Who is Responsible for Injuries Resulting from a Slip and Fall Accident?

Posted by: DFX on Aug 26, 2016

posted-warning-652115_640Thousands of people are injured every year from accidents involving slips and falls. They may fall on a wet floor, they may fall as a result of defective stairs, or a rough patch of ground may be the reason for the fall. In some cases, the property owner is legally responsible for the accident – but that’s not always the case.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, the first thing to remember is that it’s simply a part of the world that things will fall, that liquids will drip onto the floor or ground, and that surfaces that were once smooth will become uneven. Some things you may trip over serve a purpose – such as drainage grates – and a property owner isn’t always responsible for cleaning every slip the moment it hits the ground.

However, property owners do have obligations. In order for the property owner (or the person occupying the property) to be held responsible, generally one of the following must be true:

  • The owner or their employee must have caused the situation that caused the accident. For example, they may have spilled the substance that caused a slippery floor.
  • The owner or their employee should have known about the dangerous situation. This is considered the “reasonable” person clause, in which a judge or jury must determine that a reasonable person would have known or discovered the issue.
  • The owner or their employee must have known about the dangerous situation and not done anything to fix it.

The most common is the reasonable person clause but it’s open to interpretation. Liability in these types of cases typically requires a decision based on common sense. A judge or jury will have to decide if the owner or occupier of a property was careful enough and if the steps they took to keep their property safe were reasonable.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a slip or fall, and you’re not sure if you have a case, your next call should be to the Law Offices of Gilbert & Smallman. Call us today for your free consultation and we’ll assess your case and give you our best legal advice. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you want attorneys who will give you an honest opinion and fight to ensure your interests are being protected, then you want to work with us.