What Makes a Slip and Fall Accident a Personal Injury Case?
January 13, 2015
There is no precise way to explain when an owner or occupier of property is legally responsible for something on which you slip or trip. Each case turns on whether the owner acted carefully so that visitors were not likely to slip or trip — and whether the person who fell was careless in not seeing or avoiding the thing he or she fell on.
To be held legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping or tripping and falling, the owner of the premises or the owner’s employee:
must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot
must have known the slippery or dangerous material or object was underfoot and done nothing about it, or
should have known the slippery or dangerous material was on the floor, stair, or ground because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.
The third situation is the most common, but is also less clear-cut than the first two because of those pesky words “should have known.” Liability in these cases is determined by common sense. The law determines whether the owner or occupier of property was careful by deciding whether the steps the owner or occupier took to keep the property safe were reasonable.
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