Slip and Fall Accident: It is not always the Victim’s Fault
Slips, falls and trips are very common accidents in the US. But though these accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, the ones most prone to these are older adults and seniors – people aged at least 55 years old.
Injury facts records from the National Safety Council (NSC) reveal that more than 8 million slip and fall accidents occur in the US every year. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include: wet, oily, or icy floors and surfaces; unreliable staircases; uneven, loose and broken floors, sidewalks, steps, and stairs; unsecured carpets and rugs; and, hidden or tangled extension cords.
When a person slips and falls, everyone else, sometimes even the victim, would think that there is on one else to blame for the accident except himself/herself. In the eyes of the law, however, blame may actually be on the owner of the property where the accident happened, instead of on the victim. This law is called premises liability.
Legally speaking, premises liability refers to a landowner’s answerability for certain types of injuries suffered by anyone on his/her property where an unsafe condition exists. Besides injuries due to slips, trips or falls, premises liability also includes in its scope any type of injury that may result due to falling objects, electrocution, open excavations, broken benches or chairs, and so forth.
Property owners, especially owners of public places, like malls, supermarkets, restaurants, food courts, playgrounds, swimming pool areas, hospitals, government offices, churches, etc., have the responsibility of keeping their premises free from risks of accident at all times, lest they face legal complaints or a premises liability lawsuit from someone who gets injured while inside their premise. For the legal right to seek compensation from the property owner, however, it may be necessary for the victim to prove that the property owner was negligent in making sure that his/her property is kept from risks of accidents.
According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, proving a landowner’s negligence is not always easy. Also, the premises liability law is complex, and each victim’s case is affected by a variety of factors.