If someone is injured on a slip and fall accident on your property, you may be held legally responsible for his or her injuries. There are some steps you should take as soon as possible to help guard against future liability.
- Gather Information: You should take down the names of any people who were in the vicinity at the time the accident took place. These people may be able show that the victim was acting carelessly or recklessly. If this is the case, the victim’s actions may limit or eliminate your liability.
- Determine If the Property Is Yours: To be legally responsible for a slip and fall, the accident must occur on the owner’s property. The property would be considered the owners if the owner has control over the condition that caused the slip and fall.
- Notify Your Insurance Carrier: If you have insurance, you should advise your provider of the incident as soon as possible. Many insurance policies have a requirement that you advise them of any potential claims within a very short period. If you do not do so, you might not be covered.
- Talk to a Lawyer: It is also a good idea to consult with a lawyer. An experienced attorney can review the situation and advise the best course of action to protect your interests.
- Fix the Dangerous Condition: If the accident was the result of a dangerous condition on your property, you need to promptly fix the problem. The accident has put you "on notice" of a dangerous condition, and if another slip and fall accident occurs you are even more likely to be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Case
To find a property owner liable, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner had a duty to the plaintiff to keep the property safe and free of dangerous conditions. The plaintiff must show:
- The property owner was the owner of the land that the plaintiff was injured in.
- The property owner had control over the condition that caused the slip and fall.
- The plaintiff’s injury was foreseeable consequence in not fixing the dangerous condition.
- The property owner breached his duty and failed to take steps to avoid the accident that caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- The plaintiff was injured and suffered physical or financial damages.
If the plaintiff cannot prove the above elements, then the plaintiff could not recover for the slip and fall and could not hold the property owner liable for his/her injuries. In many cases, the plaintiff’s own negligence and carelessness contributed to the plaintiffs slip and fall which could limit or even bar the plaintiff’s recovery.
Seeking Legal Help
To protect yourself from liability if someone was injured on your property, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will examine the fact and help you develop the best legal defenses for your case.