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Proving the Four Elements of Negligence After a Slip and Fall

Submitted by cm on Wed, 05/18/2022 - 17:36

Sustaining one or more injuries from a slip and fall can cause serious healthcare consequences. Perhaps you fractured a wrist when you tried to break the impact of the fall. Slip and fall incidents also cause serious injuries such as head trauma and spinal cord damage.

The key to holding another party legally accountable for causing you harm because you slipped and fell involves proving the four elements of negligence. Your personal injury attorney must prove duty of care, a breach of the duty of care, causation, and financial losses.

Failing to prove any of the four elements of negligence means you do not have a persuasive enough case to file a civil lawsuit.

Duty of Care

Slip and fall incidents can happen just about anywhere, but a majority of slip and fall incidents occur at a business, such as a hotel, restaurant, grocery store, or convenience store. The first element of proving negligence requires your personal injury lawyer to demonstrate another party has a duty of care to ensure nobody slips and falls while visiting the property.

Businesses such as hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores are legally responsible for protecting customers against slips and falls that cause injuries. As one of the four elements of negligence examples, a convenience store has a duty of care to prevent spills from a beverage station from causing a slip and fall.

Breach of Duty

Breach of duty means another party failed to honor the duty of care doctrine. For our convenience store example, breaching the duty of care happened when a store employee did not clean up the spill in a timely manner, or at least placed a wet floor sign over the spilled beverage.

Another example of breach of duty is when a business fails to keep the entrance to the business ice and snow-free. Many slips and falls occur at the entrance of stores that have not removed ice and snow.


Just because a victim slipped and fell on private or public property does not mean the slip and fall caused the victim’s injuries. Using our convenience store example again, let’s assume a store customer slipped and fell by the beverage stations, and the incident allegedly caused the left hip to bruise deeply.

However, after a more thorough analysis of the bruised hip, a healthcare specialist determines the deep hip bruise represents an injury that developed more than 24 hours ago. This means the convenience store should not be held legally liable for negligence.

Your personal injury attorney must connect the slip and fall to the injuries you sustained.

Monetary Damages

A slip and fall can cause several injuries that require the completion of several diagnostic tests. You might have to undergo extensive treatment, as well as complete a series of physical therapy sessions. Suddenly, your medical bills run into thousands of dollars, and without a steady income to pay the bills because of a temporary job loss, you find yourself in financial distress.

To prove you deserve monetary damages, the judge hearing your civil lawsuit needs to review copies of your medical records.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with a personal injury attorney to decide whether you have a strong enough case to prove the four elements of negligence.

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