Premises liability comes into play if you have a personal injury case that involves an injury by an unsafe condition on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability cases, and these accidents can happen anywhere, whether it is an uneven city sidewalk, a friend’s home or a wet floor at a store.
To win a premises liability case, your attorney must show that the property owner (whether it is a city, company or individual) was negligent in the maintenance or ownership of the property and did not use reasonable care.
Simply getting hurt on someone else’s property does not mean that the person was negligent, nor does an unsafe property automatically mean that the owner was negligent. This is why premises liability cases can be so complex, and why it is essential to hire an experienced attorney to prove fault in such a case.
Not all slip and fall accidents are a valid premises liability case. After all, a property owner is not necessarily responsible for someone tripping on an object that an ordinary person would expect to find there and avoid, such as a drainage gate. Still, property owners are expected to maintain their property and be watchful of potential hazards. There are some general guidelines that can be used to determine if someone else was at fault for your injury.
To be responsible for your injuries in a slip and fall accident, one of these must be true:
While the last situation is the most common, it can also be very hard to prove and these cases are usually decided using common sense, with a judge and jury deciding whether the owner or employee was careful and using proper judgement.
Your own actions leading up to the injury will also be taken into account. Did you have a reason for being in the dangerous area? For example, as a customer of a store, you would be expected to be walking in the parking lot of aisle, but not in an employee-only area. Would someone being careful have noticed the hazard and avoided it? Were there any warnings, such as signs? Were you distracted when you got injured? These are just a few of the questions that an insurance adjuster will ask you, and they will play a role in your case.