You’re in the minority if you’ve never tripped or slipped and fallen at some point or another. In many cases, these minor falls can be attributed to not paying careful attention, being careless, or simple clumsiness. However, in some cases, falls happen because of a hazard located on someone else’s property.
That doesn’t mean that it’s the property owners’ responsibility to take care of the resulting injuries in every case. However, sometimes a private or commercial property owner can be held liable for slip and fall accidents.
Determining Whether the Property Was Unsafe
The only way a property owner can be held liable for injuries is if that property had an unsafe condition that led to the fall. Stumbling or slipping isn’t enough. Some of the unsafe conditions to be aware of include:
- Debris across the property or floor
- An accumulation of ice or snow
- The presence of potholes
- Slippery or wet floors
- A sidewalk that is highly damaged
However, it’s still not that simple. The landowner or property owner must have either caused the unsafe condition or allowed it to continue. That doesn’t mean that a property owner has to ensure their entire property is so safe that no accidents could ever occur. It just means that the property needs to be reasonably safe.
How Posted Warnings Contribute to the Situation
If the person who owns the property is aware that it is dangerous but can’t take care of rectifying it quickly, it’s required that they warn others of the potential danger. As an example, let’s say a sidewalk is broken up and dangerous for pedestrians. That area should be roped off and have signage letting people know. In the case of a retail store, caution cones should be placed when floors are newly mopped and likely to be slippery.
Considering Personal Responsibility
As we mentioned, it’s not always the property owner’s responsibility for a slip and fall injury. If it’s clear that there is a hole in the sidewalk, you’re expected to notice that and avoid it. If you are legally liable for your own injuries in some way, this can lead to a negative result if you file a personal injury claim.
Your best option is to make contact with a personal injury attorney at Barovick Law to determine whether you have a case. You can learn more about what your options are and go from there.
We’re here to listen.
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