Slip and fall handbook

close up shot of a yellow caution on floorOften people slip and fall when they are on someone else’s property. However, not all slip and fall cases give rise to a valid legal claim. These are a few areas that will help to better understand slip and fall cases.

Premises liability – Premises liability is the term used when a legal claim is put through from one person who is holding the property owner responsible for the damages that they have suffered. Slip and fall cases fall under premises liability claims.

The types of falls associated with premises liability claims:

Broken or defective stairs

Rough patches on the ground

Wet/ slippery floors

Uneven flooring

Falls on sidewalks

Falls due to icy conditions

Hidden extension cords

Broken flooring

The legal theory behind slip and fall cases – Most cases will be based on the property owner being negligent and failing to act in a responsible manner.

Legal elements of a negligence claim – In this case, the victim’s lawyer will have to prove the elements of negligence by offering the evidence. The four main elements are;

Duty – This is the legal responsibility that one person has for another. If the victim was an invitee (e.g., customer) then the property owner has the responsibility of giving them the highest duty of care. If the victim was a licensee (e.g., a social guest) the property owner has the duty of warning their guests of the danger.

Breach – This means that the property owner should have acted in a responsible way to the victim, but he/she didn’t.

Causation – It should be shown that the fall was linked to the property owner’s breach of duty.

Damages – The victim must show that he/she has suffered due to the injury.