Lawyers For The People

When are property owners responsible for slip-and-falls?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Slip and Fall Accidents

A simple trip to the nail salon should not result in you suffering a head injury, but that could be exactly what happens if someone spills a cup of coffee on the floor and you slip. Patrons at businesses can sometimes get hurt because of improper or inadequate maintenance of the facilities.

Slip-and-fall incidents are some of the most common causes of premises liability claims. Technically, both property owners and businesses have liability if people get hurt while visiting their properties. The  term for that potential culpability is premises liability.

Most businesses and individual property owners carry insurance to protect themselves against premises liability claims, including claims related to a slip-and-fall injury. When would a slip-and-fall be the fault of the business you visited and therefore potentially grounds for a claim?

When the company was somehow negligent

Most slip-and-fall cases depend on establishing negligence on the part of the business. In the legal world, the standard for negligence is relatively simple. If the average person would agree that something was unsafe or that failing to do something would put others in danger, then the situation may meet the standard for negligence.

A spilled coffee is a perfect example. The average person recognizes that even a small amount of fluid on a hard floor could lead to someone losing traction and falling with potentially serious consequences. When a business does not prioritize cleaning, fails to maintain its facilities or doesn’t have enough staff on hand to address basic safety issues, it may eventually end up responsible for losses that others suffer while visiting the business.

If you want to bring a premises liability claim against a company’s insurance policy or in civil court, you typically also need to have grounds to seek financial compensation. If you fall and end up feeling embarrassed, that is an unfortunate situation. However, it is likely not an actionable one.

You have to have some kind of verifiable loss, such as the expense incurred seeing a doctor to set a broken bone in your arm, to bring a premises liability claim. Learning more about when a slip-and-fall injury might be the fault of a business can help you hold the right party accountable for your injuries.