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Ways to Prove Constructive Notice in a Slip and Fall Case

by David Schreiber

posted in Legal

Syndicate This Article
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A Slip and Fall case where you have been injured requires you to prove the property owner or manager was negligent by failing to correct an unsafe or defective condition. The Defendant must have either "actual notice" or "constructive notice". This article focuses on how you can prove "constructive notice".
You must investigate the scene and facts about the condition. For a substance on a floor, constructive notice can be proven by facts like: how long the condition was on the floor, whether there were track marks or feet print in the substance, or whether there is dirt in it or dried edges. Other facts to show such notice would be whether the owner or manager had to perform inspections of the property and if so, would the condition have been visible during inspections.
For a defective condition to a commercial property, like a hole or cracked concrete, you can investigate what caused the condition. Often, this may be due to improperly poured concrete, or water which may have pooled in the area and then froze due to bad drainage.
Constructive notice for a slip and fall on ice requires you to check on the weather. There must have been sufficient time for the Defendant to have had to clear the ice. If freezing rain just happened or is continuing, you may not be able to prove the owner or manager should have known of the condition. The Defendant has an obligation to search out icy patches and remove the ice by clearing it, or spreading salt. But, if there is a defective condition to the property itself that caused the ice to form, then you may be able to prove constructive notice based on the fact that the owner or manager should have known about the condition but failed to repair it. An example would be a leaking gutter or downspout that caused ice to form in a spot or a hole or depression in the macadam parking lot that doesn't drain properly resulting in a collection of water which then froze.
Proving these facts as to "should have known" may not always be evident based on just the condition of the property. Often, this proof is done through witnesses. Your lawyer may be able to locate witnesses who were there the day you were hurt and saw how long the unsafe condition was present. Or, maybe there are witnesses that know about the owner or manager's lack of proper inspections. Maybe there are employees who actually saw the defect there for a long period of time while they were working. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help advise you how to check for this evidence and prove it. In your case, you will be required to prove the Defendants had notice of the condition by what's called a "preponderance of the evidence". This means the facts as to constructive notice must be shown to be more likely true than not.
Obtaining photos as soon as possible of the condition or the area where the condition was that caused your injury is critical to proving constructive notice. Often sites like Google "street view" will show the area as it existed before your hurt and you can use those images to help show that the Defendants should have known of the unsafe condition on the property.
About the Author: If you were injured because of a fall due to an unsafe condition on someone else's property or at a store or business, you may have unpaid bills, lost wages and the insurance company may be treating you unfairly.
David Schreiber is a Pennsylvania Lawyer who concentrates in personal injury cases including slip and fall cases and injuries due to falls on ice. He has been an Attorney at Law since 1994. We work for your case. Never a fee or cost to you unless we recover damages for your injury. (610) 792-3304.
http://painjurycase.com/slip-fall-injury/
http://painjurycase.com/why-choose-us/
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