If you are a property owner, you can be held liable if a person is injured on your property due to a hazardous or dangerous condition. When you have coverage, the insurance company will settle the matter and provide the injured party with some settlement amount. However, in many instances, slip and fall cases are frivolous and the insurance company will not pay anything, and the case will go to trial. Liability is difficult to prove, since there are many strong defenses in slip and fall cases, where it can be alleged that the victim was:
- Not exercising normal attention
- Walking very fast
- Did not read the warning sign
- Was wearing the wrong type of footwear
- Rushed into a sharp turn
- The slippery floor was obvious and the victim failed to notice it
- The accident occurred immediately after the hazardous situation came into being and the property owner did not have time to clear it up
- The victim was wearing sunglasses and hence his vision was impaired to notice things clearly
In most instances, the property owner can claim that the hazardous condition had been there for a short time, and the victim had the accident before it could be rectified. For instance, if the victim slipped on a water spill, the property owner can claim there was no way of avoiding the spill and the victim slipped before the water could be cleared.
This is where the video tape of the store owner can exonerate them. This is also where witnesses may become of some help either for the property owner or the person that slipped and was injured as a result.
Another strong defense is the state of mind of the victim. A property owner can claim the dangerous situation was obvious, and it could have been avoided if the victim had been attentive or careful. Using such defenses, the property owner can have the case dismissed or will at least be able to prove that the victim was partially responsible for the fall and therefore the liability should be significantly reduced.