Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
Commercial slip and fall are very difficult cases and need a lot of preparation in order to be successful. In this day and age there are videos located almost at every turn in every supermarket or commercial promises and manage rented least or maintain by nationwide tenants such as Home Depot, CVS, ShopRite, fresh foods, BJ’s, and all the other many commercial Stabley Schomann’s that we as consumers visit every day.
When you are injured any such facility the most important thing to do is not leave, but rather prepare an incident report, identify what you fell on, where it was located, and take cell phone pictures of the video cameras in the nearby vicinity. There is a substantial likelihood that they are in the ceiling in order to aid loss prevention specialist observed shoplifting.
These evidentiary tools will be instrumental in proving slip and fall cases and overall success of your case. Leaving the store, not reporting the incident, not cataloging time place and location will all result in substantial evidence her difficulties for you as a plaintiff in the courtroom.
In this case the plaintiff sued when she slipped outside a store on an unknown substance and suffered significant injuries.
At the time she fell she did not take the time to properly identify what the substance was and where it came from, whether or not the commercial tenant had a notice of any substance on the floor and if there is any videos in the immediate vicinity.
The plaintiff’s attorney hired an expert who, without any of the foundational evidence listed above, provided an opinion which essentially was a guess regarding where the substance came from and or what the substance was. The expert had no specific facts upon which to base his opinion as to what the substance was or where it came from, especially if it came from the tenants property.
At trial, the injured party won a substantial verdict however given the factual testimony, the substantial improper reach of the experts opinion without any foundation, and numerous other evidentiary rulings which the Appellate Division deemed wrong by the trial judge a new trial was ordered.
In our next blog we will discuss the expert opinion Rulings
However what is to be warned that this time is plaintiff must do everything in a slip and fall case to preserve factual evidence at the minute of the four and at the location of the incident. Without doing so will result in a very difficult case to proceed to trial with and be successful.
Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.