For establishing an insurance claim or slip and fall lawsuit, you first need to identify the party or parties that can be held accountable or liable for the incident. Figuring out the party responsible for a slip and fall accident might seem easy but there are many legal factors to consider such as hazardous conditions, legal duties of the defendant, level of responsibility for averting dangerous situation, and so on. A court will usually consider the following aspects for identifying the party responsible for the slip and fall accident.
Control over Circumstances or Conditions
One of the aspects considered for identifying the party responsible for slip and fall accident is whether the party had control over the condition. For instance, large hotels and supermarkets will have several staff members who can cause dangerous situations, where the employer can be held liable. On the other hand, in certain cases, the dangerous condition could be caused by a buyer or guest whom the employer has no control over.
Expectation of Maintenance
One of the major aspects considered in a slip and fall case is whether the defendant was responsible for taking preventative measures to prevent the accident, and whether the defendant acted within a reasonable time to take the preventative measures. For instance in a commercial store, the storeowner is responsible for proper maintenance of the premises. However, there will be a difference in response time between a supermarket and local grocery store. In a supermarket, since there are many employees, the owner is expected to take precautionary action much faster than a local store owner who is managing the store on his own.
When the slip and fall accident occurs in a home or commercial place, the parties responsible can be quite clear. However, when the accident occurs in a public place or in a franchise store, it can be difficult to identify the actual party responsible for the accident.