The importance of an employee’s handbook in a slip and fall accident

Many lawyers don’t take slip and fall cases for a variety of reasons: (1) liability may be hard to prove, (2) the amount of damages may direct their attention elsewhere, and (3) they mistakenly believe that conservative juries will turn them away with little to no recompense for the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages for injuries incurred.

Obtaining the employee handbook

Once it’s evident that the insurance carrier for the premises where the accident occurred denies the claim, and filing suit is required, the first item you need to request in discovery is the employee handbook. Why? A slip and fall claim isn’t simply about a customer slipping on a wet floor or a spilled drink and trying to find all the evidence you can to prove that the Defendant knew or should have known of the danger and didn’t rectify the situation or warn the Plaintiff of the danger prior he or she slipped and broke their hip. The employee handbook is the Defendant’s rules in their own words how it is they are to address defects or wet floors on their property.

Did the Defendant violate a safety rule?

Once you obtain the handbook, find the specific rule that the Defendant itself wrote as to how its employees are to rectify spilled drinks or warn patrons of a slippery floor. 99 times out of 100 the employee did not follow its employer’s own rules. At this point, you must notice up everyone associated with the Defendant from the employees on duty to the safety risk manager for deposition. At this point, it will be somewhat easy to create tension within the Defendant company to concede that the employee did not follow its own rules, and as a result, someone was seriously injured.

There’s no substitute for preparation

Yes, it does require sincere effort to spot the rule violation and then methodically obtain the evidence you need in order to properly prosecute a slip and fall claim. Once jurors see that these rule violations could also put them at risk if they were an invitee/licensee of the Defendant’s store, restaurant, etc., then they are far more likely to properly compensate the Plaintiff for his or her injuries.

For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced personal injury lawyer Little Rock AR trusts who has been involved in slip and fall premises liability claims in personal injury cases for years. If a loved one has been injured or killed while on someone else’s property, contact a lawyer today.

Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into slip and fall claims in personal injury cases.

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