It is well settled that a public establishment such as a restaurant, casino, or supermarket has a duty to protect its customers from unreasonably dangerous conditions on the premises that could harm its customers or patrons. Spilled liquid, icy walkways or walking obstructions can all be dangerous tripping or slipping hazards. Though slip and fall accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey public establishments are quite common, they are sometimes difficult to prove.
In order to win a slip and fall accident case, a plaintiff or injured victim has to prove the following elements against the defendant or the public establishment responsible for the accident:
In addition, plaintiff has to prove that the business had notice of the dangerous condition. It can be actual notice, where the business knew about the dangerous condition, or constructive notice where the business should have known about the dangerous condition.
Often, a surveillance video is crucial in determining whether the public establishment had notice of the unreasonably dangerous condition, whether actual or constructive. A surveillance video can often help win a slip and fall accident case, and it can also be the reason a plaintiff loses a slip and fall accident case.
Consider the following situation: a customer pushing a shopping cart into a grocery store trips on a bunched up mat that is not properly secured on the floor and is hurt and injured. She then files a trip and fall accident lawsuit in PA against the store. In its defense, the grocery store alleges that the mat was properly laid down and that it was not bunched up.
A surveillance video in this situation can determine whether the plaintiff wins or loses her case. If the video shows that a grocery store employee put the mat down improperly, i.e., all bunched up, then the grocery store is likely liable because the employee created the dangerous tripping condition. However, if the video shows that the mat was properly put down, and the customer just tripped over her own feet, then the grocery store is not going to be liable for her injuries.
Surveillance videos are often recorded over after 2 weeks, depending on the business’s policy. Some businesses may keep the video longer, and some shorter. Therefore, it is important to talk to a slip, trip and fall accident lawyer after an accident so the lawyer can move quickly to obtain the surveillance video.
If you or a loved one was hurt as a result of a slip, trip and fall accident at a public establishment, call Daniel J. O’Brien, an experienced NJ and PA slip and fall accident lawyer, to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. 877.944.8396