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How to Prove Fault with Slip and Fall Accidents

Experienced Attorney

How do you determine fault when you receive an injury as the result of a slip and fall accident? Thousands of people are injured each year—some in minor ways or some in serious ways—as a result of this type of accident. They can happen when you slip on a wet floor, take a tumble on an uneven part of the sidewalk, or trip down a set of stairs. In some cases, the owner of the property you had your accident on will be the one responsible for your injury, in other cases, they will not be.

It is important to first know if you could have taken reasonable means to avoid the incident. For example, if you are at a local coffee shop, you see someone accidentally spill their water, and you consciously walk that direction and slip on the water, the owner of the shop would not have received the appropriate notice to clean up the spill, and you had the reasonable means for avoiding it. In this case, it is possible the owner would not be held liable. That said, property owners must be careful with the upkeep of their property. There are no clear-cut rules on who is responsible for slip and fall accidents, but a few determining factors include:

  • The property owner. Whether the property owner took reasonable measures to make their property safe. For example, do they keep the facility clean, the floors level, and the roof leak-free during a storm?
  • Your awareness. Are you aware of your surroundings? Did you slip on a puddle outside during a thunderstorm (something that might be reasonably out of the property owner’s control), or did you slip on a large wet spot in the building that did not have the proper warning signs placed around it?

How to determine liability

For someone to be held legally liable for your injuries sustained during a slip and fall accident, one of the following from the list below must be true:

  • The property owner or an employee of the owner must have somehow initiated the event that caused the injury, such as a worn spot on the ground, a spill, or some other dangerous surface to slip on.
  • The owner or employee should have known of the surface being dangerous because any reasonable person who oversaw the property would have known about it and repaired it before someone got hurt.
  • The owner or an employee must have known about the dangerous area and intentionally done nothing to fix it.

On the other hand, if the accident was caused by your own carelessness, the owner might not be held liable. For example:

  • Were there warning signs or advertisements of the dangerous area?
  • Did you have a reason to be in the area that was dangerous?
  • Would another careful, reasonable person have noticed the dangerous spot and avoided it?

What to do if you were a victim of a slip and fall accident

If you were the victim of a slip and fall accident, call a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible to go over the details of your case. If the owner is at fault for your injury, lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve to help you recover.

 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury claims and how to prove fault for a slip and fall accident.



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