When is a Business Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Injuries?
If you recently slipped and fell inside of a business, you might be wondering if the business is responsible. Under certain circumstances, the business owner or their agents and employees could be held liable for your slip and fall injuries. The specific facts of your case must be examined. Generally, business owners have a duty to keep their property safe for their patrons. Slip and fall accidents that can be traced to the negligence of the business owner leaves the business liable. How do you know when a business is or isn’t responsible for your injuries?
Determining Liability for Slip and Fall Cases
Liability will center on whether or not the business owner took all of the appropriate actions to prevent an accident from occurring. Business owners need to be on the lookout for things that could be a danger to others, such as an icy sidewalk or a spill that is not immediately cleaned up. When they see these things occurring, they need to act to remedy any chance of harm.
Although business owners are held to high legal standards, not all slip and fall incidents are the fault of the business owner. When a business owner identifies potential danger and carries out reasonable steps to prevent a fall within a reasonable timeframe, they are not liable.
Questions to Determine Business Owner Liability
To determine if the business is liable for a slip and fall and the ensuing damages, several questions must be answered:
Was there a negligent condition on the property?
Some falls are simply accidents, and no one is liable. There must be conditions that could have been prevented by the business for them to be liable. If there was not a crack in the sidewalk, an unsecured rug, a stair in need of repair, a wet floor, or something else potentially dangerous, no liability exists on the part of the business.
Did the business owner reasonably inspect the property and fix any dangers?
If your slip and fall case ends up in court, the jury will be trying to determine if the business owner had enough time to inspect and fix the property before the fall occurred. If a customer dropped produce on the floor, and you slipped on it in the moments after, the business owner did not have enough time to realize and fix the danger.
Are there damages?
You must have suffered injury by falling in order to have a viable injury claim. Of course, slip and falls can be frightening. However, if you did not need treatment for your injuries, there is not really anything the business can compensate you for.
Did a negligent condition cause a fall?
If a dangerous condition is observed and not remedied, the business owner is only liable if a slip and fall occurs. If hazards do not cause someone to fall, there is no causation.
To protect your rights, hire an attorney right away. At JLF Law Firm, our Riverside and San Bernardino car accident lawyers have helped many victims get the compensation they need to cover medical bills and replace their lost wages. Contact us right away by calling (909) 314-1716 San Bernardino Office, (951) 476-2373 Riverside Office or filling out our contact form.