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When can property owners be liable for slip & fall accidents?

Whether it is due to a spill on a grocery store floor, an icy sidewalk or a broken step, thousands of individuals in Minneapolis and nationwide will injure themselves in slip-and-fall accidents in 2017. These injuries can sometimes be severe, necessitating extensive medical care and keeping the person from being able to work until the injury is healed. When that happens, a person may want to consider pursuing legal action against the property owner in order to obtain financial compensation. However, it is not always easy to prove that the property owner should be responsible for such incidents.

First of all, state law varies and there is no cut-and-dried rule regarding when property owners will be liable for slip-and-fall accidents. One must consider whether the accident could have been prevented. That being said, in general, property owners are tasked with taking reasonable measures to keep the conditions of their property safe in a way that would prevent slip-and-fall accidents.

If a person slips, falls and is injured on another person’s property due to some sort of dangerous property condition, that person still needs to prove one of the following in order to hold the property owner liable for the incident. First of all, it needs to be shown that either the owner of the premises or an employee must have had the knowledge that a reasonable person would have had about the danger on their premises. Alternatively, it needs to be shown that the owner of the premises or an employee actually did have knowledge of the danger on their premises but did not remedy it. Or, it needs to be shown that the owner of the premises or an employee actually caused the danger on their premises.

It is important to have an understanding as to when a property owner would be liable for a slip-and-fall accident. Those who are injured in these types of accidents will likely need to get more information about premises liability law.

Source: FindLaw, “Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents,” accessed Feb. 7, 2017