Proving A Slip and Fall Claim in Michigan

If you have fallen and believe that you were not at fault for this accident, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Michigan and ask for their legal counsel so you can file a slip and fall claim. However, the best medical malpractice lawyers and personal injury lawyers will not only give you advice but support you throughout the claim filing process and assist you should you end up needing to go to court.

Here is a helpful primer on how to prove a slip and fall claim in Michigan.

There are four elements of a slip and fall injury that a victim must be able to prove if they want to have grounds to file a valid claim and attempt to gain compensation.

Injury

The first fact that must be proven in a slip and fall or trip and fall injury case is damages caused by the accident. There must be clear evidence of the damage done and the harm inflicted on the victim due to having slipped and fallen.

In many cases, this clear evidence can be obtained by visiting a physician and having them identify any damage that was caused by the injury. If you require a physician to assist you with this part of the process, your medical malpractice or personal lawyer will have the experience and contacts necessary to connect you with a trusted medical professional.

Proximate cause or causation

Causation is the second part of a slip and fall claim that needs to be proven in order to have a valid case. The victim has to be able to prove that a hazardous or unsafe condition on the defendant’s property definitively caused them to experience their accident.

For example, if a victim has epileptic seizures frequently, and experiences one while on the defendant’s property that causes them to fall and hit their head or experience other injuries, the seizure would not count as valid causation because the piece of property the victim was occupying was not at fault for the injury; the seizure caused the injury.

When medical malpractice law firms take on cases such as slip and fall claims, they devote a substantial amount of time and resources to investigating the site where the accident took place to definitively prove causation. Extensive witness testimony can also be helpful to prove causation, and law firms will also look into contacting witnesses who may have solid testimony and be able to corroborate the victim’s story.

Negligence

Under Michigan law, negligence on behalf of the property owner can be proven by showing that the owner of the property knew about conditions that could be dangerous and chose not to alert passersby to the possible danger or did not take any action to rectify the dangerous situation.

This can be broken down into two parts: The property owner’s knowledge or awareness that something on their property was wrong and dangerous, and their failure to do anything to correct the problem.

There is a reasonable amount of time in the law allowed when a property owner discovers a dangerous condition on their property, but they must still provide notice of the hazard to anyone on the property via signage or alerts.

Purpose on the property

The final element that must be proven is the reason the injured person was on the property in the first place. If the person is a tenant on the property or is an invitee by request of the property owner, then the owner of the property has a higher duty of care to them than they would to someone who is trespassing on the property.

However, when the trespasser is a child, and the owner knows about them, there is slightly more fault on behalf of the owner, who should have been aware both of their presence and of any hazards to children. Additionally, although their duty of care is limited with people who trespass, property owners are not allowed to set up “traps” that could cause injury to trespassers.

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