Accidents occur and innocent people are often injured as a result of someone else’s negligence—including negligence on the part of a property owner. It is important to know that people who own retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, commercial and business buildings, apartment complexes, and other public buildings are required by law to take care of the premises. When they fail to keep the grounds safe (a key ingredient in slip and fall accident claims), people can suffer serious injuries as a result of dangerous conditions.
For example, a property owner or possessor could have known about a hazard such as torn carpeting, loose floorboards, broken handrails, or a spill, and failed to act quickly and take the responsible steps to clean up or repair the dangerous condition. Worse yet, maybe they didn’t even take the necessary steps to warn those visiting the property of the hazardous condition. Consequently, injuries to customers or visitors can occur.
If the aforementioned scenario sounds like something that happened to you and you suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may have a valid premises liability claim against the property owner who didn’t ensure the safety of the property. Property owners can include:
- Companies and commercial businesses
- Individual homeowners
- Small business owners
- Property possessors (e.g. renters of the property)
Establishing Property Owner Negligence
While there may be other causes of slip and fall accidents such as someone’s own clumsiness or hazards from third parties, injuries that occur as a result of slip and fall accidents are likely due to dangerous conditions. However, because it can be difficult to prove that property owner negligence was the sole cause of your injury, it is important to establish one of the following:
- The property owner or an employee caused the unsafe condition that led to the slip and fall accident.
- The property owner or an employee was aware of the dangerous condition and failed to warn others or fix the hazard and take action within a reasonable amount of time.
- The property owner or an employee should have seen or recognized the hazardous condition and repaired it or removed it but failed to do so.
Although it may sound simple to prove a property owner was negligent, it can be more difficult than you realize. For help preserving evidence and strengthening your case, contact Shevlin Smith today at 703-721-4233 for a complimentary consultation.