Continue reading to learn some more about how to determine who is at-fault for a slip, trip, and fall accident.
Liability and Reasonable Action
Who is liable for a victims’ injuries if they slip and fall on another’s premises? In order for the property owner to be liable, it must be true that:
• The owner, manager, or employee caused the obstacle that resulted in a person’s fall.
• The owner, manager, or employee know about the obstacle and neglected to eliminate it.
• The owner, manager, or employee should have known about the obstacle because a reasonable person in charge of the property would have found the obstacle and removed it before anyone was hurt.
Other considerations regarding a property owner’s possible liability includes:
• Was the obstacle there long enough that the owner, manager, or employee should have known about it and fixed it?
• Does the property owner have a routine agenda or procedure for inspecting the property for safety hazards? Do they have evidence or proof of regular property maintenance and upkeep?
• Was the obstacle that caused the slip and fall intentionally placed there for a good reason?
• Was the obstacle that caused the slip and fall intentionally placed there for a good reason at first, but the reason no longer exists and could have been removed?
• Could the obstacle in question been placed in a different area, out of the way of foot traffic, without further inconveniencing the property owner?
• Could a warning sign or barricade have prevented the obstacle from causing the accident?
Considerations to assess a victim’s own liability includes:
• Did a person’s behavior contribute to their own accident? Were they running, jumping, rough-housing, or horse playing?
• Did the victim fail to acknowledge warning signs or requests?
• Could the victim have acted more carefully?
• Would a reasonable or careful person have noticed the hazard and navigated more cautiously around or through it?
• Did the victim have a legitimate reason for being in the hazardous area? Was the reason one that the property owner should have anticipated?
The term, “should have” is very blurry one to use. This is why slip and fall accident claims are frequently examined by a jury and judge, and at-fault parties are determined by using common sense. There are several more details, laws, methods, and information not listed in this blog that are important to know and understand before moving forward with a slip and fall injury lawsuit. It is strongly encouraged to consult an Indianapolis slip and fall attorney for professional and accurate information and counsel. They retain the proper resources, knowledge, and experience to assess your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If a personal injury lawyer does in fact believe you have a valid case, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.