Determining liability in slip and fall cases is usually quite difficult, and the victim may have a hard time proving if the property owner can be held accountable for the injury due to slipping or tripping. Usually the property owner is supposed to be held liable if:
Property owner or an employee has caused the hazardous or dangerous situation
The property owner or employee knew about the dangerous situation and did nothing
The property owner or employee should have known about the existence of the dangerous situation
Thinking About Others
However, the court also takes into account the reasonableness of the property owner in keeping the premises safe and clean. The liability is usually determined after considering this aspect of reasonable behavior on the part of the property owner.
To assess whether the property owner was reasonable in keeping the area clean and safe, the following inquiries can be made:
- Did the victim trip over a bulging or torn carpet, or slip on a wet floor? Was the hazardous spot there long enough for the owner to have known about its existence?
- Does the owner of the property have a system in place for checking, repairing, and cleaning the premises? What is the proof of having such regular maintenance?
- If the victim tripped over an object, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be in that spot? Was the object left there by the owner or employee of the premises?
- Was it possible to store the object in a safer place instead of being placed at the spot where the accident occurred?
- Was it possible to create a barrier or place a warning sign at the spot of the accident?
- Was there proper lighting illumining the area where the slip and fall occurred?
How does someone justify slipping legitimately when no one else was slipping or had already slipped? If the hazard was not that extraordinary, where are the other victims? Well, perhaps the owner, manager, or employee put up the sign after you had already slipped. This is damaging evidence that your attorney will certainly use because this says the owner did not have the sign up before and that the owner was worried this could happen again. The threat still existed.
You Need Professional Legal Assistance
But do not worry if you get up off the floor and notice you overlooked the sign. Was the sign in the right area? What happens if another customer moved the sign without the owner’s or business’s acknowledgment? This can complicate things but it does not rule out the fact that you need a dedicated and resolute personal injury attorney by your side.