Determining Fault For Slip & Fall Lawsuits

Every year there are thousands of people who are severely injured because of a slip and fall accident. These accidents can be caused by a series of things including icy walkways, water on slick floors, and clumsiness. While we typically assume that the person who owns the property is responsible, it is not always easy to determine who is at fault in a slip and fall lawsuit. To determine who is at fault and whether or not you have a case, a slip and fall lawyer will ask you a series of questions.

1. Could the owner of the property have prevented the slip and fall accident?

If you or someone you know is suffering from an injury due to an accident involving slipping and falling, then you will seek out the help of an attorney. The first question he will ask you to determine if it is a good idea to file a slip and fall lawsuit is if the owner could have prevented the accident. For example, if you slipped and fell on a floor that had no water or other debris on it, and the soles of your shoes were completely worn down, then the property owner probably could not have done anything to prevent the accident from occurring. On the other hand, if the floor had been wet for an hour because of the rain, and there was no wet floor sign inside, then you could argue that the property owner could have taken actions to prevent people from slipping and falling on his or her property.

slippery when wet2. Was the property maintained according to safety standards?

There are no cut and dry rules when it comes to determining what is reasonable for a property owner to do when it comes to preventing a slip and fall lawsuit, trip and fall accidents, and other accidents that could cause harm to someone visiting his property. There are a set of safety standards, though, which can help a property owner take the necessary precautions. If the property owner follows the set of standards for safety, then he will probably not be found at fault if a slip and fall lawsuit is filed against him.

3. Is it reasonable to expect the property owner to take care of the dangers?

Aside from safety standards, there are certain unwritten rules when it comes to slip and fall cases. To prove the fault of a property owner, you must prove that he or she did not take care of a dangerous situation in a reasonable amount of time. For example, we had a lot of snow this winter, and in some areas, the snow came down all at once. While it is reasonable to expect a property owner to shovel their walkway and to put down salt to prevent ice, expecting four feet of snow to be cleared in ten minutes is not reasonable. Additionally, it is not sensible to expect the property owner to go out during the middle of the snow storm to clear his walkways.