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Who is Responsible for Slip and Fall Injuries?

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 8th, 2010

Who Is Responsible for Slip and Fall Injuries?

It can be an embarrassing situation to slip and fall in public. Unfortunately though, in many of these situations it can be more than a person’s pride that gets hurt. When we are in parking lots, stores or in other public places it is easy to assume that our surroundings have been checked for safety and will not cause us any harm. When a personal injury occurs either inside or outside due to unsafe surroundings, the person(s) responsible for the property can be held accountable.

There are countless dangerous situations that can occur because of unsafe surroundings. Outside there are hazards such as ice patches in parking lots, uneven sidewalks, potholes and unlit walkways. Indoors we might encounter uneven or damaged flooring, dark staircases and wet floors among many others. Most of these issues are caused due to improper design, construction or maintenance. The owner of the property is usually the one responsible for the security of the premises.

According to Wikipedia, in slip and fall cases property owners may be found to be negligent in allowing a dangerous condition to exist. Owners are expected to ensure that their property is safe and free of defects that could cause someone harm. This harm can include anything from physical injury to psychological trauma.

Depending upon the specific circumstances of a slip and fall accident there are some exceptions to the rule of the property owner being responsible for the accident. If the mishap takes place on government property such as in a park, the state or federal government may be found to be accountable. Usually in these cases the injured party has an explicit amount of time to make a claim. If an employee is injured on the job the employer is usually liable through workers compensation laws. Another exemption to the responsibility rules involves trespassers. According to FindLaw.com, Intruders such as burglars are not necessarily entitled to compensation for injuries sustained while on a property, with the omission of children who often are unaware of boundaries and potential danger.

Anyone injured in a slip and fall accident should try to inform the owner/manager of the property of the incident right away. They should then try to obtain contact information of any witnesses and ascertain the cause of the accident. If medical treatment is needed, it is important is to seek it as soon as possible after the occurrence, even if it is just to get checked out.

In most cases the owners and operators of premises do their best to maintain their location and perform appropriate safety checks to help ensure new issues are caught and corrected before they become a problem. Unfortunately, there are times when owners are negligent and accidents occur. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a slip and fall accident, you should consult an experienced attorney. We regularly deal with personal injury cases and can advise you of your options. Please take a moment to fill out our form for a free assessment of your case.