A home, an apartment, a sidewalk – virtually anywhere – but whether you have a legal claim comes down to one answer: It depends.
Perhaps you’ve slipped and fell inside a home of another, what do you do? Serious injuries from falling in a bathroom and other household rooms are not uncommon. Being injured on someone else’s private property is not a matter to be taken lightly, especially if the homeowner is aware of the hazard and failed to disclose that information to you.
Common in-home areas of injury:
- The bathroom is the most dangerous area due to the likelihood of it being wet and slippery
- A home’s stairs may be uneven, in poor shape or without a handrail.
- Snow and ice can blanket an entire driveway and porch area
- Remodeling equipment may be left in disarray
Similarly, if you suffered an injury from falling on a public sidewalk in front of a business, the city or the business, and maybe both, could be liable. In some cases, local ordinances allow pedestrians to hold a business liable for failing to fix a hazardous condition in an area open to the public but exclusively within the control of the business. Some local ordinances have allowed pedestrians to hold homeowners liable under the same reasoning.
One of the most important questions to be answered is whether the hazard that triggered your fall and ensuing injury was open and obvious to the landowner. Many courts place a stiff burden on the injured party to also be aware of hazardous conditions around them. Courts may require injured plaintiffs to prove each element of his or her case before awarding damages.