Slip and falls liability cases are common in the courts. People who enter someone’s business or property have a reasonable expectation of being safe. This means walkways are in good repair, and there are no unmarked spills that can cause an accident. It means expecting to walk down steps without the step moving or handrails slipping. When the property does not meet these basic expectations and someone is injured, they have a case.
Every Case Is Different
Television makes us think we can slip and fall in any situation and we are a phone call away from a duffle bag full of cash. This is far from true. A good attorney will examine all the facts of the case before they will tell you if you have a chance. The fact is, liability in a slip and fall case is difficult. You must prove that the property owner knew or should have known that there was a dangerous situation and they neglected to correct it.
Here are some examples to give you a better idea of what is and isn’t a slip and fall case.
Example 1: You are going into the breakroom at the office and you slip on a puddle of water by the sink and hurt your shoulder. Before you can determine if this is a liability case, you must determine why the floor was wet. Did someone spill something on the floor? How long had the puddle been there? Can you prove the owners knew or should have known it was there?
If the sink has a drain problem that causes it to back up in a heavy rain, and they have installed a floor drain and hired plumbers to correct the problem, but the morning rain caused it to leak, they are doing everything within reason to make the area safe. This is not a liability case. It is just an unfortunate accident.
Example 2: You are walking around the pool at your apartment. You slip and fall, breaking your leg. You may think this is a simple “no way to win” case. But maybe not. Has there been more than the usual number of accidents around the pool lately? Recently, there was a case similar to this. It was discovered that the pool company had sealed the pool area with the wrong sealant. The sealant they used was slick when it is wet. This is a case that a premises liability attorney can win. The improper sealant made an unusual risk to the people using the pool.
Example 3: You are walking through a grocery store. As you push your cart around the corner aisle, you realize the floor is being replaced, leaving a jagged open spot. When your cart hits the missing floor, it turns over, throwing your child to the floor. You could not have seen the missing tiles from around the corner. You had every reasonable expectation that the walkway was secure and this could be a winnable case.
As you can see, liability cases are not always crystal clear. You need our qualified premises liability lawyers to look at all the information and make a determination if the case should go forward.