Nothing puts “fall” into “slip and fall” like the holiday season. Hard ice, turkey frying grease, wet leaves, and strings of holiday lights all pose hazards during the final months of the year. And while these occurrences are common, that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. If you feel that a property owner or business has been negligent in the care for their location, you may have legal recourse after your injury. Here’s what you need to know about slip and fall legal claims.
Things happen, liquids drip, surfaces become uneven, and property owners can’t always immediately clean up or fix every potential hazard. And property owners aren’t always responsible for someone slipping and falling on something that an ordinary person could be expected to see and avoid.
But, property and business owners must not be negligent in their care and keep up their property to avoid fault. Some indicators that someone else is potentially legally responsible for your injuries are:
- An owner or employee caused the hazard.
- The owner or employee must have been aware of the hazard, and did nothing to remedy it in a timely manner.
- An owner or employee should have been aware of the hazard because a “reasonable” person would have noticed the issue and removed, repaired, or cleaned it.
Number 3 is the most common, but the term “should have” can be subjective and therefore legally ambiguous. A judge or jury must decide if the owner of the property took reasonable actions to keep the property safe.
Negligence claims turn on whether or not the property owner (or occupier) acted reasonably. To determine this the law focuses on whether or not the defendant (property owner or occupier) maintained and cleaned the property regularly to keep it safe and free of hazards.
Here are a few points that will be considered when we decide whether or not you might have a case in a negligence claim related to your injury.
- How long was the hazard present? Had the danger been present long enough for the owner to become aware of the issue?
- Does the owner (or occupant) regularly clean and maintain the premises? Do they have proof?
- If your fall was caused by something placed or left on the ground, was there a reason for the item to be there?
- Could a barrier or warning been created that would have prevented you from falling?
- Did a lack of lighting contribute to your accident?
If you’ve been injured and believe that someone else’s negligence contributed to the incident, we are here and willing to help. The Decker Law Firm has over fifty years of experience, knowledge and plain, old-fashioned dedication to stick by you and fight for your rights. Call the personal injury attorneys of The Decker Law Firm right now at 757-622-3317.