Any property owner has a basic responsibility for its maintenance and upkeep if they allow others to come onto that property. If the negligence of the property owner results in an injury to a person, they may be held liable for any damages that ensue. This concept is known as premise liability. Business properties in particular require a great amount of care to ensure that customers are safe and employees have a healthy working environment.
Simply because someone slips and falls on a property doesn’t necessarily mean that they are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. In order for liability to fall on the owner of the business premises, the owner must be found guilty of not maintaining their property in a manner that is reasonable in a court of law. With this in mind, here are several things to consider if you have suffered injuries during a slip and fall accident on a commercial property:
Is it reasonable to believe that the owner of the property was aware of the dangerous condition present on the property? For example, has the dangerous area been present for several days without signage? Have others been injured on the same property? Did someone bring the issue to the attention of the property owner? If so, there may be a reasonable expectation that the owner of the property should have known that the property was in dangerous condition and had a responsibility to act in a manner so as to prevent the injury of those on the property. If the property owner failed to remedy the situation in a reasonable amount of time or provide warnings to those entering the premises, they may be liable.
Were you reasonably aware of the conditions around you at the time of the accident? In addition to the property owner, a judge will look to determine if the injured party was paying a reasonable amount of attention to their surroundings. For example, if you walked by three different signs clearly stating that there were wet floors and you slipped and fell, the property owner would not necessarily be found liable for your injuries because they made a reasonable effort to inform you of the dangerous conditions.
How long has it been since the accident occurred? Several states have statutes of limitations. This means that the injured party may only have a certain period of time during which they may file a personal injury claim for their accident. After the time is up they may no longer file a claim. Each state has different limitations on slip and fall accidents. Check with a legal professional to determine the specific guidelines that apply to the state in which the injury occurred.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall injury on a commercial property, it is important to get in touch with a legal professional who is familiar with personal injury law as soon as possible after your accident. An attorney will help you present your case professionally so as to get you the compensation you deserve.