Any time you leave your house to visit another property, whether it be commercial or residential, you expect the owners of the property to have taken reasonable steps to properly maintain their property. Unfortunately, when property owners breach their duties owed to business invitees and other lawful visitors, they may be held liable for slip-and-fall accidents that occur on their property.
Proving liability in a slip-and-fall accident
Filing a premises liability claim against a property owner after a slip-and-fall requires you as the accident victim to show that you were injured as a result of the property owner’s negligence. Establishing fault in a slip-and-fall case requires proving:
- Hazardous condition – Proving that there was a hazardous condition on the property (e.g., slippery floor, broken steps, poor lighting, inadequate security).
- Breach of duty – Proving that the property owner knew or should have known of this hazardous condition but failed to take reasonable steps to remedy it. Generally, if a reasonable person would have discovered and remedied the dangerous condition by the time the accident occurred, the property owner will be liable for the accident.
- Causation – Proving the hazardous condition caused the accident and the injuries suffered by the victim.
- Damages – Proving the victim suffered personal injuries resulting from the accident.
It can be difficult to prove that your slip-and-fall was caused by a property owner’s failure to maintain their property. Many property owners will argue that your accident was not foreseeable or that they took reasonable steps to fix the problem prior to the accident. Some owners will even argue that your own negligence contributed to and/or caused your accident. A personal injury attorney can build a strong case against the property owner and help you recover the damages you deserve following your accident.