Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability is a complicated legal concept that allows an individual to recover against a property owner for injuries sustained as a result of negligence of the property owner.
In a slip and fall accident the burden of proof is on the injured party. If you were injured in someone's home or a place of business, I can help you hold the responsible party accountable.
To establish negligence in a slip and fall accident, the following must be true:
1. The owner or employee caused the slippery surface or dangerous condition; and
2. The owner or employee knew about the dangerous condition, but failed to provide proper warning of the potential hazard or timely correct the hazard; or
3. The owner or an employee should have known or should have discovered the hazardous condition if they had acted as a reasonable person in their position.
Common Issues in a Slip and Fall Case
Determining the cause of the dangerous condition – If you are in a slip and fall accident, prior to the premises you should try to discover why the floor was slippery. Having an indeterminable cause of your accident can affect your credibility which can have a negative impact on your case. Look for clues as to the cause of your fall. As soon as you are able you should take notes or write down your recollection of your investigation. If you signed or filled out an accident report, politely ask for a copy before you leave. Slippery surfaces are commonly caused by water, ice, debris, food, grease, and oil.
How long the hazard existed – The longer a hazardous condition exists, the easier it is to prove the owner or employer knew or should have known about it. For example, there would likely not be a reasonable amount of time to identify and clean up a spill if you slip in it immediately after it is spilled. However, if a cooler or refrigeration unit has been leaking for hours and a pool of water amasses, a stronger case could be made that the owner or employees knew or should have known that it was there and should have corrected it.
Warning signs – Some hazardous conditions, such as a slippery floor due to rain or a fresh waxing, are unavoidable. Stores are less likely to be held liable if they put up a warning sign or block off the area. However, sometimes a small warning sign or warning sign that is not close to the affected area will not be sufficient to protect the owner from liability.
The CDC has a nice write-up about Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in Wholesale and Retail Trade Establishments which can be found here. Many regulations, standards, or ordinances often may apply to a slip and fall accident.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall, or have questions about your injury and case, reach out to me at 404-610-4429 and I would be happy to discuss it with you. Please click here to read my blog that discusses commonly asked questions.