An Overview of Slip & Fall Accidents and Small Business Owner

A personal injury case is termed as slip and fall in which a person slips or trips and falls, and is injured on someone else’s property. Cases like these are usually categorized under the broader classification known as premises liability claims. The reason is that the slip and fall accidents occur on the property or premises owned or maintained by someone else, making the owner or possessor of the property legally responsible for the accident.

There will always be dangerous conditions everywhere as torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs, or a wet floor and these are likely the causes why someone slips and gets injured inside a building. Other cases of slip and fall incidents can happen when people trip over broken or cracked public sidewalks or trip and fall on stairs or escalators. It can also happen when someone slips or trips and falls due to the rain, ice, snow or other hidden dangers, such as a pothole in the ground.

When an owner of small business opens his or her doors to the public, he/she has already potential liability for a slip and fall accidents. Get an overview of slip and fall accidents that are considered as personal injury cases arising from a slip and fall incident.

When is it proven a slip and fall case?

When does a business owner become legally responsible for a customer’s injuries in a slip and fall accident? There is no possible determination as each case is decided whether the business and/or property owner was careful in preventing slips or trips to happen, and whether it was the customer fault who was careless in not seeing or avoiding the condition that caused the fall.

Here are some general rules in determining fault for a slip (or trip) and fall injury.

Person who are injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property have to that the cause of the incident was a dangerous condition which is known to the owner or possessor of the property but carelessly ignored. Any dangerous condition offers an unreasonable danger to any person entering the property. It must be a condition not expected by the injured party under the circumstances. The requirement implied that the individual is aware of, and must avoid, obvious danger.

To establish that a business/property owner or possessor was aware of the dangerous condition, it must be proven that: the owner caused the condition; the owner knew of the condition but neglected to correct it; and the condition had existed for a length of time enough for the owner to correct the situation.

Business/property owner or possessor becomes liable when he/she foresees that this negligence would cause danger. For example, if a bottle of oil falls to the ground and spills into an aisle in a hardware store and even after one day, the store has not noticed or cleaned up the spill, and then someone slips in the oil and broke a leg; then it was obviously due to the store’s negligence in failing to inspect its aisles and clean up spills.

There are occasions when the injured person can prove negligence by showing that the property owner disregarded a relevant statute. For instance, building codes requires that handrails and other safety features must be installed. If a customer slips on a stairway due to lack of  appropriate handrails, then the customer may have a valid claim against the building owner based on his or her building code violation.

Who are the responsible parties?

To recover a slip and fall injury sustained on another’s property, it must be proven that the negligence of a responsible party caused the injury. Many people fail to realize that some injuries are simple accidents caused be people who are careless. For example, if person falls simply because he was walking while talking in his mobile; he cannot claim anything from the business/property owner. If owner was in no way at fault, no matter how serious the injury; no claims are granted. However, if the injured person is only partially at fault for his own injury, he might be able to demand payment but the dollar amount of his recovery might be reduced.

What must commercial or business property do?

Business owners will be considered legally responsible for the injuries when customer slips or trips and falls in the property under the following conditions: the company caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item, to be underfoot; knew about the dangerous the surface but did nothing about it; or knew about the dangerous surface but have assigned a responsible person to look after situations like this in the property.

A number of people or entities may be held responsible for someone’s injuries in a business establishment. For instance, if a business space is rented from a property owner, both the property owner and the tenant (the business) can be named as defendants by someone injured on the property. In this situation, the tenant being the owner of the property, and has the responsibility to use reasonable care to control accidents happening on the premises. The owner might also be a party who manages or maintains the property, such as a management company.

Help  to defend a  slip and fall injury claim –

Small business owners inevitably may have to face potential slip and fall injury claim and have the risk of expending huge amount to pay the claim. In this case, they have get the assistance of an experienced lawyer. The attorney has the expertise to explore all possible defense options and strategies available to protect any business’s liability. Find an attorney near you.

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