Were You Injured In A Slip-And-Fall Accident?
A “slip-and-fall” accident occurs when an individual falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Regardless of where the accident occurs, property owners have a certain level of responsibility (duty of care) to make sure the environment is safe.
If you have suffered a slip injury, don’t hesitate to consult with an attorney at the law firm of MetroLaw.Com at 800-469-6476. We can discuss your legal options in a free consultation. We have an office in Newark and in New York for your convenience.
Causes Of Slip And Falls
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur on commercial, residential or public property. Some of the most common causes of indoor and outdoor slip and falls are:
- Torn carpeting
- Abrupt changes in flooring
- Poor lighting
- Narrow stairs
- Wet/slippery floor
- Hidden hazards
- Hard-to-see potholes in ground
Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability cases, which center on the question of a property owner’s duty to care for the property. Injury by fire or other accidents resulting from defects in the conditions of buildings also fall under this category.
Structural damages to a building, often due to age or wear and tear, can be a significant cause of injury. Uneven steps, parking lot potholes, cracked sidewalks, broken tiles or torn carpeting can create dangerous situations for visitors to a building. To prove property owner negligence, you will generally have to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the problem but failed to repair it.
Occasionally, negligence can be proven by violation of a statute. Building owners must ensure that the building’s structure is in compliance with applicable building codes. For example, handrails and other similar structures typically must be installed at a certain general height. If you fall on a stairway that lacked appropriate handrails, and the lack thereof caused your injuries, you may have a valid claim against the building owner for violating building codes.
Weather-related slip-and-fall accidents are difficult cases for injured plaintiffs. Landowners are generally expected to take reasonable steps to reduce hazards created by adverse weather. This can include, but is not limited to, slippery spots, and installing anti-slip devices on outdoor steps. As with other cases, if the landowner has no reasonable opportunity to correct the problem, as where a flash flood has created a hazard, the landowner will not be held liable for injuries caused by the hazard.
Slip-and-fall cases are governed under negligence law. To win a premises liability claim in most states, an injured victim generally has to prove that either 1) the defendant created the hazard that led to the accident, or 2) the defendant knew or should have known about the danger and had it removed or repaired. This can often be difficult to prove, since proving when a given hazard first appeared can be challenging.
Example: If you slip and fall on a banana in a grocery store, absent some evidence of when the banana first fell onto the floor, it may be difficult to prove that the store “knew or should have known” about the dangerous condition. If the banana fell onto the floor 10 seconds before you arrived, then the store most likely could not have known about it. Since plaintiffs have the burden of proof, proving when the hazard first appeared and that the store should have known about the hazard presents problems in certain cases.
If you have suffered a slip injury, please contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case options in a free consultation. Call our New Jersey and New York law offices at 800-469-6476, or contact us through our online form.