Posted by Matthew Philbrook on 11/03/2023

When Is a Business Liable for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

When Is a Business Liable for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people passed away due to slip-and-fall accidents that occurred at a business or private home in 2020. That same year, about seven million people across the United States received medical treatment in emergency rooms due to their falls, and over 200,000 people requested time off work to recuperate from their injuries.

Whether you tripped over a curb, slipped on an icy ramp, or fell walking up steps, any type of fall can cause painful injuries. As a result, you may find yourself out of work, losing income, and receiving more medical bills than you can keep up with. Most of the time, people will blame their own clumsiness for the fall, but the truth is that businesses have a responsibility to keep their premises safe and hazard-free for anyone who is on their property. That said, if you believe that a business owner was negligent and did not keep their property safe, they may be liable for your slip-and-fall accident.

Some examples of slip-and-falls on commercial property

A slip-and-fall accident is when a person trips, slips, or falls on someone else’s property. These types of accidents typically happen because the property or business owner was negligent. A few examples of slip-and-fall accidents include:

  • A product leaking in the grocery store causes a shopper to slip and fall.
  • A restaurant owner did not shovel their sidewalk after it snowed, which led to a slip-and-fall accident.
  • A pallet is placed in a worker’s way, causing them to trip and fall.
  • A hotel did not have carpet properly installed. A guest tripped over the wrinkles in the carpet and suffered severe injuries.
  • Someone spilled their drink at a movie theater, and the workers did not mop it up or place a sign out to warn customers. A customer ended up slipping and falling on the wet floor.
  • There was not enough lighting in the bar’s parking lot, causing a person to not notice the hole in the ground. They tripped over the hole in the parking lot and needed to be transported to the hospital.
  • The stairs at a hair salon were starting to rot. When a person went to step on them, they fell through the steps, causing them to experience life-threatening injuries.

Do I need a lawyer if I’m hurt after a slip, trip, and/or fall?

The main cause of slip-and-fall accidents is negligence. When a property or business owner is negligent and does not make sure the premises is safe, slip-and-fall accidents tend to occur. It can be difficult to prove that a business was negligent in their actions, which led to your slip-and-fall accident. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a slip-and-fall accident attorney to increase your chances of winning your case and holding the responsible party accountable for their actions. 

In order to successfully do this, your attorney will need to establish four important factors, which are:

  1. Duty of care: The business owner owed you a duty of care, which was to keep you safe and harm-free while on their property or premises.
  2. Breach: They breached this duty by failing to keep you safe and harm-free.
  3. Causation: Their negligent actions and behavior were a direct cause of your accident.
  4. Damages: You suffered injuries, pain, suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses because of the slip-and-fall accident.

As long as your lawyer can prove these four factors, the business owner can be held legally liable for your accident and injuries.

The type of evidence that you need for a slip-and-fall case

A slip-and-fall accident that occurred on the property of a business can become difficult and complex quickly. Therefore, you need an experienced and skilled attorney to help you gather evidence that shows how the accident occurred and who is responsible. Here are some of the key pieces of evidence that can be used in a slip-and-fall case:

  • Video and camera footage
  • Photos
  • Documentation
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Accident reports
  • Medical records
  • Doctor testimonies
  • Maintenance logs
  • Property records
  • Delivery records

No matter how difficult a slip-and-fall accident case may seem, you should never make the assumption that you do not have a viable claim. Instead, reach out to a slip-and-fall lawyer to ask any questions and find out your chances of filing a lawsuit against the business owner. Your attorney will give you legal advice and work hard to secure the best results possible for your case.

Can other people be liable for a slip-and-fall accident?

There are a few different people or parties that can be held liable for your slip-and-fall. However, it depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident. The following are some of the parties that your lawyer may investigate when determining who exactly is liable:

  • Business owner
  • Property owner
  • Property manager
  • Construction companies
  • Delivery drivers, cleaning companies, and other contractors
  • The government

While it is easy to assume that a business owner is always liable for your accident, there are several other parties that can share responsibility for your injuries. For example, if a cleaning company leaves products out and you trip and fall over them, they are most likely responsible for your accident.

If you want to find out about the possibility of a business being liable for your slip-and-fall accident, get in touch with a slip-and-fall lawyer at your earliest opportunity. Your lawyer will listen to what happened to you, start investigating to determine who is responsible, and let you know which legal options you should pursue. Schedule a free consultation with a slip-and-fall attorney today.

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