Have you slipped and injured yourself on wet floor while shopping at a
grocery store? Maybe you tripped and hurt yourself on tattered carpeting
inside a hotel room? What about falling down a flight of stairs?
These are examples of
slip and fall claims where a person sustains personal injuries as a result of a dangerous condition
on another person’s property. Injuries can occur on residential,
commercial, and government property.
Premises liability can be imputed to the property owner or controller of property who was
negligent in failing to take reasonable precaution in removing a hazardous
condition on the premises that they knew or should have known about that
resulted in your injuries.
Identifying Fault in a Slip & Fall Case
So who is at fault in a slip and fall case? Your injuries could be the
product of your own carelessness or it could be the consequence of the
property owner’s negligence. If the property owner or occupier of
the premises is at fault, they may be liable for your injuries. If you
have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you should contact an
experienced Kingston premise liability attorneyto evaluate the merits of your case as soon as possible.
How do you prove the property owner is liable for your injuries? Generally,
the injured party must prove that a dangerous condition on the property
caused the accident and that the owner knew of the dangerous condition.
A dangerous condition is one that poses an unreasonable risk to a person
on the property that is not obvious under the circumstances. Examples
of dangerous conditions are torn carpeting, wet floors, and cracked or
icy public sidewalks.
There are a few ways to proffer evidence that the owner or occupier of
the premises had knowledge of the hidden danger that led to your accident.
First, you can show that the liable party created the dangerous condition. To
illustrate, imagine a visitor slipped on an icy walkway in front of a
house. Negligently failing to shovel or salt the walkways after heavy
snowfall exposes the area to accumulated snow and ice. This creates a
dangerous condition that subjects the property owner to premise liability.
Secondly, you can show that the owner knew of the danger but negligently failed
to correct it within a reasonable amount of time. For example, a landowner
has “actual notice” if they know of a deep and dangerous hole
in the ground located in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic.
Failing to take remedial steps to fix it or place a warning sign notifying
others of the danger subjects the landowner to premises liability.
Thirdly, you can prove liability by showing that the dangerous condition existed
for specified period of time that the owner should have discovered it
and corrected it in a timely fashion. In this instance, “constructive
notice” is imputed to the liable party if a reasonably prudent property
owner would have known about the danger and remedied it accordingly.
Visualize a banana peel or puddle of water on the floor of a grocery store.
A customer slips on the peel or slippery surface and falls on her head
sustaining serious injuries. Failure to remove the peel or provide adequate
notice of the danger subjects the store to liability. Such commercial
establishments have a duty to inspect the aisles for spills and other
hazards. If a reasonably prudent grocery store would have inspected the
aisles and corrected the dangerous condition within a reasonable time,
then the offending grocery store is put on constructive notice of the hazard.
In order to impute liability to a property owner, it must be shown that
it was foreseeable that such negligent behavior would result in the dangerous
condition causing your injuries.