When people think about lawsuits involving an injury, a “slip and fall” accident is what usually comes to mind first. “Slip and Fall” is the term that describes a case in which a person slips and becomes injured on another person’s property, due to a wet floor or some other hazard underfoot. While it’s not always a case that’s sure to win, the property owner can be held liable for the injury. Here’s a deeper look at this common type of lawsuit.
How is liability determined in a slip and fall case?
Many people would think that this case would be pretty simple, and that the owner is automatically liable, but the truth is, it’s more complex than that. In order to win a slip and fall case, one of the following must have happened to you:
- The owner of the property, or one of the employees of a business must have caused a spill, a worn spot, or other slippery or hazard to be underfoot.
- The property owner or employee must have known of the hazard, but failed to address it.
- If the owner or employee was not aware of the hazard, then the court can determine that they should’ve been aware, because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered it.
Other factors of a personal injury case.
When you’re out in public, or even in another person’s home, the property owner is responsible for keeping up the property. Even if a hazard causes an injury, a successful negligence claim depends on whether the court finds that the property owner acted reasonably. Even if a dangerous surface is missed, as long as owners and employees make regular and thorough efforts to maintain the safety and cleanliness of the property, they are acting with reasonable care, and are not likely to be held liable.
Also, in order to bring an injury case to court, there must be an injury as a result of the incident, however minor it happens to be. If you sustained an injury in a business or someone else’s home, the case can be more complex than most people think. Discussing the details with an experienced attorney will help you determine the best course of action.