In general, slip, trip and fall accidents can be very complex. Also, the truth is that these kinds of cases are not viewed favorably by the media and general public. However, these cases can be successful and often depend on two issues: 1. evidence of negligence and 2. extent of damages. Click here for a discussion about evidence of negligence in fall down accident cases.
Damages in a Slip, Trip & Fall Down Accident Case in Pennsylvania
In a tort or negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff (or the injured party) bears the burden of proof, and in Pennsylvania, this means proving the following 4 things:
1. the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff,
2. the defendant breached that duty,
3. the breach caused the injury, and
Proving Damages in a Slip, Trip & Fall Accident Case in Pennsylvania
In many fall accident cases, the nature and extent of the damages will often be at issue. Defense attorneys, or those representing property owners such as stores, malls, restaurants, etc., will attempt to minimize the extent of the damages. Therefore, having sufficient proof of damages is very important.
What Evidence is Used to Prove Damages in a Slip & Fall Accident Case?
Proof of damages in a fall accident case often includes the following:
- evidence of lost wages, such as paystubs, W-9s, etc.,
- evidence of medical bills,
- pictures of the injuries,
- medical records, including x-rays and other diagnostic imaging studies,
- testimony of the plaintiff,
- testimony of other witnesses (family, friends, etc.).
In addition, because no two cases are alike, the evidence presented to prove damages will vary, both from an economic damages standpoint and a pain and suffering standpoint. For example, a professional athlete who sustains a fractured bone that results in being sidelined for a year to recover may present evidence of missed sponsorship opportunities and how the inability to race affected his mental health during the year. A mother who has to hire in-home help to care for her children would present the cost of the help as evidence of the damages as well as evidence of the increased stress caused by the injuries.
What is the Best Way to Present the Evidence?
Again, because each case varies, how the evidence will be presented will vary. Economic damages can be presented in summaries or statements and worksheets from the employer or a medical doctor’s billing office. Proving pain and suffering damages is a bit more tricky. Documentation and pictures are ideal, if available. In some cases, key witnesses may help in proving the extent of the damages. As the case unfolds, the attorney will determine how evidence will be presented.
Related PA Slip and Fall Legal Articles:
- Department Store Liability for Slip and Falls in Philadelphia, PA
- Did You Have a Slip & Fall Accident in Philadelphia? What You Should Know About Getting Medical Bills Paid
- Fall Down Accidents-Slip and Fall, Trip and Fall Cases in Pennsylvania (Part One)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer. Click To Call
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