Personal injury cases are often complex, with multiple legal issues at play and pages and pages of medical records, testimony and other court documents. Some of them, though – no matter how complicated – come down to small details that can have a tremendous effect once they become part of the case.
Slip and Fall Caught on Camera
A Georgia jury’s award of $2.3 million in damages to an injured grocery store customer was one of these cases. The store’s lawyers argued that the store’s surveillance cameras did not point to the area of the store where the customer slipped on crushed fruit; they showed images from the camera in an attempt to prove it.
The turning point came during a deposition when the plaintiff’s lawyers questioned the defense’s contention that the cameras did not record the accident. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the plaintiff’s lawyers asked the store’s manager for a demonstration of the video surveillance system, which revealed that the camera was in fact pointed directly at the spot where the plaintiff was injured. The court concluded that the store had destroyed the video evidence.
Liability for Slip or Trip and Falls
Slip and fall or trip and fall plaintiffs seeking compensation from a commercial property owner or occupier of the premises – such as a grocery store – generally must prove that a “dangerous or hazardous condition” caused the accident and that the owner or occupier had superior knowledge of the condition prior to the fall. In order to prove that the business knew of the dangerous condition that caused the accident, plaintiffs must generally show that one of the following is true:
- The owner or possessor created the dangerous condition
- The owner or possessor knew the dangerous condition existed and negligently failed to correct it
- The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that the owner or possessor should have discovered and corrected it prior to the accident
In addition to these requirements, plaintiffs have to prove several other elements to hold someone else liable for causing the slip or trip and fall. Those who have suffered injuries in such accidents should contact a skilled personal injury attorney to evaluate the facts of their case and pursue any available claims.