The world is constantly changing, and so too are the laws and procedures that govern our lives. Staying informed about these shifts can help you set realistic expectations about your accident injury settlement. In this article, we’ll discuss adjustments to Oregon court proceedings, news about recent slip and fall cases, and how this information affects you and your personal injury claim. By studying recent news and updates about slip and fall accident cases, we can not only identify legal precedents but we can also offer insights into how our judicial system is evolving.
At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we think it’s important for all Portland residents to be aware of these updates. Oregon is usually at the forefront of progressive advocacy, and our court systems are no different. If you need help navigating your slip and fall injury claim, call our highly experienced personal injury attorneys today. We will treat you with the care and compassion you need during this difficult time. With our help, you’ll receive the compensation you deserve to support your recovery and rebuild your life.
Changes to Oregon Slip and Fall Court Procedures
Although there haven’t been many sweeping changes to courtroom procedures specific to slip and fall cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many courthouses nationwide. Oregon needed to adapt, so it introduced measures to continue legal proceedings safely. Here are some general changes many jurisdictions implemented that may affect your slip and fall case:
- Virtual Hearings: Many courts transitioned to virtual hearings to limit the number of people inside the courtrooms. Applications like Zoom or Skype have been used to conduct hearings and sometimes even trials.
- Filing Procedures: The move to electronic filing systems has been ongoing for years, but the pandemic accelerated things. People can now file their pleadings and necessary documents in Oregon more efficiently than ever. Online filing simplifies and speeds up the process of receiving your slip and fall settlement.
- Court Schedules: After the pandemic, many courts still have significant backlogs. Rescheduling and delays in court proceedings are still a common occurrence. Our personal injury attorneys know the avenues to get your slip and fall settlement as quickly as possible.
- Safety Protocols: For in-person hearings, courts have implemented safety measures. Social distancing, masks for vulnerable citizens, and sanitizing stations are all ways our government buildings have changed for the better.
- Juror Considerations: The pandemic raised concerns about juror availability and their willingness to serve on long trials. This influences how slip and fall cases are strategized and whether parties are more inclined to settle.
- Court Communication: Courts have increased their use of websites, email, and other electronic devices to communicate with attorneys and the public about important information. This shift will only become more common as time goes on. If electronic communication is mostly foreign to you, or if the court’s legal jargon feels confusing, don’t worry. Our slip and fall attorneys deal with cases like yours every day. We will guide you through the difficulties while you recover from your injury.
A Recent Slip and Fall Case
In August 2023, a federal judge denied Sam’s Club’s motion for a summary judgment in a case where a Pennsylvanian woman was injured after slipping on an unsecured floor mat. Sam’s Club wanted the summary judgment to be granted in their favor because it would have resulted in a swift and favorable resolution without the need for a full trial. Sam’s Club knew trials could be time-consuming, expensive, and unpredictable, so they tried to avoid the negative publicity and risk of a jury verdict against them.
The judge cited § 343 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, which discusses the liability of a land owner towards invitees due to dangerous conditions on the property. She then referenced Section 343A of the Restatement to explain that if the danger is known or obvious, the store owner is liable. Basically, if they knew about the danger and should have anticipated the harm it would cause, they are at-fault for the accident.
The judge then cited precedent, meaning she referred to a 2016 case titled Carter-Butler v. Target Store #2596. The decision of this case emphasized the need for evidence of a dangerous condition in slip and fall cases. Evidence used in the case included an expert witness who was an architect. She concluded the mat was hazardous due to its placement and the fact that it wasn’t secured.
Since the federal judge decided that the claim against Sam’s Club should be decided by a jury, that legal precedent can now be cited in future slip and fall cases. This means that our clients at Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law can benefit from the decisions of real people who understand your situation. We can use recent news and updates about slip and fall cases like this to make a stronger argument that ensures you receive the justice you deserve.
Technology in Slip and Fall Cases
As courts modernize with digital methods for hearings and filings, victims of slip and fall incidents can use today’s technology to their advantage when collecting evidence.
- Quick Photos: Use your smartphone to snap photos of the accident scene immediately. Capture the hazard, lighting conditions, signage, and any other relevant factors.
- Digital Notes: Instead of waiting, jot down what happened on a notes app. Include details like the time, date, and any conversations that took place.
- Contact Collection: If there are witnesses, quickly save their contact details on your phone. Their statements can help later.
- Security Cameras: Many places have digital surveillance. Request a copy of this footage as soon as possible. It could show the accident in real-time.
- Weather Apps: For outdoor falls, check weather apps for past conditions. Was it rainy or icy? This can help establish if external factors played a role.
- Expert Witnesses: As seen in the Sam’s Club case, expert opinions can give weight to your claim. They can explain the dangers posed by certain conditions and help to establish when an owner was negligent. With today’s technology, expert witnesses can come from around the globe.
Stay Up-To-Date and Take Action
By staying updated on these shifts in legal behavior, you ensure your rights are upheld. At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we keep accident victims informed about the circumstances of their cases. We guide you through the schedules, paperwork, and bureaucracy while focusing on your health and recovery.
Don’t face these challenges alone. If you or a loved one has experienced a slip and fall injury in Oregon, now is the time to act. We’re here to guide you every step of the way. Call today at (503) 287-5000.