Things you need to know about Slip-and-Fall and Premises Liability claims
“Slip and fall” is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips or trips and is injured on someone else’s property. These cases usually fall un
der the broader category of cases known as “premises liability” claims. Slip and fall accidents usually occur on property or “premises” owned or maintained by someone else, and the property owner may be held legally responsible.
Proving your slip and fall claim
There is no precise way to determine when someone else is legally responsible for your injuries if you slip and fall. In most cases, a person injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property must prove that the cause of the accident was a “dangerous condition,” and that the owner or possessor of the property knew of the dangerous condition. A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property, and it must have been a condition that the injured party should not have anticipated under the circumstances. This latter requirement implies that people must be aware of, and avoid, obvious dangers.
In order to establish that a property owner or possessor knew of a dangerous condition, it must be shown that:
- The owner/possessor created the condition
- The owner/possessor knew the condition existed and negligently failed to correct it
- The condition existed for such a length of time that the owner/possessor should have discovered and corrected it prior to the slip and fall incident in question
Slip and Falls and the Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a state law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Each state can have a different statute of limitations depending on the type of claim you want to file. Statute of limitations can be as short as a few months and as long as 20 years.
The Statute of Limitations in a Slip and fall case usually begins running the day of the injury and in most States, can last for up to two years. If you live in a state with a two year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you would have two years from the day of the accident to get your lawsuit filed against the property owner or other defendant who you think is responsible for causing the slip and fall.
Tips for Settling a Slip and Fall Claim
Giving proof that you were injured on someone ‘s property is not all that difficult. However, you will also have to prove that the particular fall you had where you allege you got your injuries is actually where and how you got injured. In this case (which is quite common), it is prudent to bring your physician on board to your legal case and convince him or her to give a deposition in your favor.
It is more difficult to prove the property owner had notice of the hazardous condition. To prevail on your claim, you will have to either prove the property owner had actual notice of the hazardous condition or constructive notice of it (which means it was present long enough and the owner should have known about it). The three most common ways of going about this is by finding sworn testimony, having your lawyer submit video surveillance recordings as evidence and the incident reports which should be made by whatever business you were at when you slipped and fell.
It is also important to document your injury and the expenses you had to go through in the course of healing from that injury, including lost income.
The Law Office of Riedmiller, Andersen and Scott LLC provides strong representation for personal injury and workers compensation cases.