Thousands of individuals are hurt each year, many of them seriously, when they slip and fall on a slick floor, stairwell, or other slippery surface. Even level terrain that has become dangerously uneven can result in serious injury. However, proving that the property owner is to blame for a slip and fall disaster can be challenging.
Was The Property Owner in A Position to Prevent the Accident?
It may be tempting to seek justice in the form of a lawsuit as quickly as possible if you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall accident. But first, consider this: Is it possible that the accident could have been averted if the property owner had exercised greater caution?
Even if a leaking roof causes a slippery condition that causes you to slip and fall, the property owner may not be liable for your injuries if the floor had a drainage grate meant to prevent slick conditions. Furthermore, property owners are not usually liable for things that a reasonable person would avoid, such as stumbling over something that is normally found in that area. Every individual is responsible for being aware of their surroundings and attempting to avoid risky situations.
However, property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of swimming pools, trampolines, and other attractive nuisances. Swimming pools, for example, must be covered or fenced to prevent unattended youngsters from utilizing them.
The Property Owner’s Obligation to Maintain Reasonably Safe Conditions
This does not, however, preclude property owners from being held liable for the injuries suffered by individuals who slipped and fell on their property. Despite the fact that there is no hard and fast rule, property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that their premises are free of dangerous situations that could cause someone to slip and fall. This reasonableness, however, is frequently weighed against the care that the individual who slipped and fell should have taken.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property as a result of a dangerous condition, you’d almost certainly need to show one of the following to win your case:
- The property owner or one of his employees was aware of the dangerous situation but did nothing to remedy it.
- The unsafe situation was caused by either the property owner or his employee
- Since another “reasonable” individual in their position would have known about the unsafe state and remedied it, either the property owner or his employee should have known about it.
The first scenario is the one that is most usually litigated in slip and fall incidents because property owners are generally responsible for the safety of their premises. However, the first case is also the most difficult to show. The judge or jury will decide whether the property owner should have been aware of the slick step that caused you to fall after you have presented your evidence and arguments.
If you have a viable negligence claim for a slip and fall accident, you’ll want to figure out what types of damages you’ll be seeking in your lawsuits, such as medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Proof of Liability
Before starting a case, you and your lawyer should discuss the following topics:
- Was there a purpose for the obstacle left on the floor that caused your slip and fall accident?
- How long had the unsafe condition been present before your accident?
- How long had the hazardous condition been present?
Carelessness, Clumsiness, and Comparative Negligence
When it comes to slip and fall accidents, most jurisdictions apply the comparative negligence rule, which provides a defense to negligence allegations. This implies that if you contributed to your own accident in some manner, your reward for your injuries and other damages may be reduced by the percentage of culpability you shared. There are certain questions you can ask yourself to determine how likely it is that you’ll be found to be comparably negligent, just as you would while studying the responsibility of the property owner:
- Would a prudent person in the same circumstances have observed and avoided the hazardous condition or managed the situation in a way that reduced the risk of slipping and falling? Did the property owner install a barrier or provide notice of the hazardous situation that caused your slip and fall?
- Were you participating in any activity that could have caused you to trip and fall?
Personal injury lawyers can help you learn more about how your negligence can impact the result of your claim, as well as how these sorts of cases work in general.