Slip and fall claims are some of the most common personal injury claims received by attorneys in the United States. As is obvious, these cases are aggressively defended by the business and property owners against which the claims are filed. A property owner will not be held automatically responsible for accidents at their premises. As the victim, you must prove liability.
While preparing to prove the property owner’s liability, you must learn about the common defenses the defendant party may throw at you to lower or reject the claim. To get assistance while handling the claim and fighting the defenses, consult with an attorney from The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today.
Defenses the insurance company might use in your slip and fall claim
- Comparative negligence defense.
Comparative negligence states that the plaintiff and the defendant had some percentage of fault in the accident. It argues that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the accident and thus their injuries, reducing the compensation amount. The damages will be diminished depending on the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault.
For example, the defendant might argue that the hazard was clearly visible, and if the plaintiff had not been on their phone, they would have noticed and avoided it.
- Denying the existence of a hazard or denying having knowledge of it.
Another common defense is denying that a hazard existed or having any knowledge about it. The defendant may argue that there was insufficient time to discover and fix the hazard. They may even argue that there was no hazard and that you are lying. This is why taking pictures of the hazard is important as soon as you get injured on the site.
- Open and obvious condition.
This is one of the most common defenses where the defendant argues that the hazard should have been obvious to the plaintiff because it was in the open. If the victim had acted more responsibly, they would not have gotten injured. For example, the plaintiff tried to trespass on a property when they could clearly see an aggressive dog at the front gate of the building.
- Statute of limitations defense.
The statute of limitations states the timeline for filing a claim. The statute of limitation for slip and fall claims in New Jersey is two years from the accident date. If you file a claim after the deadline is passed, you can expect this to be raised by the defendant.