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The Role of Your Shoes in Slip and Fall Accidents


If you fall, you can expect that to some extent, the other side—the party responsible for your fall—will point the finger at you, and say that you are in full or in part, responsible for your own fall.

They will say that you should have seen what it was that you fell on or over. They will say that you weren’t looking where you were going. They will say that you were distracted. And they will say something else, that may come as a surprise to you: You were wearing the wrong shoes.

Thinking About Your Shoes

More and more Defendants in fall cases are blaming fall victims’ shoes on the slip and fall accident, in an effort to apportion some liability for falls to the victims themselves.

To some extent, this is a reasonable theory, but in most cases, it doesn’t work as a valid defense, legally. Still, it is worth thinking about the shoes that we wear, and their role in falls.

Some shoe choices are obviously poor. If you are outdoors or on rugged terrain and wearing high heels, in an environment where heels are neither necessary or safe, a court may be able to apportion liability to you.

Likewise for shoes where soles are completely worn down; sneaker soles can get very slippery when the tread underneath gets too worn. Often the soles can start to separate from the shoes, causing another hazard. When victims fall in areas that nobody else has fallen in, or where it isn’t anticipated that a fall could occur, you can be sure that a Defendant will point out a victim’s worn down shoes.

The Defendant Will Ask About Shoes

Defendants will often ask victims about the age, make, model and condition of their shoes. And, they may want to inspect the shoes the victim was wearing at the time of the accident.

Mind you that it is often not your shoes that causes your fall—but that won’t stop a Defendant from making that claim, and from trying to use that as a defense in a slip and fall case. And, the Centers for Disease Control does say that footwear is a contributing cause to falls.

Keep and Preserve Your Shoes After a Fall Accident

Many slip and fall accident victims make the mistake of throwing out the shoes they were wearing at the time of the fall. This can be seen as destruction of evidence, because when you fall, the shoes you were wearing are immediately evidence in your case.

Remember that your shoes may also contain parts of whatever substance you fell on. So, after a fall, it is best to preserve the shoes in a plastic bag, to ensure that they are not cleaned, and that any substances on them are not washed or brushed off. You may also want to take pictures of your shoes, as a backup.

Call the Clinton personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.




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