Parties should be a fun time during which nobody gets hurt. Unfortunately, slip and fall injuries at wild parties are not uncommon. And in many cases, the party host may have directly contributed to the injury. Therefore, injured individuals need to understand the complex nature of slip and fall cases during parties.
Small Falls May Still Cause Injuries
Slips and falls are often more severe than they may seem. For example, a person at a party may slip and fall on a discarded bag of potato chips. During the fall, one of their legs could go left while their other leg goes to the right. A person unexpectedly doing the splits can cause muscle strain that may lead to torn or injured tendons.
Even worse, a person dancing on a hard kitchen floor may slip and hit their head on the flooring tiles. If the fall is severe enough, the injured person may experience a concussion. Sadly, slip and fall injuries can also trigger broken bones, cuts, and even minor to acute spinal cord injuries that could paralyze a person temporarily or permanently.
In some instances, the person who fell may be the only one responsible for their injury. For example, they may have behaved in unsafe ways due to intoxication. However, the party host may have ignored problematic situations and allowed the floor to get cluttered in a way that caused the slip and fall.
Liability May Be Tough in a Party Situation
During a party, participants behave in a variety of different ways. For example, individuals may drink or ingest illicit drugs to increase their enjoyment of the event. Other people may merely dance or perform other actions that are potentially dangerous in a crowded party. Therefore, liability in a party situation can be complicated to prove.
For example, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant either created a risky situation or allowed one to remain unfixed. Conditions that increase slip and fall risks include slippery or cluttered floors. During a party, slippery and cluttered floors are common as people spill drinks or drop coats, beer bottles, or other items to the floor.
As the homeowner and party host, the defendant is responsible for keeping a party safe and ensuring that nobody gets injured. However, the plaintiff still needs to prove that defendant negligence contributed to the slip and fall injury. For example, the defendant may have refused to clean up spilled beer on a tile floor, which is where the plaintiff slipped and fell.
Comparative Negligence Could Derail a Lawsuit
The defense in a slip and fall case at a party is likely to center on the concept of comparative negligence. Simply put, comparative negligence argues that the plaintiff was partially responsible for the slip and fall injury. For example, the injured individual may have been intoxicated and dancing in a wild or out-of-control way during the party.
According to comparative negligence, some blame would then fall on the injured person. The judge in the case would decide how much the action contributed to the injury based on a percentage. For example, a judge may rule that a person was 30 percent responsible for their injury. Therefore, the plaintiff would receive 70 percent of the damages sought.
However, residents in states with contributory negligence as a defense may have a harder time winning a slip and fall case. Contributory negligence argues that a person deserves no compensation even if they are just one percent responsible for their injury. Thankfully, few states allow this defense but those that do will complicate a slip and fall injury lawsuit.
Legal Help May Be Necessary
The complications of a slip and fall case make pursuing one a difficult path to follow. If you slipped and fell during a party and want compensation, contact O'Grady & O'Neil PC to learn more about your rights and your chances of winning.