In June of this year, emergency teams in Morgantown, conducted a rescue operation for an individual who suffered severe injuries after tumbling into a narrow gap between two downtown structures, the Pita Pit and Critter Cottage storefronts. The individual had plunged an unspecified distance between the buildings and incurred multiple serious injuries. Would the property owner be liable for The accident? 

Determining who is at fault in a slip and fall case involves several key elements. First, one must identify if a dangerous condition caused the accident. Examples include wet floors, uneven surfaces, or poor lighting. Next, it’s important to determine whether the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous situation. In some instances, the property owner might have created the condition themselves.

Another aspect to consider is foreseeability—could the property owner have anticipated someone might get hurt due to the existing condition? Additionally, attention should be paid to any warnings or signs posted near the site of the accident. Were these warnings sufficient and visible? A poorly placed or unclear sign might not fully absolve a property owner of responsibility.

Importance of Incident Reports: Documentation You’ll Need

When a slip and fall accident occurs, an incident report serves as one of the most important pieces of evidence. Usually filled out by the property owner or a staff member, it captures vital information such as the date, time, and location of the event. The report also often includes details about the circumstances leading up to the accident and may contain witness statements.

These reports provide a formal record of an accident that took place. They are particularly valuable if the case ends up in court, as they can help establish the facts. Without an incident report, it becomes a matter of one person’s word against another’s, making it more challenging to prove what really happened.

Surveillance Footage: Unseen Witness to Your Accident

Surveillance footage can serve as a silent but powerful witness in a slip and fall case. Many businesses and public spaces use security cameras for safety and theft prevention. When an accident occurs, CCTV may capture the event, providing concrete evidence used to validate a claim. This footage can show not just the fall itself but also the conditions leading to the accident, such as a wet floor or uneven surface.

In a court setting, video evidence often carries substantial weight because it provides an unbiased account of what took place. However, footage is not always automatically preserved. Some security systems overwrite old data to save space. Therefore, acquiring relevant footage as quickly as possible after an accident becomes a high priority.

Identifying Hazardous Conditions: Root Causes of Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are often more than just unfortunate accidents; many times, result from hazardous avoidable conditions. Common dangers include wet or slippery floors, uneven walking surfaces, and obstructed pathways. Poor lighting can also make it hard to see obstacles or changes in the walking surface, increasing the risk of a fall.

It’s vital to identify what caused an accident to determine who may be at fault. For instance, if a spill on a supermarket floor led to a fall, questions arise about whether staff had sufficient time to clean it up, or if appropriate warning signs were present. Identifying these hazardous conditions can offer valuable insights into the responsibilities of the property owner.

Timeline of Events: Why Timing Matters in Legal Cases

In a slip and fall case, a precise timeline of events can make a significant difference. The sequence in which things happen can help establish the level of responsibility or fault on the part of the property owner. For example, if a hazardous condition existed for an extended period, it may indicate neglect on the part of the property owner to rectify the situation.

Timing also plays a role in the collection of evidence. Surveillance footage might be erased, witnesses could forget details, and physical conditions at the site may change. Prompt action helps secure valuable information before it becomes unavailable.

Finally, West Virginia has a statute of limitations which sets a deadline for filing a personal injury claim. Missing these deadlines could forfeit any legal recourse. Therefore, understanding the importance of timing can greatly influence the outcome of a slip and fall case.

Role of Witnesses: How Eyewitness Testimony Can Bolster Claims

Eyewitness testimony can serve as a powerful tool in a slip and fall case. Witnesses can provide an impartial account of what they saw, lending credibility to the claims of the injured party. Their statements can describe the conditions at the time of the accident, such as lighting, weather, or any noticeable hazards. They can also provide an account of the accident itself, adding an objective perspective could corroborate the injured party’s version of events.

In some cases, witnesses might even have crucial information about the property owner’s knowledge of hazardous conditions. For example, a store employee who admits they were aware of a spill but hadn’t yet cleaned it up can serve as a strong witness for the case.

In summary, the role of witnesses is often overlooked but can be instrumental in proving fault and helping to establish a solid slip and fall claim.

Injuries and Medical Records: Correlating Proof and Condition

Slip and Fall Injury Law

In a slip and fall case, medical records can serve as key pieces of evidence. These documents offer an official account of injuries sustained, the treatment administered, and the anticipated path of recovery. Medical records can help establish a direct link between the accident and the injuries claimed, eliminating any doubt the injuries might have been pre-existing or caused by another event. These records also usually contain specific details, such as the time of hospital admission, which can help in building a precise timeline of events. Such information can further support the validity of a claim by showing medical attention was sought immediately after the incident occurred.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact us online, or call our office at (304) 317-7786.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


Contact Us Today

We offer a free initial consultation at our office in the Manchin Professional Building — our home since 1983 — conveniently located in Fairmont.

If you are unable to visit our firm, we can come to your home or hospital room.

Fill out the form below to get in touch!

100% privacy guarantee