Whether your slip and fall took place in a private residence or a public place of business, the negligent party or their insurance will likely throw out unexpected roadblocks to your financial recovery. That’s why you need the help of a lawyer to overcome potential defenses raised by the person responsible for your injury, such as claiming the fall hazard was open and obvious.
Open and Obvious Hazards in Slip and Fall Cases
One of the main roles your legal representative plays in a slip and fall case is to investigate the accident to determine if someone legally owed you a duty of care and failed to uphold that duty. That process involves showing that the property owner, or some other at-fault party, should have known about the hazard and taken reasonable steps to address the problem.
For instance, you could have been injured because someone failed to install handrails, replace dead light bulbs, fix a broken sidewalk, remove snow and ice from parking lots, put barriers around sinkholes, etc. However, that negligent party will likely try to avoid paying what you are actually owed. The person ultimately responsible for your injury may try employing a defense like the open and obvious doctrine by arguing you should have been aware of the hazard and could have reasonably avoided it.
That’s where an attorney comes in by presenting the facts of the case to the jury so they can hear mitigating circumstances as to why the hazard wasn’t actually obvious. A skilled lawyer may present evidence to overcome this defense, like:
- Accident scene reconstructions
- Employment data
- Eyewitness testimony
- Incident reports
- Medical records
- Photos from the scene
- Surveillance video
- Weather data in cases of water or ice-related falls
Talk to an Experienced Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, the best way to protect your legal rights is to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney who knows how to deal with these types of defenses. Call or message Heslin Law Firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your trip and fall accident.