Slip and fall accidents are quite common. They may occasionally come as a result of a hazardous situation on another person’s property. You must understand that merely falling on another person’s property does not always mean that the property owner is automatically legally responsible for the resulting injuries. In some circumstances, the owners of both commercial and private property may be held liable.
Therefore, if you got injured in a fall while on someone else’s property, the following information will guide you to determine whether you might have a valid slip and fall claim.
Was the Property in an Unsafe Condition?
Stumbling, slipping, or falling on someone else’s property isn’t enough for you to claim. For the liability to shift to the property owner, there must have been an unsafe condition causing the fall. Examples of hazardous conditions could include the following:
- A badly damaged sidewalk
- Accumulation of ice and snow
- Wet slippery floors
Additionally, the property owner must have caused the unsafe condition or allowed the situation to persist. You must note that property and landowners do not necessarily need to have their property in perfectly safe conditions; the only requirement is to make the property reasonably safe.
For instance, after a snowstorm, property owners must take up the responsibility to clear up the snow and ice from sidewalks. However, they’re not mandated to make the sidewalks clear and dry; therefore, a slip and fall right after a snowstorm might not give you a valid claim.
Was the Property Owner Aware of the Poor Condition
If a property owner was unaware of the dangerous conditions that caused your fall, they didn’t have legal responsibility for your fall. The law allows property owners a reasonable amount of time to discover and come across dangerous conditions. Notice is among the most challenging factors to prove in the slip and fall cases.
For instance, when the fall takes place on a business premise, the business will likely generate an incident report after it. Incident reports will often provide insight into how long it took the owner to realize a dangerous condition. However, seasoned personal injury law firms like Kohan & Bablove will have the know-how to delve into the keenest possible pieces of evidence to prove reasonable notice in your case.
The Presence or Absence of a Warning
Once a property owner is aware of a hazardous condition they cannot remedy or fix immediately, they are responsible for warning the people around the danger. For instance, a store owner must set “caution” cones to alert their customers of recently wiped floors’ slipperiness.
When roads and sidewalks are under construction, municipalities have to warn the public of the specific construction dangers. Warnings can be in roped-off areas or signage.
Your Responsibility in Specific Circumstances
If the danger that caused your slip and fall was open and obvious, then the responsibility does not fall on the property owner. For example, when there is a large hole, you’re expected to spot it and avoid it. Every person has a responsibility to stay safe and protect themselves from injuries. Speak to an attorney about the facts of your case; they will determine whether you bore a level of legal liability during your accident that may affect your case.
Make a Claim for Your Slip and Fall Accident
Before claiming a slip and fall, you must consider how serious the resulting injuries are. The claiming process with the owner’s insurance company, mostly when alone, is quite a hassle. If your injuries brought a lot of harm to your well being, finances, and ability to enjoy life, then proceed with your case.
However, to fully establish whether you have a valid claim, you must seek a personal injury attorney to review your claim and its specific facts. Once they have confirmed how strong your case is, go ahead and make your claim.