Slip and fall accidents remain far too common in Wisconsin and around the country. Indeed, the (CDC), reports that nearly three million Americans require emergency medical attention for fall accidents each year. Property owners need to do a better job removing safety hazards on their premises. If you slip and fall on another person’s property, you may be able to hold that property owner liable for your damages. Here, our Appleton personal injury attorneys discuss what you need to know about proving liability in a Wisconsin slip and fall case.
Slip and Fall Liability in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, slip and fall accident cases, like all premises liability cases, are based on the negligence standard. This means that in order to hold a property owner liable for your damages, you will need to be able to prove that your accident occurred as a result of their negligence. In broad terms, negligence is the failure to take proper care in a particular situation. In premises liability cases, proving negligence requires proving each of the following three legal elements:
- Danger: First, you will need to prove that an unreasonable safety hazard was present on the property. Property owners are not automatically liable for a fall accident. For example, a property owner cannot be held liable simply because a person tripped over their own feet. Dangerous conditions must have been present to prove liability.
- Knowledge: Next, the property owner (or manager) must have had knowledge of the dangerous condition. To be clear, in Wisconsin you can satisfy this element by proving either ‘actual knowledge’ or ‘constructive knowledge’. In other words, you must prove that the property owner knew, or should have known, about the unreasonable safety hazard.
- Failure to act: Finally, your slip and fall attorney will need to prove that the property owner could have taken action to remove (or reduce) the safety risk, but that they failed to take those actions. Property owners cannot be held liable if there was nothing they could have done to prevent the accident.
Slip and Fall Cases Can Be Complex
Fall accidents victims may seek compensation that covers the full value of their damages. This includes everything from medical bills to lost wages to pain and suffering. However, property owners, and their insurance companies, usually fight slip and fall accident cases very aggressively. To actually recover the compensation that they rightfully deserve, victims need to have an experienced attorney by their side early on in the claims process. Without thorough investigation early on in the claims process, you will have a difficult time obtaining the evidence necessary to support your claim.
Contact a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Wisconsin
At Hammett, Bellin & Oswald LLC, our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling slip and fall accident cases. To request a free review of your case, please call our team today locally at 920-720-0000 or toll free at 866-720-0009. We represent victims throughout Northeastern Wisconsin, including in Green Bay, Oshkosh and DePere.