Who is to blame for a slip-and-fall accident? Is it you? Or does the owner of the property responsible? The answers are more complex than just a simple yes or no. Certain factors need to be taken into account to determine who truly is at fault.
There are instances when it\’s pretty clear that the owner is at fault. For instance, if the presence of a dangerous surface was known for some time, but nothing was done about it. Not taking care of a potential hazard is clearly negligence on the owner\’s part.
However, there are instances when you can be held responsible for sustaining an injury. Suppose the owner knew of the problem and put up a warning sign about its potential danger. If you ignored the warning signs then your carelessness could be classified as a contributing factor to the accident.
It\’s not all the time that an owner can be blamed for a slip and fall accident that happened on their property. That doesn\’t mean they shouldn\’t be responsible – they have a duty to care for their premises and their customers. But you also have an equal obligation to watch where you\’re going.
That said, determining who should be at fault can be quite tricky should you suffer a slip and fall accident. However, there are general rules that can help determine who is responsible.
Who is at Fault?
A property owner is to blame if they meet any one of the following:
- the owner or their staff caused the issue; be it a spill, or a slippery surface
- the owner or their staff knew about the potential hazard but did nothing to fix it
- the owner or their staff should have known about the potential danger because any reasonable person would have taken steps to fix the issue
As you can see, the reasons can be open to interpretation. As such, common sense usually decides who is at fault. A judge or jury decides if a property owner exercised care through determining whether the steps they took to guarantee safety are deemed reasonable.
How is Being “Reasonable” Determined?
The outcome of a negligence claim rests on whether or not a defendant acted within reason. This is determined by looking into whether the defendant made a regular effort to keep their property safe and clean. Asking the following questions can help you decide if they can be held liable for your slip and fall injury:
- Has the cause of your accident been there long enough for the owner to notice and do something about it?
- Does the owner have a regular maintenance schedule? If so, do they have proof?
- Was there a legitimate reason for the cause of your injury to be there?
- Was there another place the cause of your accident could have been placed?
- Were there any warning signs or barriers put up to alert of potential dangers?
- Did poor or broken lighting have anything to do with your accident?
If a majority of your answers are in your favor, you have a good chance of claiming compensation for the injuries you sustained. Still, you have to make sure that you weren\’t acting carelessly when the accident occurred.
Shamon Law is happy to provide the following legal services to San Diego 92108, and the surrounding San Diego areas: Wrongful Death, Motorcycle Accidents, Dog Bites, Bicycle Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, Wills, Trust and Estate Planning, as well as Auto Accidents and other legal fields. Call us today at 619-737-2727 and see if we can help you!