Slip-and-fall injuries can cause someone significant physical injuries and can cost someone a significant amount of money when attempting to pay for their medical treatment. These cases can increase during the winter months, when surfaces get icier and the entryway to many buildings can get wet from melted snow. If companies are not diligent, their parking lots can be covered in ice and snow and their lobbies can be slick from water on the floor. However, how does someone prove that a company is liable in a slip-and-fall case? There are a few ways.
The first way is that the owner or possessor of the property created the condition. This could happen if an employee spilled something in the lobby, or the business left supplies lying around in their parking lot that someone could potentially trip over. This is not nearly as common as some of the other reasons that a company could be liable in a slip-and-fall case, though.
The second way that a company could be liable is if the company knew of the condition, whether they actually or constructively knew, and they did nothing to correct the condition. For a company to have actual notice, they must have directly observed the problem area or condition. For a company to have constructive notice is slightly different. A company has constructive notice of an issue or problem area if someone has fallen before, or if the problem has been present for a longer period of time.
This is something that is a much more frequent reason that companies are held liable for injuries incurred in a slip and fall case. This is because instances like an icy sidewalk or parking lot, or a pothole or other issue with the ground that caused an injury can be included in this category. If a company fails to salt their sidewalk or parking lot after a day of snow, and someone slips on the snow or ice and is injured, that company would most likely be liable for their injury. They knew that it snowed, and they had actual notice that their parking lot was covered in snow and ice. If there was no snow, but there was ice, or maybe in a non-winter example, a pothole, the company would have constructive notice of the issue if someone had previously fallen in that area or tripped on that pothole.
The third way a company could be liable is if a problem existed for such a length of time that the owner or company would be considered negligent in failing to fix it. This also ties into constructive notice above, because if a company had a pothole or crack in their parking lot that existed for a long time and did not fix it, they could be held liable for any injury that occurred because of that condition. Often, this instance could occur with a pothole in parking lot, or some sort of defective flooring indoors.
Overall, it is up to a company or owner to ensure that the premises are safe for people to be on or around. Especially if it is a store or restaurant, which generally have large parking lots that could be icy, or large entryways or lobbies that could be wet with water or a spill. If a company does not take adequate precautions, people could suffer injuries.
Have You Been Injured in A Slip-and-Fall?
Recently injured in an accident and sorting through what to do about your personal injury case? Contact Hurst Limontes LLC today to receive a consultation today from one of our personal injury attorneys!