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When Should You Sue for Your Slip-and-Fall Injury?



A slip-and-fall injury occurs when someone slips, trips, or falls because of a dangerous condition on someone elses property. If the property owner was negligent in allowing the dangerous condition, the property owner may be liable to the victim.

Suffering a Slip-and-Fall Injury

Although falls are most common in people over the age of 65, anyone can have a falling accident. Many of these falls lead to visits to the emergency room.

Many falls are related to a slipping or tripping incident. Dangerous conditions that can cause falls include:

  • Water, ice, or snow
  • Wet floors caused by liquid spills
  • Poor lighting
  • Sudden changes in the floor
  • Hidden or unexpected holes
  • Foreign objects on the ground

Determining Slip-and-Fall Liability

The property owner has a responsibility to keep the property safe. Both the property owner and someone walking on the property have a duty to be aware of the walking surface and to realize that things can fall or spill.

Dangerous conditions can be permanent (such as a hole in the floor) or temporary (such as ice on the sidewalk). Property owners usually are responsible for permanent conditions because they should have known about them. The property owner may also be responsible for temporary conditions if the property owner had enough time to become aware of a temporary situation and should have fixed it.

There may be several people responsible for a property, such as the property owner, landlord, tenant, or manager. An attorney familiar with slip-and-fall liability can help determine who is at fault for a slip and fall.

Comparative negligence in a slip-and-fall case refers to how much responsibility for the fall the victim bears compared to the property owner. A court may consider factors such as any physical or mental impairment of the victim in establishing a percentage of liability for each party.

Slip and Fall on Public Property

Government entities have a responsibility to keep public property safe. If a victim slips and falls on public property, most states require that the victim give notice to the appropriate governmental entity within a short time period.

If a victim fails to report the slip and fall within the appropriate time frame, the victim may forfeit all rights to recover damages from the injury. It is best to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after a slip and fall on public property.