A slip and fall accident typically occurs when an individual suffers from a fall on someone else's property. It may be private property owned by another individual, private property owned by a business, or public property. It can sometimes be difficult to prove fault in one of these cases because sometimes people just fall.
In order to prove fault in a slip and fall case, you have to prove that the owner of the property was responsible for the reason you fell. So how do we prove that it was the property owner's fault?
Could the owner have prevented the fall?
The first thing that needs to be determined is if the owner could have done something to prevent your fall. When you or a loved one suffers from a fall and gets hurt, it's understandable that the first thing you want to do is file a suit and ensure their damages are covered.
But you have to look into all pieces of the puzzle. What caused the fall? Was it a puddle from a leaky roof? This could potentially be the owner's fault. However, if there was a drain on the floor below designed to let water through, the owner is likely not responsible for your injuries.
Did the owner exercise proper standard of care?
It is the property owner's responsibility to keep his establishment in reasonably safe conditions. If the conditions were not safe and that is what caused your fall, then it is likely that the property owner will be liable and responsible for damages.
We also have to look into the standard of care of the person who fell. For example, if someone was intoxicated when they fell, it's likely they wouldn't be able to sue for damages as they were not exercising proper care themselves.
Is the owner liable?
Let's look into liability in a standard slip and fall case. A property owner can be liable for your fall if:
- He or an employee should have known about the unsafe conditions that caused your fall and fixed them.
- He or an employee did know about the unsafe conditions and did not fix them.
- He or an employee caused the unsafe conditions (i.e., a spill).
If you can prove any of these, then you can prove that the property owner is liable for your slip and fall case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall, contact The May Firm today. We would love to listen to your case and work with you to help prove fault of the owner of the property at which you or your loved one had the accident.