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Evidence in premises liability cases

New York residents who have been injured in a slip, fall or other accident on a commercial or other private property may be considering filing a personal injury suit against the owner of the building where they were hurt. Knowing what types of evidence to collect may help people build a strong case in preparation for filing a premises liability suit against a property owner.

In proving that a defendant was at fault for an accident, the injured person must be able to prove that the property owner did not act as a reasonable person would have acted to secure their property from potential hazards. If a person is suing a storeowner for a slip-and-fall accident involving spilled liquid on the floor, they must be able to prove that the managers or other employees in the store neglected to clean the spilled liquid in time to prevent an accident.

Evidence in a premises liability case can take two forms. Direct evidence involves statements from witnesses who saw a fall took place, images from security cameras from a business across from a city sidewalk where a person slipped on ice or other pieces of evidence that show or describe the incident. Circumstantial evidence requires people to infer that the incident occurred. This may include smearing of a liquid on the floor that suggests that it was there long enough for several people to walk through it.

In some cases, there is little evidence in support of an injured person's claim of negligence. People who are interested in filing a premises liability suit against a property owner may benefit from the advice of a personal injury attorney. An attorney may be able to present a successful argument against a property owner even in the absence of security camera footage, witnesses or other sources of evidence.

Source: Findlaw, "Who Is Liable?", October 03, 2014

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