Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents
Proving fault in slip and fall accidents can often times be difficult. Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of injuries each year. Thousands of cases are reported annually from slipping and falling on the floor, on the stairs, on rough or uneven surfaces, or even on polished, tiled floors that are slick and dangerous. In most slip and fall cases, the property owner is held responsible for the accident, but it may be difficult to prove liability in these cases.
Could the property owner have prevented the accident?
When someone is injured in a slip and fall accident, they may be tempted to seek justice by filing a lawsuit as soon as possible. However, before you can file a lawsuit, you must first ask the question if the property owner could have avoided the accident by being more careful? If the victim could have been more reasonable to avoid the accident, then the property owner may not always be held responsible for the accident. People have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and take appropriate actions in order to avoid being injured.
Duty of property owners to maintain reasonably safe conditions
Property owners have a duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions for visitors visiting their property. However, this does not mean that they won’t be held responsible for the injuries someone sustains on their property if they slipped and fell. The owner has to take reasonable steps in order to ensure that their property is free from dangerous conditions. Courts and insurance companies follow certain guidelines when determining fault in slip and fall accidents.
Determining Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents
When someone is injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, they need to show any one of the following in order to win their case and get compensated for their injuries:
- The property owner or any of their employees should have known of the dangerous condition on their property and should have fixed it, or
- The property owner or any of their employees knew of the dangerous condition but did not take any efforts to repair or fix it, or
- The property owner or any of their employees intentionally caused the dangerous condition.
Most property owners are generally good at maintaining their premises. Since they keep up with the usual maintenance work, the first situation is the one that is litigated most often in slip and fall cases. These cases are also tricky to prove as they require that the owner “should have known” about the potentially dangerous condition. Therefore, evidence and arguments have to presented in these cases in order for the judge or jury to decide whether or not the property owner should be held responsible for the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall accident.
Other factors such as reasonableness, carelessness, and clumsiness also have to be taken into account. A good and experienced personal injury attorney knows how to handle slip and fall accidents. Get legal help to protect your rights by contacting a personal injury attorney for your slip and fall accident.
Bliven & Evans Trial Lawyers P.C. handle personal injury and accident claims related to the car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Montana.