(Newswire.net — May 19, 2017) — Many people have the wrong idea about personal injury law: that any time you slip and fall somewhere other than your home, it is someone else’s fault. The truth is that if you are going to recover for your slip and fall accident, it has to be more than an accident. It has to be an incident that was due to someone else’s negligence.
Thousands of individuals are injured in slip and fall accidents yearly, and many of them result in more than just a few minor scrapes. Whether it is falling down the stairs, slipping on a wet floor or any other slick surface, there is real potential for some major lifelong consequences. It really doesn’t take much for a slip and fall accident to happen; even something as minor as uneven ground can be enough to knock someone off their feet. A can determine who is at fault, based on the conditions surrounding your slip and fall.
Could it have been prevented?
When you or someone you love slips and falls and sustains injuries, it is not uncommon to want to sue the property owner, but that isn’t always possible or smart. The question you have to ask yourself before you initiate any lawsuit is whether the accident would still have happened had the property owner taken more care.
Although there are times when property owners are negligent, accidents can sometimes be just that — accidents where no one was at fault. If the property owner took steps to limit any slip and fall or other type of accident on their property, and something still happens, they can’t be held liable for it.
When you enter someone’s property, you have the right to assume that the property owner has taken reasonable care to limit the potential for accidents, but you also have an obligation to be aware of your surroundings and to make efforts to limit any injuries. For example, if you are in a backyard and you trip on a mound of dirt because you didn’t see it, that isn’t the owner’s fault — that was just an accident.
What are reasonably safe conditions?
There are times when a slip and fall is due to the negligence of the property owner, and they are liable for your damages and injuries. Although there aren’t any steadfast rules as to what reasonable care is, the property owner does have an obligation to ensure that anything that could be potentially dangerous is either remedied, or that they inform anyone who enters that there is a potential danger. In general, the property owner is responsible when they:
- Should have “reasonably” known that a dangerous condition existed and taken care of or fixed it.
- They knew about the dangerous condition and didn’t do anything to repair it. They caused the condition that was dangerous.
The word reasonable is a vague one. What is reasonable care to one person might not be to someone else. There are many ways to establish whether a property owner or their employee took reasonable care to ensure that things were in safe working order. They are:
- How long the condition was there. For example, if you tripped on a broken tile in the bathroom while you were at a grocery store, had the tile been broken yesterday, it would be a different situation than if it had been broken for months, with the owner failing to do anything about it.
- What the property owner inspects daily due to the maintenance of the property, and what type of proof they can provide that they inspect things regularly or at all.
- If you trip on something, whether the item had a legitimate reason for being placed where it was, or if it was there by accident.
Other factors that will affect who is liable when you slip and fall are things like whether you were invited onto the property or if you were trespassing. Also, if you were careless or clumsy and that led to your fall, that is your own negligence. A slip and fall personal injury suit is not an easy case to win, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when you can be eligible to recover for your injuries. The best way to know for sure who is liable is to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer to determine who is at fault before you pursue any action on your own.