As winter sets in and the temperature drops, the chances of encountering icy and slick conditions increase. There are many types of outdoor hazards that can cause slips and falls, but conditions can usually be managed well enough to prevent the development of any hazards, but sometimes an individual will be unaware of dangerous conditions and will be injured by slipping or tripping and injuring themselves in a fall. Legally, these are generally known as “slip and fall” personal injuries.
What is a “slip and fall” personal injury?
The defining aspects of a slip and fall personal injury case are the presence of an injury caused by slipping and falling, usually on someone else’s property, because of some hazard and then proof that the owner of the property was responsible for the hazard.
These types of personal injuries are a subset of cases known as premises liability. While the fall could be caused by many things (e.g. ice, snow, wet floors, torn carpet, etc.), the main concern is proving that the property owners are responsible for the hazard and therefore the injuries caused by it.
The process of proving liability is different for almost every case as most circumstances are unique. However, there are some basic requirements that must be met for fault to be proven.
· You were not acting carelessly
· The property owner either made the hazardous conditions or knew about them and did not take appropriate measures to reasonably reduce the risk of potential injury
· The hazard existed for such a long period of time that the property owner should have been aware of and removed the hazard.
· The owner was negligent in not resolving any hazardous issues
For there to be a valid slip and fall personal injury case, there must be a party that is responsible for the conditions that led to the injury. However, different types of agencies are treated differently by law. For example, liability for a residential property is treated differently than liability for a commercial property or government property.
In cases regarding residential properties, liability often comes down to whether or not the landlord or manager should have reasonably foreseen that an injury could potentially result from potential hazard. For commercial properties, the owner or employee of the property should have been aware of the potential for injury.
Government agencies are often treated differently, however. However, many properties that are owned by local, state, or federal government agencies may have exemptions that prevent them from being held liable for injuries sustained on their premises.
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of a property owner or suspect that to be the case, it is suggested that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional. They will be able to assist you in building a strong case and will help you get the fair compensation you deserve.