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Proving fault in Personal Injury cases

“Slip and fall” occurs when a person slips or trips and as a result gets injured. These cases often fall under the category of “premises liability” claims.

Slip and fall accidents usually occur on the property or premises owned or maintained by someone else.  Same goes if someone trips on a broken, uneven or cracked public sidewalks, or falls down a flight of stairs. In addition, a slip and fall case might arise when someone slips and falls outdoors because of climate conditions (ice, snow…) or a combination of both.


Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Cases

There are multiple factors to determine when someone else is legally responsible for your injuries on a slip and fall case. One of the factors to consider is if the owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen, and whether you were careless in not seeing or avoiding the condition that caused your fall.

In most cases, a person injured in slip and fall on someone else’s property must prove that the cause of the accident was a “dangerous condition,” and that the owner or possessor of the property knew of the dangerous condition. A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property, and it must have been a condition that the injured party should not have anticipated under the circumstances. This latter requirement implies that people must be aware of, and avoid, obvious dangers.

In order to establish that a property owner or possessor knew of a dangerous condition, it must be shown that:

  • The owner/possessor created the condition;
  • The owner/possessor knew the condition existed and negligently failed to correct it; or
  • The condition existed for such a length of time that the owner/possessor should have discovered and corrected it prior to the slip and fall incident in question.

For a property owner or possessor to be held liable, it must have been foreseeable that his negligence would create the danger at issue.


Responsible Parties

In order to recover for a slip and fall injury sustained on another’s property, there must be a responsible party whose negligence caused the injury. It may seem obvious, but many people do not realize that some injuries are simply accidents caused by their own negligence or carelessness.