Is It Better to Fall in Front of a Witness?

photo of man laying on the ground after a slip and fall accident

What is worse, falling when nobody sees you or falling when people do see you? For those of you who believe that falling when people see you is worse, you might be wrong. When you fall, you will suffer the same injury whether somebody sees you or not. So having witnesses can be very useful if you hurt yourself because of the negligence of another person or company.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are less common than motor vehicle accidents but can cause just as much damage or worse. When you are injured on somebody else’s property or place of business, the landowner may be liable for your injury if they created the condition that caused you to fall.

For example, if a waitress spills a glass of water and fails to clean it up right away or fails to put warnings around the spilled water and you encounter it, fall and get hurt, the restaurant would be liable for your damages. This is because a landowner has a duty to inspect and maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.

How Brehne Law Can Help

At our office, we have represented hundreds of people injured in slip and fall accidents. The absolute first question that must be answered for us to pursue a case would be, “What made you fall”? If a client cannot state with certainty what caused them to fall i.e., water on the floor, salad dressing on the supermarket floor, a raised or uneven surface, then we would not be able to represent them.

Once we determine what caused the fall, we must now investigate how long that condition has existed. If the condition (like a spill) was created by a third party (like a shopper or patron of a restaurant) moments before the client encountered it, most likely the landowner will not be responsible. The law requires that the landowner be put on notice of the dangerous condition (assuming they did not create it) before they can be held responsible. Evidence is required to substantiate how long the condition existed.

Best Evidence

The best evidence would be a witness! If somebody saw you fall in an area that they have recently been, they might be the best person to state whether the condition existed before you encountered it and possibly for how long. If an employee of a business witnesses your fall, they might be required to fill out a witness statement. That would be a good memorialization of where and how the fall occurred.

Photographs are also excellent examples of evidence necessary to support your claim. If you cannot take photographs of the condition that caused your fall, oftentimes other witnesses will. Not only can the photographs demonstrate where the dangerous condition was located, but it also might provide evidence of how long the condition existed. This could be the evidence you need to show that the business knew or should have known about the condition.

So, if you are going to fall, it just might be best to fall in front of other people. Who knows, they might even catch you!


What do you think?

385 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Michael Brehne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *