Slip and Fall

A "slip and fall" or "trip and fall" is the generic term for an injury which occurs when hospital emergencysomeone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else's property. It includes falls as a result of water, ice or snow, as well as abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see hole in the ground.

If you are on someone else's property and injure yourself as a result of a dangerous condition on the property, the landowner or business proprietor may be liable for your injuries. If you are a property owner and someone injures himself on your land, you may find yourself legally responsible for his or her injuries. Either way, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.

What is a dangerous or hazardous condition?

Property owners are responsible for injuries that occur as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on their property, which the owner knew about, or should have known about. The hazard may be obvious (such as a broken stair) or hidden (like a hole in a lawn that is partially covered by grass). In some instances it may not be apparent, as in flooring which appears normal, but is slippery. It could be permanent, like broken concrete with a change in elevation, or temporary, like a liquid spill in a supermarket aisle.

police lineIn general, an owner will be considered to have knowledge of a dangerous or hazardous condition if it is permanent in nature, since the owner knew, or should have known, about the condition before the incident occurs.

In the case of temporary conditions (like a liquid spill), the length of time that the condition existed before the incident occurred has legal significance.

If the spill occurred just before the incident, then the property owner may not be liable for injury, since the owner could not have known about the spill (and would not have been able to do anything about it) before the slip and fall occurred. However, if the spill was present for some period of time before the incident, or occurs in an area subject to liquid spills, or is a recurring event ("every time they wash the floor someone slips") then the owner may be liable, even if the owner did not know about the spill before it occurred.