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The Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, APC

Why the Slip and Fall Victim's Shoe are So Important in a Fall Injury Case

The shoes of the slip and fall victim are very important to a San Diego, California slip and fall accident case.  In my injury law practice, I always ask my slip and fall client to save their shoes in a plastic bag as a reminder to my client not to wear the shoes in question so as to preserve them as evidence in case we need them for the following reasons:

1.  Retained expert inspection and review; sometimes I will retain an expert to examine my client's shoes to see if anything was wrong with them, that may have attributed to my client falling and injuring himself of herself;

2.  In case the claim moves into litigation, and we go to trial, the shoes will be evidence for the jury to see;

3.  Saving the shoes in a safe place helps preserve them as evidence for the above two important reasons.

Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of the slip and fall victim's shoes because your attorney will, or may, have an expert retained on the injury case to examine, inspect or test the shoes.  The reason for the expert inspection is actually two-fold:  to see if any cause of the slip and fall accident may be attributed to the design or shape of the shoes, and if so, if there is in fact a design defect, then to establish a possible basis for a product defect claim against the shoe manufacturer or retail store that sold the shoes (or both).  Yes, as funny as it may seem, a good slip and fall injury lawyer will actually keep in the back of his or her mind the potential for a product defect lawsuit in case the shoes attributed to the fall injury.  In fact, on almost every case a good slip and fall injury lawyer will "assume" a possible defect to the shoe until it is ruled out through expert examination.  

Remember, all shoes and shoe brands "are not created equally." Sometimes shoes will have features that make is extra slippery.  Such as the heel or sole have a texture or are made of a certain substance that make them more slippery than other shoes especially when they are used on certain floor surfaces.  I have had my eye on these new "shape up" shoes that have recently come out as a work out fad.  I have noticed that other manufacturers besides Reebok and Sketchers are now making this type of shoe product.  I have read medical reports that indicate it can throw off a person's gait or walking pattern; even causing injury to the achilles tendon no less!  This can be especially problematic for the elderly who have more trouble getting around.  The last thing they need is a tennis shoe that either causes them injury while walking, or throws of their normal walking gait.  A person should be very mindful of the shoes he or she wears and the potential they may have on certain surfaces.  Since I am a lawyer, I am usually in a suit with dress shoes, and I have noticed certain brands of dress shoes pose more slip potential than other brands, especially on certain surfaces.  So I too have to be mindful of the shoes I wear.  This same mindfulness needs to be stressed to the everyday consumer which is why I am writing this article.

The slip potential of any given shoe or shoe brand can be hazardous regardless of the surface too.  As indicated above, every slip and fall injury case should be evaluated as a potential product defect claim against the manufacturer, until that theory of liability is ruled out by an expert.  This article is not intended to make you think every shoe is hazardous either; I can tell you, based on what I have read and researched, most shoes are not defective.  Just look for anything that could be associated with a slip and fall injury when looking at shoes and you should be just fine.


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