There are a few instances that immediately remind the public at large of a pending lawsuit. The principal amongst these seemingly cartoonish situations is the notorious instance of slipping and falling on a wet floor in a store. Those who do truly injure themselves on slick surfaces would argue that there is nothing cartoonish about their injuries. An elderly individual can fall and break a hip, which can lead to many serious health issues, sometimes even death. Even those cases the media labels as "cartoonish" can involve nefariously negligent details and serious injuries.
The infamous case of the woman who was scalded by coffee at McDonald's is an example of this. While folks laughed at the seemingly frivolous lawsuit, the details tell a different story. Her coffee had been heated and stored at boiling point (if spilled this would cause third degree burns in seven seconds) and that McDonald's admitted to doing this and admitted that they knew customers were being burned. The elderly woman in question almost died and required extensive surgeries.
The Illinois case, while not as famous, involves similar accusations of negligence by those operating the Casey's General Store in Highland, Illinois. A 52-year-old man named James Latkins slipped on what he recalls as a clear liquid on the floor of the store, injuring himself. The store argued that there was nothing on the floor, and used video footage of the plaintiff and his girlfriend walking around comfortably before the fall. This testimony was refuted when an EMT testified that when they arrived the store clerk told them that another customer had spilled something on the floor and they had yet to clean it up. Latkins was awarded $550,000 for loss of quality of life and pain and suffering.
Proving a Slip and Fall Claim
To file a successful slip and fall claim, you must show negligence on the part of the offending party. To establish negligence on the part of a person or business, a plaintiff must prove five things:
- Duty: A duty must exist (i.e. everyone owes each other a duty to act reasonably).
- Owed: The above mentioned duty must be owed to the plaintiff to defendant (i.e. keeping the floor safe).
- Breach: This plaintiff must have breached this duty (i.e. failed to reasonably dry the floor).
- Injury: The plaintiff must be injured.
- Cause: The proximate cause of the injury must be from the defendant's breach.
What You can do
If you believe that you have been injured by someone's negligent behavior, please contact us. The pain and suffering of your injuries, the money lost from missed work, the stress of being absent from your family can all add up to monumentally changing your life. Do not suffer needlessly when our firm can help you pursue the compensation that you need to get your life back. Contact our law firm and schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Nathan Dumlao)