Slip and fall; sounds like no big deal, right? Yet, don't you know that there are thousands of people who get hurt from these accidents each year? With such significantly high number, it may be difficult to judge whether these slip and fall accidents are the fault of the injured person himself/herself, or if they are the responsibility of other parties.
It seems that everybody lately has been either slipping and falling, or tripping and falling, and blaming these accidents to other people, such as a neighbor, employers, maintenance crew, product manufacturers, establishment owners, residential property owners, council or government entities, and so on.
Many individuals are complaining about being hurt or injured in another persons premises just so they could have a premise liability claim, and recover money from the parties they are accusing legally responsible.
Slip, or trip and fall are the most common cause of action for a premise liability. In determining legal responsibility for this type of claim, three important elements should be present: ownership, possession and control. The individual who possess these three elements may have responsibility for any injuries suffered by another person from a hazardous condition within their premises.
However, suing somebody over a premise liability is not as easy as people assume. There are strict guidelines in establishing liability, and this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. An object left on the floor or an uneven patch on the road doesn't always mean responsibility of a person or entity. Liability depends upon certain circumstances or causes.
Although property owners are subject to a certain degree of duty of care, it is not always their fault when someone trips and fall within their property, especially when such accident could have been avoided by a standard reasonable person. There are faulty conditions on the road that an ordinary person would be able to notice and avoid.
So when a property owner is held legally responsible for a slip and fall? The court or jury must be able to evaluate some of the following major considerations in holding liability against a proprietor:
- There was a harmful or faulty condition on the premises
- The defect or faulty condition within the premises either was created by the owner himself/herself, or at least had been noticed by the owner yet he/she failed to take action even after having a reasonable time to do so.
- The owner had knowledge, or should have had knowledge, regarding the faulty condition
- The property owner owed some duty of care to the injured individual
- The property owner breached that duty of care
- The breach of duty was the proximate or actual cause of the slip and fall accident
- The accident caused injuries or damages to the individual
The difficulty in proving a genuine slip and fall case comes in the question whether the owner knew or should have been aware of the defective condition. This is where slip and fall lawyers come in handy. They will be able to help plaintiffs prove liability against property owners.