Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
Thousands of people are injured each year in slip and fall accidents. Slips, trips, and falls can occur on floors, stairs, or any surface that has become slippery or uneven and dangerous. Injuries from these falls can sometimes be very serious and require prolonged medical treatment. If you are a victim of such a circumstance, you will likely want to seek compensation from the property owner for damages but sometimes it can be difficult to prove fault.
The first question to answer before pursuing a lawsuit is “Could the property owner have prevented the accident?” Property owners have a duty to ensure their property does not pose a slip and fall threat to any person on their property. Even if a leak creates a slippery environment that you slip and fall on, the property owner may not be held responsible for your injuries if there was a drain in the floor designed to limit slippery conditions. Given this expectation for the property to be safe for anyone accessing it, there is also an expectation that those on the property exercise reasonable care to keep themselves safe from injury.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property and it was a result of a dangerous condition, you will need to prove one of the following in order to win your case:
-the property owner (or his employee) should have known about the dangerous condition because another reasonable person in this position would have recognized the danger and fixed it
-the property owner (or his employee) did know about this dangerous condition and did not fix it
-the property owner (or his employee) caused the dangerous condition
If you, in some way, contributed to your own accident (such as being distracted by your cell phone and missing a warning sign), your award for injuries or other damages might be reduced by the amount that you were comparatively at fault. This is a percentage that is determined by the judge or jury.
A personal injury attorney will help you with legal advice so you can focus on healing from your injuries. Because of statutes of limitations that limit the time a person can have to file an injury lawsuit, you must act quickly if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident.