If you have slipped and fell on someone’s property your injuries may become a serious inconvenience. You might be wondering if you would be able to sue to get compensated for your injuries. The answer is yes if certain factors surrounding the slip and fall are met. The deciding factor in whether you can pursue a lawsuit for a slip and fall on someone’s property is whether you can hold another party liable. Holding another party liable ultimately comes down to if the party was negligent and if their negligence was a deciding factor in your injury. If this is the case then you can hold the other party at fault and seek compensation for your injuries.
What is Negligence in a Slip and Fall Claim?
Negligence has to do with two concepts duty of care and then the breach of that duty. Basically negligence comes down to carelessness. A person can make a negligent action or they can be negligent by not acting when they otherwise should have. The question then arises how exactly is breach of care defined. Ultimately, breach of care will come down the circumstances surrounding each individual case, but a property owner has a legal obligation to keep the premises free from known hazards and must act in a timely manner to remove known hazards. The hazard must present an unreasonable risk. This assumes that the hazard would not have been able to be anticipated by the injured party. So by either acting to make a hazardous situation and being negligent in knowing that the situation they created might be hazardous, or not realizing there is a hazardous situation. An example of this would be a landlord who did not fix a broken staircase, or constructed a staircase that for example did not have a guard rail.
What is Liability in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
Liability in a slip and fall case refers to who can be held responsible for a slip and fall on private property. The property owner is the person who would be held liable in a slip and fall case. For a property owner to be held liable there needs to be provable negligence as discussed above and their negligence has to have created the condition that lead to the slip and fall injury. Owners of either commercial, government, or residential property can all be held liable for slip and fall damages.
What Kind of Damages can be Claimed in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
The first type of damages one can be awarded for a slip and fall case are special/actual damages. This type of damages refer to the out of pocket expenses one might have such as medical bills and loss of income. The second type of damages is general damages which would be compensation for pain and suffering. This will usually be the largest part of a settlement in a slip and fall case. The third and final type of damages is punitive damages. For punitive damages to be recovered the plaintiff must prove the defendant had notice of the dangerous condition and could have removed it.
If you believe you might have a slip and fall case you should read our article on filing a lawsuit here.