Slip, Trip, or Fall Accident Attorneys Responsibilities
"Slip and fall" is a term associated with injury cases in which a person trips or slips and incurs an injury on someone else's property. Cases such as these fall under the wider category of injury cases identified as "premises liability" claims. Premise liability accidents occur on property maintained or owned by someone else, and the owner of the property may be held responsible for the injury.
Many conditions can lead to injury, slick flooring, wet flooring, narrow stairs, poor lighting, or tripping hazards such as extension cords can cause an individual to slip or trip and be injured. Similarly, if someone trips on a broken or cracked sidewalk or tumbles down a flight of stairs, the owner can be held liable. In addition, slipping can occur due to slick surfaces wet from rain, snow, ice, or a hidden peril, such as a pothole.
Establishing Fault in Slip and Fall Cases
Legal responsibility for injury is not black and white in slip, fall, or tripping cases. Each case is dependent on whether the property owner acted prudently so that tripping or slipping was unlikely to happen and whether your actions were careless, not avoiding or seeing conditions that caused your fall. Below are a few guides to help you decide whether an individual or entity was at fault for your trip, slip, or fall injury.
An injured individual of a slip and fall on another's property must prove the cause of the accident was a "hazardous condition" and that the property owner knew of the hazardous condition. A hazardous condition must pose an unnecessary risk to an individual on the property, and it must be a condition that the injured party could not have anticipated under the conditions. The latter requirement implies that an individual must be aware of and avoid obvious hazards.
To establish that a property owner knew of a hazardous condition, it must be shown that:
To recover compensation for a slip, trip, or fall injury on another's property, it must be clear that an individual or party's negligence caused the injury. While this sounds obvious, often individuals do not grasp that some accident injuries are simply accidents, if fault can be found, it was their own carelessness.
To be held legally responsible for the injuries another suffered from slip, trip, or falling on another's property, the property owner of the accused business, store, restaurant, etc. you must prove:
The property owner must have caused or known of the dangerous surface or item.
Knew of the dangerous surface and failed to do anything about it; or,
Should have been aware of the dangerous surface because a "reasonable" person charged with caring for the property would have noticed and removed or repaired the hazard.
A third liability situation (the most common, although less clear) is decided by common sense. The law determines if the owner or occupier hazard remediation steps were reasonable.
In slip, trip, or fall cases on commercial real estate, there are often numerous individuals or entities that could be held responsible for another's injuries.
In a residential setting, a landlord may be held liable to their tenant or a third party for slip, trip, or fall injury on rental property. To hold a landlord accountable for an injury, a tenant needs to show:
The landlord had jurisdiction over the hazard that caused the slip, trip, or fall.
Repairing the hazardous condition would not have been unreasonably burdensome or expensive.
A serious injury was an identifiable consequence of failing to fix the hazard. The landlord's failure to remediate led to the accident that caused the tenant, or third party's slip, trip, or fall injury.
Do you need to file a slip, trip, or fall claim?
The Lake Charles injury attorneys at Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South have helped the injured in Lake Charles recover compensation when others would not take their case. If you have been injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident on another's property, call Lundy Law to discuss your case with an experienced serious injury attorney in Lake Charles, La. Injury cases carry a statute of limitations (time limits); start your discussion today by calling for a free case evaluation, 337-439-0707.
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