Establishing Liability in a Slip and Fall Case – Causation

In order to make a defendant liable for your injuries, you must prove that the defendant’s negligent conduct caused your injuries to occur. While this concept appears relatively simple, as your First Coast personal injury attorney will tell you, proving causation is one of the biggest hurdles to negotiate in litigating a slip and fall case. Hazard Must Be Caused by Defendant’s Negligence In slip and fall cases, you cannot succeed by showing merely that a hazard caused an injury. You must also show that the defendant’s negligent conduct caused the hazard to be present. In many cases, the causal link between the hazard and your injuries is obvious, but proving the hazard was the result of the defendant’s negligence is far more difficult. For instance, you may suffer a broken ankle after slipping on a wet substance on the floor at the supermarket and file a lawsuit against the owner of the supermarket. In all likelihood, your First Coast personal injury attorney will have little difficulty proving that you broke your ankle in the fall—that is, that the wet floor caused you to fall and break your ankle. However, this fact, on its own, is not enough to establish liability. Your First Coast personal injury attorney must also show that the wet spot on the floor was present because of the owner’s negligence. To do this, he or she must show that the owner had a duty to maintain the store in a safe condition, and he or she failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure that there were no hazards present. Further, he or she must show that the owner’s failure to take reasonable precautions caused the wet spot to exist, thereby causing your fall. How a First Coast Personal Injury Attorney Gathers Evidence If you retain a First Coast personal injury attorney, he or she will conduct investigation and gather evidence aimed at establishing the defendant’s negligence caused your injury. He or she will conduct witness interviews, obtain video tape of the accident, and review any documents relating to the defendant’s maintenance records and procedures for maintaining the premises in a safe condition. If your attorney can establish that the defendant did not have adequate inspection procedures in place, you will probably be able to show the defendant’s conduct created the hazard, thereby causing your injury. If you need representation in your slip and fall case, please contact First Coast personal injury attorney John Fagan today for a free initial consultation.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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