A “slip and fall” injury is a generic term for an injury which happens when someone slips, trips, or falls because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property.  The dangerous condition can be almost anything, from a hole in the ground, to ice, to poor lighting.  By one estimate, more than 8 million people are hurt in slip and fall injuries each year.

What Causes a Slip and Fall Injury?

Slip and fall accidents often occur when there are hazardous environments at the property. Such environments may be caused by building code violations or structural defects.

How Can a Property Owner Be Responsible for a Slip and Fall Injury?

Legal claims for slip and fall injuries use a legal doctrine known as premise liability: the property owner is responsible for the safety of people on the property. Slip and fall claims are based on acts of negligence; the property owner is responsible for what he or she failed to do. 

If you are hurt on someone else’s property as a result of a dangerous condition, the property owner may be legally responsible for your injuries.  In the same way, you might be liable if someone else injures themselves on your property.

What Defenses Can Make a Slip and Fall Claim More Difficult?

Slip and fall cases have a wide array of defenses:

  • The breach of duty does not exist. The theater is not responsible for the parking lot where the plaintiff fell because the theater does not own the parking lot.
  • All reasonable care was taken to avert the injury. A grocery store places wet floor signs around the area of a milk spill.
  • The injury did not occur because of the slip and fall. The plaintiff’s prior medical history reveals that the back pain was a result of an accident at work, not a slip and fall injury.

Do I Need a Lawyer For My Slip and Fall?

If you are involved in a slip and fall injury as the victim or the property owner, your first step should be to consult with a lawyer.  An experienced personal injury attorney can review your situation, advise you what your rights and responsibilities are, and recommend a course of action.