Maybe your elderly mother slipped in a spill at the grocery store, fell and broke her hip. Perhaps your spouse, who uses a cane because he has arthritis in his knees, tripped on an extension cord that was running across the floor at his dentist’s office and injured his shoulder.
In situations like this, people are often told by business owners that their accident was the result of their age or disability. Even well-meaning friends and family may tell them they shouldn’t even bother trying to take legal action against the business because if they were fully able-bodied, they probably could have avoided the fall or not been as seriously injured as they were.
The fact is that a person’s age or disability can’t prevent them from seeking – and potentially obtaining – compensation to cover their expenses and damages. The question is whether there was a dangerous condition that a property owner knew about – or should have known about – and was negligent in addressing.
What are the elements of negligence?
To prove negligence by a property owner, a plaintiff needs to show four things:
- The owner had a duty of care to keep the property safe.
- They breached that duty.
- That breach caused the accident.
- The accident resulted in harm to the plaintiff.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries that you believe resulted from a property owner’s negligence, don’t assume that you don’t have a chance of holding them accountable because the victim wasn’t in perfect physical shape. It’s wise to seek legal guidance to find out if you have a case.