Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claim. Premises liability refers to the responsibility of a property owner to take the care necessary to maintain safe conditions. For example, if you went to a grocery store, slipped on a wet floor and suffered an injury, you may be able to file a slip and fall claim to recover damages. However, you would have to prove that the property owner was negligent, and should have known that the wet area would lead to someone’s injury.
What Circumstances Commonly Lead To a Slip and Fall Claim?
Slip and fall claims are easy to identify, because they always involve a plaintiff who has lost his or her footing and fallen, leading to some type of injury. And the most common circumstances that can lead to a slip and fall injury include:
- Ice and Snow – In the winter, the accumulation of ice and snow that has not been plowed can cause a slip and fall.
- Wet Floor – Any floor that is wet significantly increases the likelihood of a slip and fall accident. Grocery stores and department stores often have wet floors due to cleaning or some type of spill.
- Greasy Floor – Any floor that is greasy or oily increases the likelihood of a slip and fall accident.
- Loose Floorboard – Loose floorboards that have not been repaired can cause a person to trip and fall.
- Old Staircase – Staircases with old, worn-out handrails are a danger that can cause a serious fall and injury.
- Extension Cord – Extension cords are a hidden danger, because they often run along corners, and a person who is walking without looking down can easily trip on a cord and suffer an injury.
The Standard of Proof For a Slip and Fall Claim
To win a slip and fall claim, you have to prove that a property owner violated one of the following two standards:
- Was the condition that caused the slip and fall accident foreseeable? In other words, should the property owner have known that an extension cord in the path of a patron could cause an accident and taken steps to prevent that accident from happening?
- Was the condition that caused the slip and fall accident the result of negligence? In this instance, you would have to prove that the property owner knew of the hazardous condition, or should have known of the hazardous condition, but did nothing to remove the hazard or correct the problem.
In personal injury claims, such as a slip and fall accidents, negligence is always held up against the standard of what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances. Therefore, to prove negligence in a slip and fall claim that was caused by a wet floor, you would have to show that the property owner did not place a sign warning people that the floor was wet, nor did the property owner instruct someone to dry the floor to prevent an accident.
There’s another important factor, and that is that you must also prove that you didn’t contribute to the slip and fall accident. This is known in most states as ‘comparative fault,’ and it refers to any actions you took that contributed to the accident. In some states, a plaintiff who bears some responsibility for a slip and fall accident would not be able to collect any damages.
If you need an experienced lawyer to help with a slip and fall claim, please contact the Law Offices of Duane O. King today for a legal consultation.