask yourself if the following elements exist in your case:
● Duty: First and foremost, the property owner or occupier must owe you a duty of care. In Oklahoma, a person who enters another's property falls into one of three categories - invitee, licensee, and trespasser. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, who are individuals who enter a property for their own and the property owners' mutual advantage. For these individuals, property owners must actively maintain the premises to keep them in a safe condition. Property owners owe licensees, or those who visit a property for their own enjoyment, a slightly lesser duty of care. For these individuals, they must only provide warning of known dangerous conditions. Oklahoma property owners owe trespassers no duty of care save to refrain from intentionally harming them.
● Notice: Even if you can establish that a property owner owed you a duty to keep you safe from harm, you must then prove that the property owner either knew about the hazard and failed to correct it, or that the hazard existed for such a length of time that any other reasonable property owner would have known of its existence. Notice is often difficult to prove and typically requires hard evidence or expert testimony.
● Dangerous Condition: The existence of a dangerous condition is not as difficult to prove. Typically, photographic evidence, witness testimony, and video footage will suffice.
● Damages: Like the dangerous condition element, damages are not difficult to prove either. You must simply show that you sustained injuries and financial damages and that the incident was the cause of those harms.
Premises Liability Cases are Difficult to Prove
Even if you are confident that you can prove the existence of the above four elements, there is no saying whether or not an insurer or judge and jury will award you damages. The defense may claim that your own negligent actions, such as your walking and texting or running through an aisle caused the accident. It may argue to the end that it had no notice of the condition and therefore can not be held liable. It is not unlikely to think that the defense will be armed with a lawyer, and its insurer armed with legal help, as well.
You can level the playing field and increase your odds of obtaining a successful outcome by hiring a Tulsa slip and fall accident attorney. At Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker, we understand the intricacies of slip and fall cases and can help you navigate them and common challenges and steer you toward a successful result. Contact our law firm today to learn more.