Property owners and property managers have an obligation to their tenants and guests to create and maintain a safe environment. Whether they are a landlord or business owner, they are responsible for their guests. When a person falls and injures themselves on someone else’s property, the property owner may be held liable.
Slip & Fall Statistics
- More than 8 million emergency room visits are due to falls, accounting for 21.3% of ER visits.
- Slip and fall accidents make up 1 million ER visits and represent 12% of all falls.
- Slips and falls are most common in adults older than 65 years of age, and are the second highest cause of injury-related deaths.
- Slip and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.
- Walking surfaces make up 55% of all falls; the other 45% result from fraud, footwear, training and hazard identification.
- National Floor Safety Institute
How To Determine Who Is Responsible For A Slip And Fall Accident
Property owners should be aware of potential hazards and risks on their property, such as broken steps, uneven floors, loose stair railings, cracks/holes in flooring, wet floors, etc.
A property manager’s responsibility is based on the type of visitor that sets foot on the property. There are three basic types of visitors:
- General visitors: Friends, family members and non-business guests constitute as general visitors. The property owner is responsible for keeping the property safe and warning visitors of any known dangers.
- Individuals on the property at the request of the property owner: This would include people present for the sake of the property owner, such as an electrician, plumber, garage sale customers, etc. Property owners are obligated to repair any hazardous conditions and protect these types of visitors from getting hurt.
- Trespassers: Unlike with the other two categories, the property owner typically does not owe duty to a trespasser because a trespasser does have permission to be on the property.
To prove a property is liable for a slip and fall accident, the plaintiff must confirm:
- The property owner was aware of the property condition.
- The property owner should have been aware of the property condition.
- The property owner failed to warn visitors of the property condition.
- The property owner was responsible for the property condition.
When trying to prove fault, you should determine:
- How long has the hazard been present?
- Was there a reason the hazard was still present?
- Was the property owner aware of the hazard and warn visitors/guests accordinging?
- Does the property take measures to properly maintain the property?
You should also ask yourself:
- Did you have a legitimate reason for being present on the property?
- Was the owner expecting you to be on the property at the time of the accident?
- Were you engaged in activities that would have contributed to the accident?
- Did you ignore a sign or barrier warning of the hazard?
The best way to determine who is at fault for a slip and fall accident is to consult an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney. A qualified lawyer will look at both sides of the accident and take all evidence into account in order to determine fault.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, contact personal injury attorney Amy VandeLoo of The VanDeLoo Firm in Plano, Texas. We will look at your case from every angle and help you receive the compensation entitled to you. Contact us today for a free personal injury consultation.