Indoor vs. Outdoor Slip and Fall Claims
Locate a Local Personal Injury Lawyer
What Are the Differences Between Indoor vs. Outdoor Slip and Fall Claims?
Slip and fall claims are usually based on a negligence and premises liability theory. That is, the owner of the premises has a duty to maintain the premises in a manner that is safe for visitors. Failure to uphold this duty can result in liability for injuries that occur as a result of the unsafe property conditions.
There are different factors to consider when examining indoor vs. outdoor slip and fall claims. For indoor slip and fall claims, the following factors are usually considered:
- Floors: Floors should be kept free of debris, oils, and liquids that could cause a slip and fall accident. This is especially true in business establishments and restaurants where food and drinks are served.
- Stairs: Stairs should be well maintained, with handrails and warning signs posted. Also, business establishments need to be handicap-accessible at all levels
- Elevators and escalators: These are a common cause of slip and fall injuries. These mechanical installations should be kept in working order and clear of any debris or objects sticking out from underneath the machinery
For outdoor slip and fall claims, the following factors may be considered:
- Weather conditions: Snow, rain, sleet, or hail can make outside surfaces slippery. In particular, ice can cause very serious slip and fall injuries
- Lighting conditions: Poor lighting can contribute to slip and fall injuries
- Parking garages and parking lots: These can collect oil and grease from cars, which can cause slip and falls. Uneven pavements can also be a factor
- Sidewalks: Poorly maintained sidewalks, driveways, or other areas can cause the owner to be liable. However, owners are usually not liable for maintaining property that they don’t own
Thus, in any slip and fall case, the court must examine several different factors to determine whether the owner of the premises can be held liable for others’ injuries sustained by a slip and fall.
Is Liability the Same for Indoor and Outdoor Slip and Fall Claims?
As mentioned, the owner of the premises is usually only liable for those areas that they specifically control. For indoor claims, these usually include common areas such as hallways and passageways.
For outdoor claims, the owner is usually only liable for the property that they actually own (that is, within the property boundaries). Sidewalks and streets are usually maintained by the city or local municipal government. However, there may be grey areas here, for example, when part of the owner’s property is extending off into public areas (like a branch or overhang of a roof).
Thus, courts will analyze whether the owner of the premises actually controlled the area where the slip and fall occurred, and whether they should have done anything to prevent it. Generally speaking, it’s usually easier to find the owner liable for indoor slip and fall injuries as opposed to outdoor slip and fall injuries.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance With a Slip and Fall Claim?
The difference between indoor vs. outdoor slip and fall claims can be very great. In most cases, it’s necessary to hire a lawyer for help with a slip and fall claim. Whether you’re the victim, or the owner of the premises, you’ll be needing the expertise and input of a lawyer. Your attorney can represent you in court and ensure that you understand all the legal options available to you.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 10-14-2016 12:52 PM PDT
Link to this page