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A lot of people go through a cycle of emotions after a slip and fall: embarrassment, confusion about what to do next, and concerns about their health.

Sometimes, injuries from a slip and fall involve only a scrape or two and bruised ego. In other cases, injuries can be quite serious and create large medical bills and other expenses and losses.

If you find yourself dealing with serious injuries, take legal action. Filing a slip and fall claim helps you get compensation you need so you and your family aren’t left to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other effects of the injury.

Legal Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident

A property owner has a legal responsibility to maintain his property in a safe manner. If he does not, he may be liable if somebody slips and falls. To prove fault, a claimant has to prove the following.

  • The property owner, or his agent or employee, caused the dangerous condition, knew of the dangerous conditions, and/or should have known of the dangerous condition.
  • The property owner did not correct the dangerous condition.
  • That the dangerous condition caused the slip and fall accident that caused the claimant’s injuries.
  • The claimant suffered damages as a result of the accident and his injuries.

In a lot of slip and fall cases, a point of contention often arises regarding whether the property owner knew of the condition or should have known of it. Property owners might argue they did not have adequate time to discover the condition before the claimant slipped and fell. For example, a store owner might argue that her employees did not have enough time to recognize and correct a spill in one of the aisles.

Evidence that demonstrates otherwise will be important in these cases. Video surveillance or eyewitness testimony, for example, can help you establish the property owner’s negligence and liability.

Which party is liable in a slip and fall accident?

Issues of liability might arise if you slipped and fell on private property. In these cases, a homeowner is often liable for a dangerous condition on his property. However, if he rented the property to a tenant, the tenant may be liable.

The case must establish which party had knowledge of the dangerous condition – broken step, slippery walkway, etc. – or should have had knowledge of it.

And in any case, it is unlikely the property owner or renter will pay out of pocket. A homeowner’s policy or renter’s policy will likely provide damages to the injured party, provided the policy includes liability coverage.

If the accident occurred on commercial property, the owner or manager of the establishment is likely liable. Again, the case depends on proving which party knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, and that the party did not take corrective action.

Find a Slip and Fall Lawyer to Help with Your Case

In any event, there are strict time limits for filing a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident, which vary by state. To protect your rights, reach out to a local slip and fall attorney using our Find a Lawyer feature.