LegalYou: Slip and Fall

Accidents happen — whether you’re a serial klutz or not.

Slipping and falling can happen anywhere at any time to anyone. And it might not be anyone’s fault. Sometimes though, those accidents could have and should have been avoided. If you slip and fall on property owned by a person or a business, they can be held legally accountable for the resulting damages. And just because lawyers call them slip and falls, it doesn’t literally have to be a slip. It could be a trip, where someone trips over an object in their path.

It could also be a step, which is when a fall is caused by a hole or a severe dip in the path. But there are a number of determining factors that decide whether you have a legitimate slip and fall case. A landowner or a business must keep their property safe and fix hazards on-site as quickly as possible.

If it doesn’t get fixed and someone is hurt because of this, it is known as negligence and can be taken to court. Generally, an injured person needs to fully prove four things in court when it comes to a slip and fall case.

One — the owner or business owed what’s known as a duty of care. Which means that if a store is open for business, they are essentially inviting you in to shop, making them responsible for your experience in that space.

Two — the owner or business didn’t maintain the property with reasonable care, consequently causing a dangerous environment. Lawyers call this a breach of duty of care.

Three — that the person who fell was actually injured. Lawyers call this damages.

And four — that the injury came as a direct result of the breach of duty of care. This is called proximate cause. If you do win your case, the jury decides the amount of compensation the defendant must pay.

The compensation can include medical costs, lost wages, disability, and psychological or emotional distress. Except in cases where the jury is allowed to punish the defendant, the jury’s job is to determine just the right amount to bring you back even — as if the accident never happened.

If you decide to take on a person or a business in a slip and fall case, LegalYou is there with any and all information to help you — always is.

Any other questions you have regarding this or other legal matters, visit LegalYou.com.