After a slip and fall accident, you may wonder if there was something a property owner could have done to prevent your injury. If the owner was negligent, you could be owed payment for your medical bills and other losses from the accident. However, you will have to establish fault and make a compelling case in order to win compensation.
Factors That Can Affect Compensation for a Slip and Fall
Under Rhode Island law, all landowners are expected to make their property reasonably safe for visitors. If an owner knows that a dangerous condition exists on the property and does not take steps to fix it, the owner can be liable for injuries caused by the hazard.
In order to make a claim against the landowner, you will have to establish:
- Duty of care. Property owners have what is called a “duty of care” to anyone who lawfully uses their property. This means, anyone with a right to visit the property can expect that the property is reasonably safe. However, if you were trespassing when the injury occurred, the owner did not owe you a duty of care because you did not have a right to be on the property.
- Breach of duty. Once you have shown that you were owed a duty of care, you must then prove that the owner breached that duty of care in some way. Owners can be liable if they knew about a dangerous condition and did nothing; but also, if a reasonable person in that same position would have known the condition to be dangerous.
- Direct harm. The next step in obtaining compensation is proving that you suffered actual harm directly caused by the owner’s negligence. This includes not only totaling your losses from medical bills, wages, and other expenses but also proving that each cost was incurred as a direct result of the accident.
To determine how much compensation you may be owed depends on your portion of fault for the accident. Injury victims can be up to 99 percent at fault for an accident and still be eligible for damages in Rhode Island. However, damages are awarded based on the amount of fault each party had for the accident. If the court finds that you were not paying attention, were acting carelessly, or otherwise were partially to blame for your injuries, the amount awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
The amount of compensation you receive can increase or decrease at each step of the process, so it is best to speak with an injury attorney as soon as possible to learn your options. Contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum via our online contact form to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you.