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4 possible defenses to a slip-and-fall claim

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, the last thing you want to hear is that the property owner responsible for an unsafe condition denies being to blame. This can be incredibly frustrating, as any claim you file for compensation will hinge on establishing liability.

As surprised and upset as you may be when a property owner denies blame, understand that in most cases, property owners will say and do whatever they can to avoid the legal and financial penalties of a premises liability claim. Because of this, you can expect that property owners will defend themselves and their actions in one of the following ways.

  1. They try to blame someone else (including you). Property owners might claim that a third party is responsible for maintaining conditions, or that an employee failed to follow orders to clean up a spill. They might say that you were just clumsy and were primarily to blame for the accident.
  2. They argue that they took reasonable steps to prevent an accident. Even if you don't think adequate warning about a hazardous situation was in place, a property owner can say otherwise.
  3. They say they had no knowledge the hazard existed. Property owners can state that they should not be responsible for conditions that they did not know about and could not have anticipated.
  4. They challenge your injuries. They might accuse you of exaggerating damages or deny the fact that a fall on their property is the reason for your injuries.

Each of these defenses challenges an element of a slip-and-fall claim. If not all the elements are in place, then your claim may be unsuccessful. 

Whether these defenses are effective or not depends on several factors specific to the case at hand. Preparing for them and understanding how to fight back against weak or false defenses can be critical should you choose to file a premises liability claim. Thankfully, you don't have to know all this yourself. You can consult a personal injury attorney who can fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.

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