A slip and fall accident may not seem such a big deal, but it can be for some. Slip and fall accidents can happen anytime, anywhere without warning and their effects can be devastating. A fall can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, major wounds, and concussions. After a fall, the first question must address the victim’s health and recovery; the second question is who’s responsible? The answer to this question lies in the legal term premises liability. Let’s learn what this concept is and how its answer will help the victim’s recovery process.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability and slip and fall cases refer to the legal responsibility of owners to ensure their property is safe and free from dangerous and hazardous conditions. These cases arise when a visitor is hurt due to a dangerous condition on land owned or rented by another. Some common slip and fall accident cases include
- Stores or restaurants fail to mop up a wet floor or to clear an entryway of snow and ice
- Slip and fall accidents in a grocery store that had debris in an aisle.
- Trip and fall on cracks on uneven pavements
- Landlord failing to maintain stairway or building up to code
- A parking garage company fails to install adequate lighting
Who is Responsible for Slips and Falls?
When a slip and fall injury occurs, there are several parties that are involved and may potentially be responsible depending on the circumstance.
Property Owner: If an injury takes place at a residential property, it is possible for the homeowner to be held liable for damages if they have failed to warn guests of potential dangers that they were aware of. According to Indiana Law, the key factor is that the property owner must have known about the risk or dangers and not have taken steps to fix this issue or put barriers to block it off. If the fall happened in a commercial setting—such as a hotel or store—the owner can be held liable for injuries that occur on the property due to negligence.
Tenant / Possessor: If the commercial property is owned by one party but it is being rented by another business, then both parties may be considered liable for any damages. The tenant has a duty of care to keep guests of business safe from harm.
Landlords: If a landlord in a residential setting is aware of an issue that can lead to a slip and fall accident, but fails to fix it, they can be held liable.
Government Entities: In some cases, poorly maintained sidewalks in public areas can result in injury; in these instances, the city can be held responsible.
Sometimes, it is impossible for owners to fix an issue immediately. The law does accommodate for this—allowing them to put warning signs up or place cones or barriers around them until the issue can be resolved.
Contact Foley & Small, Your Trust Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has suffered a premises liability slip and fall injury, you should get help from experienced attorneys to ensure your legal right to compensation is fully assessed and protected. The first step is to contact us and we will help you get the justice you deserve.