Each year, thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents.
While a slip and fall or trip and fall accident may seem minor, in many
cases it can result in severe injuries. From broken hips to traumatic
brain injuries and paralysis, a slip and fall accident can result in life-altering injuries.
The question is, who is a fault when somebody slips on a wet step and falls
down a flight of stairs? Or, what if you slip on a freshly waxed floor
and hit your head and sustain a traumatic brain injury? How about an elderly
person who trips on torn carpeting and breaks their hip? Broken hips can
be devastating for seniors, and the fragile elderly adult can have their
life cut short after a risky hip surgery.
Depending on the circumstances, the property owner or lessee is at fault
for the injuries suffered by the guest. If a spill just occurred and the
property owner did not have a chance to rectify the dangerous condition,
they may not be held liable.
Essentially, it’s unrealistic for a property owner to be responsible
for mopping up a mess or moving an object on the floor if they didn’t
have time to react to the situation. On the other hand, property owners
are responsible for maintaining their grounds and keeping them safe for
visitors, which is why all factors have to be considered.
When the Property Owner is Liable
In order for the property owner to be liable for the injuries that you
suffered, one of the following must apply:
- The property owner, a lessee, or an employee caused the slippery surface,
spill, or dangerous condition to exist
- The property owner, lessee, or an employee know about the dangerous condition
but did nothing about it
- The property owner, lessee, or an employee should have known about the
dangerous condition because any reasonable person would have discovered
and taken care of it promptly
The basis for a premises liability claim will be simple logic. Some of
the questions that may be asked are:
- Was the dangerous condition there long enough for the property owner to
know about it?
- If you tripped over an object, was it there for a legitimate reason?
- Could a warning sign have been set up to prevent you from slipping or tripping?
- Was poor lighting or broken lighting a factor in the accident?
If you do file a claim, be prepared to explain what you were doing. You’ll
need to describe your actions clearly so the insurance adjuster sees that
you were not careless.
To learn more about filing a personal injury claim in a slip, trip, or
fall case, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. Our
Columbia personal injury attorney is well-qualified to answer all of your questions!