Over the course of experience as a personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN comes to for advice, we have learned that many people mistakenly believe that if they fall down in a place of business, then the business is automatically liable and must pay for their medical bills. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Slip and fall cases are not “strict liability” cases. Rather, you must evidence of negligence in order a recover for your injury.
In a slip and fall claim, the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) must establish that (1) the condition was caused or created by the owner, or (2) if the condition was created by someone else, that the owner had notice that the condition existed before the accident.
In a recent Tennessee slip and fall case, a woman was walking into a hospital, and as she approached the reception area, she slipped and fell in a clear liquid on the floor. She filed a premises liability suit against the hospital. The hospital filed a motion for summary judgment (a way to get the case dismissed before a jury trial) on the basis that the woman could not prove notice of the alleged spill. In her response, the woman alleged that two hospital employees admitted that the spill was Sprite cola, and they even said that they had contacted housekeeping to clean it up. However, no depositions or sworn testimony was ever taken, and thus the plaintiff failed to produce any evidence regarding what the hospital knew about the spill, how long the spill had been there, or what had initially caused the spill.
In other words, the woman’s only “evidence” was her unsupported allegation. And that isn’t good enough to win a case. Because she failed to produce actual evidence that the hospital had notice of the liquid, her case was dismissed. Court rules require that specific evidence be presented in certain ways, and that is why you should always have an experienced the personal injury lawyer to help you properly support and prove your case in court.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC who have significant experience fighting for injury victims in Tennessee.