Proving Fault In A Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and fall is considered as one of the “Big 4” in workplace injuries. Statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls account for more than 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing 21.3% with slip and falls accounting for more than 1 million visits or 12% of all falls. While it does not serve a primary reason for fatal occupational injuries but serves as the main cause of lost days from the job. According to the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, slips and falls are the main cause of workers’ compensation claims and occupational injury for people more than 55 years old.

Proving fault in a slip and fall accident is not easy as many people think it is. It is not easy to put the blame on the property owner because there are many circumstances that can surround it. For instance, a leaking roof which can lead to slippery conditions in the office may not be entirely the fault of the property owner. However, while they may not be entirely at-fault for slip and fall accidents, it is still the job of property owners to take reasonable steps to ensure that their premises are safe.

So how can you make the property owner liable for slip and fall accidents? Here are some of the facts you need to prove:

The property owner or an employee must have caused the spill which makes the surface slippery or dangerous
The owner or employee is aware of the dangerous surface but did not act on it
The owner or employee must have been made aware of the dangerous surface because another person managing the property would have known and removed or repaired it

Any negligence claim by the plaintiff would depend on whether the defendant acted reasonably. For instance, is the owner regularly and thoroughly keeping the property safe and clean? Do they maintain a regular procedure for checking and cleaning or repairing the premises?

Most states adopt comparative negligence when it comes to slip and fall accidents. This means that if you were partially at-fault for the accident, your chances of getting paid for damages is lessened. A good example is talking on your mobile phone and ignoring a warning sign. For this reason, the property owner can claim that the plaintiff was partially or totally responsible for the accident.