When you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on another person or organization’s property, you’re probably expecting the business or property owner to cover for your injuries. To be certain, ask a personal injury attorney for advice.
So you just got hurt in a slip and fall accident and are wondering if the business or property owner is at fault and you can recover compensation for your losses. Before filing a claim, however, to determine whether you’re entitled to compensation for your slip and fall accident, see if you can prove the following negligence elements first.
The Owner Had a Duty to Ensure Your Safety
Broadly speaking, property owners owe a duty of care to invitees, licensees, and yes, even trespassers. However, the degree of duty assigned to each group varies greatly. Invitees are owed the highest degree of duty, while trespassers are owed, in certain circumstances, the lowest degree of duty.
The Owner Must Have Reasonably Known About the Dangerous Condition
For instance, if there’s a hidden defect or condition, owners may claim that they weren’t aware of it, so they can’t have been reasonably expected to fix it, much less know about the dangerous condition. If the owners have done everything they could to ensure safety in the property, your slip and fall accident might not be their fault. One of the most practical defenses against slip and fall negligence claims is a lack of reasonable knowledge. Refuting it will involve extensive reviews of previous claims, maintenance records, and other information that may indicate that the owners must have known and resolved the hazard.
The Dangerous Condition Must be Something that the Owner Should have Fixed
For instance, let’s say you rent commercial space in a building and have repeatedly informed the building manager or landlord to repair or fix a potentially hazardous issue in the common area. Depending on the circumstances, you or your injured customer could recover compensation and related damages if the accident occurred in the common area. But if you didn’t report the issue and/or it was not reasonably clear in inspections, the court might not hold the landlord liable for your losses. Essentially, the presence of an unsafe condition doesn’t automatically make the owner or landlord liable for injuries.
Recovery Even When Partially at Fault
Even if you were partly at fault for the slip and fall accident, recovering compensation is still possible, but the amount will be reduced by your degree of fault. Take note that the rules for assigning fault differ greatly from state to state.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The takeaway is that liability for slip and fall injuries will depend on many laws and rules that protect both the injured people and property owners. If you’re wondering whether you can recover compensation for a slip and fall injury, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to have your claim reviewed. Call Blackburn & Green at 1-800-444-1112 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.