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What Is the Plaintiff’s Evidentiary Burden in a New Hampshire Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

February 19, 2020

New Hampshire slip and fall cases arise when a person suffers injuries after slipping and falling as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on another’s property. Slip and falls inside buildings typically occur because of unsafe conditions such as broken tiles, torn carpeting, insufficient lighting, narrow or steep stairs, or wet floors. Outdoor slip and fall accidents are often the result of dangerous conditions related to ice and snow, potholes, broken steps, or other hidden hazards. New Hampshire land and building owners have a responsibility to make sure their property is reasonably safe for those who enter their property.

Under premises liability laws, these owners may be responsible for injuries that occur on their property. New Hampshire slip and fall victims must meet their evidentiary burden if they wish to recover damages against a negligent property owner. To begin with, injury victims should identify all potentially liable parties and then determine whether the parties were negligent. Some likely responsible parties are building owners, occupiers, landlords, and property management companies.

New Hampshire slip and fall plaintiffs must typically prove one of two liability theories. They must establish that the property owner or agent in control of the property should have known about the dangerous condition. This requires the plaintiff to establish that a reasonable person would have known about the hazardous condition and had enough time to remedy the unsafe situation. The other theory requires a plaintiff to prove that the property owner or their agent created a dangerous condition. Under this theory, plaintiffs must show that it was foreseeable that an injury would result because of the defendant’s actions.

From a strategic perspective, accident victims must also anticipate any potential defenses that the at-fault party may present. Depending on the specific facts of the case, defendants may defend the lawsuit by claiming that, the alleged danger was not hazardous, it was open and obvious, or that the plaintiff somehow contributed to their injuries and subsequent losses. Many plaintiffs face challenges when trying to overcome these defenses because they do not present the necessary evidence to rebut the defendant’s contentions.

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in favor of a defendant in a slip and fall lawsuit. In that case, the individual suffered injuries after tripping over a speed bump in a parking lot of a pharmacy. The plaintiff argued that the speed bump was inherently dangerous and negligently constructed and maintained. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff did not present evidence that the speed bump was unreasonably dangerous or that it was negligently constructed. Ultimately, the court found in favor of the defendant, reasoning that the plaintiff failed to produce the necessary evidence.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a New Hampshire Slip and Fall?

If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries in a New Hampshire slip and fall, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your damages. The attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have numerous years of experience handling all types of slip and fall cases on behalf of New Hampshire injury victims. These cases are rarely as straight forward as plaintiffs assume, and they require extensive in-depth knowledge of applicable New Hampshire case law and statutes. Our skilled and highly knowledgeable attorneys have successfully recovered substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of New Hampshire injury victims, and we look forward to meeting with you to discuss your case. Contact our office at 800-804-2004 to schedule a free initial consultation with a New Hampshire slip and fall attorney.