“Slip and fall” is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips or trips and falls, sustaining injuries on someone else’s property. Since there are many different circumstances that can cause someone to fall, property owners must be aware of the conditions both inside and outside their property, and take steps to ensure that members of the public are protected from harm, or warned of a potentially dangerous situation, (a newly-mopped floor, for example). There are many dangerous conditions, like torn carpeting, uneven flooring, poor lighting, or a wet floor that can cause someone to fall and be injured. If someone trips on broken or cracked public sidewalks, or falls in a pothole, the municipality could potentially be held responsible for not protecting citizens from harm.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a specific type of personal injury tort law that is invoked when an injury is caused by some type of defective or unsafe condition on someone’s property. It is very important to understand that merely being injured on or inside someone’s property, does not mean that the property owner is automatically liable. It is important that you discuss your premises liability case with a lawyer and review all the facts.
What qualifies as a premises liability case?
There are many different situations that may result in a claim. However, the most critical aspect of the claim is that you have to show the property owner was negligent somehow, if you cannot show that, there is no claim. Unsafe conditions do not automatically qualify. It is still necessary to show that the owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition, this is where lawyers come in. We deal with this type of proof everyday.
Premises liability cases typically stem from one of more of the following situations:
- slip and fall cases (wet floor, snow, ice)
- failure to maintain a property
- knowledge of defective conditions on the property
- inadequate building security leading to injury or assault
- accidents with pools or trampolines
- dog bites
- toxic fumes, mold or chemicals.
Who pays these types of Claims?
Usually these claims are brought against a homeowner, business, or commercial property owner. These individuals are almost always insured by a homeowner policy, commercial liability policy or umbrella policy. Most cases are settled within the limits of those policies. However, sometimes there are circumstances that would lead to recovery from other sources as well, above the insurance policy and through the courts.
When do I need an Attorney?
You typically only need an attorney if you are physically injured. An experienced attorney can help you understand what your rights are, what the premises owners obligations are, and more importantly, help you perfect your claim and protect what you are entitled to. The laws around premises liability are extremely complex and can be confusing. We can help you navigate them.