Many people have the misconception that filing a personal injury claim and receiving compensation for injuries sustained after a slip and fall accident is simple. The truth is, there are specific aspects to successfully countering an open and obvious defense and victims soon discover that chances are surprisingly low.
Insurance companies that represent negligent businesses or property owners may present multiple defenses to reduce liability or even deny cause for a slip and fall claim. The importance of having the right attorney is crucial to increasing your chances of finishing on the winning side of the case.
In Michigan, property owners and managers have a reasonable duty to maintain safe conditions at their premises for guests. They must take reasonable steps to guard against any conditions that can be deemed as hazardous. If property owners are unable to remove the danger, warning signs must be visibly posted nearby.
Here are some of the common defenses that businesses and property owners will use to argue their negligence was not the reason for the incident.
- Open and obvious condition - This is one of the most common defenses for denying liability. The insurance company argues that the victim should have spotted the dangerous situation and avoided it.
- No notice of the defect - A business or property owner is responsible for known hazardous conditions or should have reasonably known about unsafe conditions under state law. In some cases, the insurance company might suggest the owner or business is not liable because they did not have reasonable notice of, nor the opportunity to correct a hazardous condition. For example, this argument could be raised if someone is injured because another customer in a store dropped a bottle of detergent causing a large spill or food falling to the floor of a restaurant.
- Comparative negligence - In Michigan this refers to a person who has been injured in a slip and fall accident and shortly after, decide to file a personal injury claim seeking damages. The injured party must then prove the party that injured them was at least partially at fault for the accident. Additionally, if the injured party was partially responsible for the accident, non-economic compensation is not possible if the victim was greater than 50 percent responsible. In that scenario, the victim can seek economic damages from the defendant in proportion to his or her responsibility in the accident.
Our expert attorneys are ready to meet all challenges and prepared to combat the arguments raised in these cases. Armed with years of experience, we fight and recover maximum compensation for your injuries, caused by the negligence of the responsible party.
How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim for a Slip and Fall Case
One of the most frequently asked questions concerning slip and fall accidents is the Statute of Limitations. In the state of Michigan, individuals have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Recent cases are challenging longstanding precedent with Michigan slip and fall laws. The estate of Donna Livings a woman who died in 2020, was granted permission to continue pursuing their case against the property owners by the Supreme Court six years after her slip and fall accident.
The personal injury attorneys at Bashore Green can help you determine if your accident may have been the fault of another party and whether compensation is possible. To learn more, call our Pontiac office at 248-487-1887.