In New Jersey, slip and fall accidents constitute thousands of annual personal injury claims. Each of these cases is only won by the party that is able to show the strongest pieces of evidence. As you would already know, the key to winning any legal case or argument is having proof of your innocence and the other party’s negligence.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident due to the fault of another party, you must prove fault in order to get damages. The most difficult part of filing a legal claim is gathering evidence and establishing liability. Even if it seems obvious to everyone that the other party is at fault, gathering evidence can still be challenging. Speak to a slip and fall lawyer in Jersey City for assistance today.
Proving negligence in slip and fall cases
In every personal injury claim, there are four elements of negligence that the plaintiff must prove to establish the defendant’s fault and get approved for damages. These are the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
- The defendant caused a breach of that duty.
- The breach of duty resulted in the accident.
- The accident was the sole reason for the plaintiff’s damages.
You can prove the above-mentioned elements by establishing the following:
- The defendant was liable for the fall or should have known about the hazard and prevented the accident by taking the right steps.
- The defendant failed to fix the hazard timely, resulting in the accident and the victim’s damages.
What is a contributory fault?
Determining whether the plaintiff had any fault in the accident is important as it affects the compensation one receives. Each part has a certain percentage of fault. Depending on the plaintiff’s percentage of fault, they are awarded compensation.
For example, if the dollar value of the damages is $10,000 and the plaintiff is found to have 30% fault in the slip and fall accident, then the defendant only has to pay 70% of the amount, that is, $7,000. This is known as comparative negligence.
However, a contributory fault is something else. Some states have a contributory fault rule, which states that if the victim is found to have any percentage of fault, even if it is 1%, they will not receive any compensation. Therefore, you must be the “perfect” plaintiff to recover damages.