If you have fallen down on somebody’s property and sustained injuries, it does not necessarily make the property owner automatically liable. However, there are instances when the property owner can be held liable for your injuries. When there are unsafe or hazardous conditions on the property and the property owner has not taken any steps to rectify them, then he is liable for your injuries. Such hazardous conditions could include:

  • Slippery or wet floors
  • Potholes
  • Damaged sidewalk
  • Debris
  • Accumulation of ice and snow


Mother Nature’s Fault

However, the property owner is not required by law to make the property absolutely safe, but reasonably safe. For instance, after a snowfall, the property owner must take measures to clear the ice and snow from walking surfaces that people generally use. However, it is not required to make the surface completely clear and dry. Hence, a slip and fall injury resulting from some snow left over on the sidewalk may not give rise to a valid claim.

No Time

Secondly, a property owner is given reasonable time to discover the hazardous situation and rectify it. For instance, if a person slips and falls in the snow, immediately after a snowstorm, then a claim for compensation will not be valid, as the property owner did not have enough time to notice and rectify the hazardous situation.

Find Another Route

Even if the property owner is not able to rectify the hazardous situation within a reasonable time, he can post a warning. For instance, the sidewalk may not be cleared of snow due to unavailability of workers, and a caution notice has been posted. In such a case, the person is supposed to heed the notice and avoid walking on the surface.