A slip and fall describes personal injury cases in which a person slips or trips and falls, and is injured on another’s property. These types of cases usually come under the broader category of premises liability claims. Any dangerous conditions such as torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs, or a wet floor inside a building can cause someone to slip and fall and get hurt. Other types of slip and fall incidents can occur when people trip on broken or cracked public sidewalks or trip and fall on the stairs.
In addition, a slip and fall case might arise when someone slips or trips and falls because of weather conditions or a hidden hazard, for example leaves covering a pothole on a sidewalk.
In most cases, a person injured in a slip and fall on another’s property must prove that a dangerous condition caused their injuries and that the owner or possessor of the property knew or should have known of the dangerous condition(s). To establish that a property owner or possessor knew there was a dangerous condition one of the following must be demonstrated:
A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on that property and it must have been a condition that the injured party should not have anticipated under the circumstances. This latter requirement implies that people must be aware of, and avoid, obvious dangers that could harm them.
In slip and fall cases on any commercial property, there are often a number of people or entities that may be held responsible for someone’s injuries such as when a business rents space from a property owner. In this case, both the property owner and the tenant (the business) may be named as defendants by someone injured on that property. The tenant is known as a possessor of the property and has a duty to use reasonable care to prevent injury to those on the premises under its control. A party who negligently manages or maintains that property might also be liable. In residential settings, landlords may be held responsible to tenants or third parties for slip and fall injuries on rental property.
When a slip and fall injury occurs on property owned by a local, state, or federal government entity, there are special rules that apply. Specifically, there are very stringent notice requirements and broad immunity provisions that sometimes shield government entities from liability for injuries that occur on their properties. Our attorneys are well-versed in liability of government parties to fight for what you deserve.