Sometimes, you may have some – but not all – of the information you need about a legal matter. Say, for example, you are injured during a slip and fall at a business because a spill was left on the floor. You may know that this spill potentially makes the business liable for your injuries. However, how long must the spill have been on the floor in order for you to win your case? What types of evidence do you need to demonstrate that the spill was there long enough? These and other things may, quite reasonably, be outside the scope of your knowledge. That’s why, if you’ve experienced a slip-and-fall injury, you should equip yourself and your case with the knowledge provided by a skilled New Orleans injury attorney.
A recent case from here in New Orleans involved actual facts similar to the hypothetical ones above. A guest at a New Orleans casino slipped, fell and got hurt crossing a walkway. She allegedly slipped because she stepped on some food on the floor. According to the guest, she was in the process of leaving the casino and was passing through a dimly lit area between a restaurant and a lounge when she slipped. Allegedly, a casino employee told her she slipped on a “smushed grape.”
When you pursue a slip-and-fall lawsuit, there are several hurdles you have to clear. For one thing, you have to have evidence that the substance that caused your accident constituted an “unreasonable risk of harm” and that the risk was “reasonably foreseeable.” Second, you also have to show that the person or entity that you sued either caused the problem, knew about the dangerous condition or would have known about it if they had been reasonably diligent. Third, you have to have evidence that the defendant did not exercise due care to keep its walkways clear of hazards.
When it comes to the second of these three requirements, it may be particularly challenging to show that a defendant placed the substance on the floor and also difficult to prove that the defendant actually knew about it. Many cases, then, rely upon showing that, regardless of what the defendant did or did not know, it should have known about the problem if it had used reasonable care. In Louisiana, that means proving that “the condition existed for such a period of time that it would have been discovered if the merchant had exercised reasonable care.”
This requirement does not necessarily mean that you need hard proof that the substance was on the floor for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. The law in Louisiana has no “bright line” time requirement; you just have to show that the substance was there for “some period of time.” Even just having circumstantial evidence that the substance had been on the floor for a while can be enough to overcome a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, which means it’s enough to allow your case to proceed to trial. This is what the appeals court ruled for this claim, which allowed this casino guest to proceed with her case.
For all of your legal needs regarding your slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall or other premises liability concerns, reach out to the Cardone Law Firm, where our experienced Louisiana injury lawyers have spent many years providing our clients with the skillful and diligent representation their cases deserve.
For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.
More Blog Posts:
Pursuing a Premises Liability Case Against a Public Entity in Louisiana, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 22, 2016
‘Open and Obvious’ Hazards and Premises Liability Cases in Louisiana, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, June 29, 2015