Essentials of Slip and Fall Law

A lot of personal injury cases come from slip and fall. It appears trivial, yet sometimes, people trip or slip and suffer major injuries. Here’s Slip and Fall Law by HG.org to provide us with details about slip and fall.

Slip and fall law refers to the liability rules governing cases in which an individual falls to the ground and suffers harm due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. As a subset of personal injury law, these cases are controlled by the basic rules of negligence. Unless an accident occurs on federal government property, state law will control. Violations of local building code ordinances can also be relevant.

Despite the reference to a “slip,” this area of the law covers any accident that results from the victim encountering an unsafe condition underfoot, whether it produces a stumble, overextension, twist, or other movement. Direct causes can include spilled liquids or food, cracked sidewalks, objects on the stairs, ice and snow, broken floor tiles, uneven steps, and potholes. Indirect causes, such as dim lighting or missing handrails, can also contribute.

Slip and Fall Injury: What to Prove to Win

Accidents occur, and injuries are frequently the result. However, when the accident was a result of something (or somebody) beyond of your control, then you may think whether you have options for legal recourse. This article talks about the key matters in a slip and fall claim which is Liability. Whether you’re pursuing a personal injury case or insurance settlement, to win the case, you’ll have to be able to establish that somebody else (typically the owner of the property) is responsible for the injuries you sustained.

In slip and fall claims, the main liability questions are often:

  1. Who are the possible liable parties?
  2. Were those parties truly negligent, viz. by failing to stop or causing the slip and fall?

From the injured person’s perspective, in a slip and fall insurance lawsuit or claim, another main element is defending against a case that the own carelessness of the injured person somehow contributed to or caused the accident.

Theories of Liability

To hold another person liable for injuries sustained in a slip and fall injury, an injured individual should typically establish one of the following:

  • An owner of the property (or their worker) should’ve recognized a hazardous condition (viz. a patchy walking surface or a pothole) and removed or fixed the potential danger, but didn’t. The main question here is whether or not a reasonable person would’ve identified the situation as dangerous, and whether or not the defendant had plenty of opportunities to fix the condition before the accident took place. OR

An owner of the property (or their worker) caused the hazardous condition causing the slip and fall accident (by leaving a dangerous obstacle in a pathway, for instance) and it was rationally foreseeable that somebody would be injured because of the condition.

Now that we’re aware of the essentials of the law, let us now proceed to Slip and Fall Accident Claims and Other Premises Liability Cases by Injury Claim Coach, which talks about various facets including determining fault in a premises liability claim. Here’s an excerpt:

The two main elements for determining fault in a premises liability claim are:

  1. Whether or not the property owner acted reasonably to prevent a dangerous condition, and
  2. Whether or not the injured party was exceedingly careless.

The initial investigation should determine if the cause of the accident was due to a pre-existing dangerous condition, and if it could have been prevented by owner action.

Whether or not the injured person could have anticipated the hazards of the area from prior conditions is also important – this is the “avoidance of obvious danger” element.

For the injured person to have a strong case, the owner of the property must have known about the hazardous condition and been negligent in remedying it. The hazard must have been present long enough for the owner to have had ample time to remedy the problem before the accident occurred.

Premises liability

A dark corridor is someone else’s property.

Proving Negligence and Liability

Often, the word “reasonable” arises in settlement negotiations as well as at other major stages of slip and fall claims. That is because, to be held negligent and thus liable for slip and fall damages, a property owner (or their worker or agent) must have been unable to act as a rationally prudent individual would’ve acted under the same circumstances leading up to the situation. In attempting to evaluate whether or not the defendant behaved reasonably, here are a few factors that plaintiffs ought to think about:

  • Did the dangerous condition exist sufficiently long that a rational property owner or worker could’ve taken action to get rid of the hazard?
  • Did the property owner or worker have a strategy of routinely evaluating for potential dangers on their property; if so, is there a log or other documentation of whether the plan was followed instantly prior to the accident?
  • Was there a rational justification for the potential hazard’s creation? If so, was the justification still present at the time of the accident?
  • Could the dangerous situation have been made less hazardous via precautionary measures like moving the hazard, putting ample warning signs in the area, or inhibiting access to the area?

Was limited visibility or poor lighting a factor in resulting in the slip and fall accident?

In AllLaw’s What You Must Prove to Win a Slip and Fall Injury Claim, the article what you ought to establish to win a case. Here’s an excerpt:

Proving Negligence & Liability

  • Did the hazardous condition or obstacle exist long enough that a reasonable property owner or employee could have taken action to eliminate the hazard?
  • Did the property owner or employee have a policy of routinely checking for potential hazards on the property, and if so, is there some sort of log or other record of whether the procedure was followed immediately before the accident?
  • Was there a reasonable justification for the creation of the potential hazard? And if so, did this justification still exist at the time of the slip or fall?
  • Could the hazardous condition have been made less dangerous through preventive measures such as relocating the hazard, placing adequate warning signage in the area, or preventing access to the location?
  • Was poor lighting or limited visibility a factor in causing the slip and fall?

Learn more about slip and fall law, how to prove it, and its elements by clicking on the articles above.