One of the first things a negligent property owner might do after someone gets hurt at their business or home is to point their finger at the victim. For instance, if you slip and fall, the property owner might call you clumsy or tell you to be more careful.
This attempt to blame an accident on the victim is not unusual, so it is essential to know what to do if you are in this position.
Determining the cause of an accident
After a slip-and-fall accident, victims and bystanders should take stock of the incident and try to retain as much information as possible about the scene. Take special note of:
- Broken or missing lights
- Missing handrails in a stairway
- Uneven flooring or torn carpet
- Slippery floors due to water, ice or spilled substances
- Dangerously stacked boxes
- Broken ladders
- Clutter in walkways
These are all common examples of what can cause a person to fall and get hurt.
Who is to blame?
Determining why you slipped or tripped can allow you to figure out who was to blame and, if appropriate, who to name in a lawsuit.
If a hazardous condition caused you to fall, the property owner might well be liable for your injuries. If someone else pushed you or made a defective product that contributed to the accident, then they may be responsible.
In other words, even if you feel like you were just clumsy or in the wrong place at the wrong time, there is potential that another person is liable for the accident. You can work with an attorney to determine who this might be.
Protecting yourself after an accident
When property owners do not want to be accountable for an accident, they may try to blame someone else. Often, they point the finger at the victim.
And sometimes, individuals accept the blame wrongfully because they are embarrassed or do not want to turn a seemingly minor incident into a legal battle.
However, the fact is that a slip-and-fall accident can be serious. It can affect a person’s physical and emotional well-being long after the incident, so being too quick to settle a claim or accept someone else’s erroneous explanation can be costly mistakes.