Slip and Fall Lawyers
Overview Of Slip And Fall Accidents
The term “slip and fall” is used in personal injury cases where an individual trips or slips and gets injured on somebody else’s property. Usually these cases go under a broad category of cases called “premises liability” claims. Normally slip and fall accidents occur on premises or property that someone else owns or maintains, and the property owner might be held to be legally responsible.
Numerous potentially dangerous conditions exist such as wet floors, narrow stairs, poor lighting, changes in flooring and torn carpeting that can cause somebody to slip and become injured. The same thing is true if somebody trips on a cracked or broken public sidewalk, or falls down stairs. A slip and fall situation might also occur when somebody falls or slips outside due to snow, ice, rain or a hidden hazard like a pothole.
In any case, to collect, the plaintiff needs to have sustained some type of injury, no matter how minor it is.
How Fault Is Proven In A Slip And Fall Case
There isn’t a precise way for determining when another person is legally responsible for the injuries you have sustained after you trip or slip. Every case depends on whether or not the property owner acted in a careful way so that tripping or slipping was unlike to occur, and whether or or not you were careless in avoiding or not seeing the condition that caused you to fall. The following are some general rules for helping you to determine whether someone else is responsible for your trip or slip and fall injury.
In a majority of cases, when an individual is injured during a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, they have to prove that a dangerous condition caused the accident, and that the owner of the property was aware of this dangerous condition. This dangerous condition must also pose an unreasonable risk to the individual on the property, and it needs to be a condition that the injured individual could not have anticipated in the situation. What the last requirement implies is that individuals need to be aware of and also avoid dangers that are obvious.
To establish that the owner of the property was aware of the dangerous condition, you must show that:
- The condition was created by the possessor or owner of the property;
- That the owner or possessor was aware that the condition existed and was negligent by failing to correct the condition; or
- The condition had existed for a long period of time so that the possessor or owner should have noticed and corrected it before the slip and fall accident occurred.
For a possessor or owner of a property to be held liable, it is required that it was foreseeable that the danger would be created by his negligence.
To recover on a slip and fall injury that occurred on another person’s property, the injury must have been caused by a responsible party. That might sound obvious, however many individuals are not aware of the fact that some injuries are caused by the person’s own carelessness and are not the fault of someone else.
In order to be held legally responsible for someone else’s injuries from tripping or slipping and falling on somebody else’s property, the possessor or owner or a restaurant, store or other type of business (or business employee):
- Must have caused the torn or worn spot, spill, or other dangerous or slippery item or surface that was underfoot;
- Has to have been aware of the surface being dangerous but failed to do anything about the situation; or,
- Should have been aware of the dangerous surface since a reasonable individual caring for property would have discovered the problem and either repaired or removed it.
The most common situation is the third one, but it is less clear-cut as well than the other two are due to “should have known.” In these cases common sense determines liability. The law is what determines whether an occupier or owner of the property was careful through determining if the steps taken by the occupier or owner were reasonable for keeping it safe.
When a slip and fall accident occurs on a commercial property, frequently there are a number of different entities or individuals that might beheld responsible for a person’s injuries.
In a residential setting, a landlord can be held liable to third parties or tenants for injuries that occur on a rental property due to a slip and fall accident. In order for a landlord to be held responsible for a person’s injury, the individual must show that:
- The condition causing the slip and fall was something the landlord had control of;
- Repairing this condition wouldn’t have been unreasonably difficult or expensive;
- A serious injury was a foreseeable consequence of the condition not getting fixed; and
- Failure of the landlord to take reasonable action to avoid the accident that caused the person’s injury in a slip and fall accident.
Whenever a slip and fall injury takes place on property that is owned by a federal, state or local government entity, there are special rules that apply to the case. There are specifically very strict notice requirements along with broad immunity provisions that may shield government entities at times from liability for an injury that occurs on government property.
Next Step: Get Your Slip and Fall Claim Reviewed
If you were injured during a slip and fall accident on somebody else’s property and you are thinking about filing a legal claim, then you should meet with an experienced lawyer to discuss your case. This should be done right away,since there are specific time limits in placed when injured individuals are able to file personal injury lawsuits.