Slip and falls can happen to anyone with some people being more prone to slipping and falling than others. Most of the time, a slip and fall is blamed on being clumsy, not paying attention or carelessness on the part of the person who falls. However, many times the accident is caused because of hazards or because a property owner was negligent or careless. Slipping and falling on someone else’s property does not automatically make you eligible for a slip and fall claim, so it is important to understand what does qualify as a premises liability.
In order to file a valid slip and fall claim, there must have been an unsafe condition and that unsafe condition must cause you to fall. Some common unsafe conditions include:
It is not enough that the unsafe condition existed. The property owner must also have known about the problem and let it persist. For example, a property owner is required to clear ice and snow from walkways, but they are not required to make those walkways dry and perfectly clear. In addition, if you slip and fall immediately after it begins snowing, you may not be able to file a valid slip and fall claim against the property owner as they must be provided reasonable time to clear walkways.
If a property owner is unaware of a condition that could lead to a hazard, you may not be eligible for a slip and fall claim. If someone drops a bottle of water in the aisle of a grocery store and you immediately slip and fall due to the wet floor, the owner may not be held liable as they could not have been aware of the spilled water. However, if the same bottle of water has been lying on the floor for hours, it is reasonable that the owner should have known the hazard existed and taken steps to clear the problem.
If the owner of the property has posted warnings that a dangerous condition exists, such as a broken floor tile or loose tread on a stairwell, they may not be liable if you slip and fall. The same is true of “Wet Floor” signs placed where a floor has just been mopped or construction on a public sidewalk. You also must take steps to avoid dangers when they are obvious, even if there are no warning signs. If you trip and fall into a large pothole in a sidewalk because you were not paying attention, the property owner may not be liable
If you or a loved one has been injured after slipping and falling, contact the attorneys at Lundy Law to see if you have a valid slip and fall claim. You can arrange for a no obligation consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the simple form on our website.