When most people think of a personal injury attorney, they think of plaintiff personal injury attorneys or those attorneys who help those who are injured. However, some personal injury attorneys are defense attorneys. If someone slipped and fell at your home or grocery store, and they are suing you, a defense personal injury lawyer can help you to fight the case and show why you are not responsible for the injuries they sustained. Here are a few common defenses, defense personal injury attorneys use to fight slip and fall cases.
The Slip or Trip Was Their Own Fault
In order for someone to win compensation for a slip and fall accident in which they were injured, they must be able to show that the property owner was negligent or had actions that led to the accident. Someone tripping over their own two feet or slipping because of slippery shoes is the walking party's fault, not the property owner's fault. As such, a defense attorney may argue that the slip or trip was the result of the other party's actions, not yours.
A Reasonable Person Would Have No Knowledge of the Hazard
Another common defense to a slip and fall case is that a reasonable person would not have knowledge of the hazard. For example, if someone spills water directly in front of you in a supermarket, and you slip on it 30 seconds after it spilled, the grocery store is likely not liable. They do not have to monitor their aisles every 30 seconds. They have to have measures in place to monitor aisles for spills or hazards, but if the incident just occurred, a reasonable person or owner would not be aware of the hazard, and thus, may not be responsible for the accident.
The Statute of Limitations Has Expired
The final defense that is common with slip and fall cases is that the statute of limitations has expired. Someone has a limited period of time to file a claim, typically between one to two years from the date of the accident, based on the state laws. If the claim is not properly filed within that time frame, the statute of limitations may expire and no further action can be taken. If a case is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, a personal injury lawyer will work to get the case dismissed on that basis.
If someone has slipped or tripped on the property that you own, and they are suing you for the injuries you sustained, it is important to work with a personal injury attorney who has experience with defending parties. They can work to create a defense to show that you are not responsible for the injuries that the individual sustained, which can help you to possibly avoid a large judgment. Contact Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC. for more.