When you slip and fall on someone else’s property, the property owner/renter may be liable for your fall and owe you compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and any additional losses from the fall. At Curtis Legal Services, we will ask the following questions to help determine if you have a case:
- For What Purpose Were You on the Property? Every property owner/renter is required to make sure visitors are safe when they are on the property. However, your purpose for being on the property determines the extent to which they must keep you safe from harm. The term “visitor” can be divided into three categories: you are invited, you are licensed, and you are trespassing. When you are invited to a property, such as a store, the property owner must keep the property safe from hazards, inspect the property, and warn you of any hidden dangers such as wet floors or construction issues. An example of a licensed visitor is a delivery driver. In this case, the property owner only has to warn you of known dangers and does not have to inspect for unknown hazards. Lastly, trespassing is when you are on a property without the owner’s permission. When you trespass on someone else’s property, the owner’s only duty is to keep from willfully or wantonly harming you.
- What Caused the Fall? In order for the property owner to be liable for your accident, the fall must have directly resulted from a hazardous condition on the property. An example of this is a spill at a grocery store that caused you to slip and fall.
- Are Your Injuries a Direct Result of Your Fall? The basis of slip and fall claim is for the losses that you have because of your injury. The most important thing to do if you slip and fall is to get treated by a doctor. A doctor can document that you were injured directly from the fall.
- Did the Owner Have Ample Time to Remove the Hazard? When hazards occur on a property, the owner/renter is offered a reasonable amount of time to become aware of the hazard and make the property safe again. In the example of a spill, a reasonable amount of time would be the time it takes to go a get the supplies needed to clean it up and warn of the spill.
- Did the Owner Properly Warn You of the Hazard? Sometimes when a hazardous situation arises on a property it may take some time to fix it. In this case, the property owner must reasonably warn you of the hazard. This can be done with signage, cones, or lights to name a few and signals that there is a hazard to be aware of and avoid.
- Was the Hazard “Open and Obvious”? Open and obvious hazards are hazards that a reasonable person would see and steer clear of. If there were a large tree that is on the ground, a reasonable person would avoid the tree and go around it. In this case, you know better than to try to climb over it and you go around it. Same with large holes in the ground or electric wires dangling.
- Are Your Losses Significant? Minor cuts and bruises may not be significant enough injuries to bring about a claim. Time and expense of working a claim may be much greater than what you would receive for these types of injuries. Claims for slip-and-fall accidents are for losses you suffer from your injuries and typically minor injuries do not cause significant loss if any.
Remember when you slip and fall on someone else’s property they may be liable for your accident and your losses. Every incident is different has it’s own set of circumstances. We at Curtis Legal Services use these set of questions as a guide, but we know there is a lot more that goes into determining if you have a claim. If you have slipped and fell on someone else’s property, please give us a call. We have over 30 years experience in bringing claims and recovering losses. We are happy to answer your questions and review your case for FREE! We will fight for what you are owed.