Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Published On: May 15, 2023

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere at any moment. Whether it’s a wet floor at a supermarket or cracked pavement on a driveway, a fall can occur in a split second, leaving you with extensive injuries and mounting medical bills.

When you’ve been injured by slipping and falling on someone else’s property, a slip and fall attorney in New Port Richey can help put you on a path to recovery. 

What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip-and-fall accident is exactly what it sounds like—you slip or trip and suffer a fall, resulting in injuries. While slip and fall accidents don’t necessarily sound that serious, they can be. Some slips and falls can cause severe and even life-altering injuries.

Depending on the details of your fall, you can hold the party responsible for your accident liable and seek fair compensation.

One of the most important things you can do after experiencing a slip and fall is to consult a knowledgeable attorney. A lawyer can determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim and, if so, handle your case to pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. 

Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?

Slip and fall accidents can occur just about anywhere at any time. While most falls tend to happen in high-traffic, public locations, they can also happen on private property.

The following are some of the most common places where slips and falls occur.

Retail Stores

Retail stores are some of the most common locations for slip and fall accidents. A danger exists on every corner, whether it’s a supermarket or a clothing store. This is particularly true with big stores that experience countless visitors every day. 

Hotels and Resorts

Along with stores, hotels, and resorts are prime locations for slip and fall accidents. From the lobby to the pool area to the parking lot, risky situations can easily cause patrons to suffer serious falls. 

Water and Amusement Parks

While people visit water parks and amusement parks for fun, an enjoyable trip can easily end badly.

Slip hazards exist everywhere in water parks; almost every inch of a water park is covered in water. There are also several threats to your safety all around amusement parks, especially in areas with large wires that you can easily trip over. 

Office Buildings

Office buildings, especially high-rise buildings, usually see numerous visitors every day. While there are parties that should oversee the building and ensure the premises is safe for visitors, sometimes dangers are overlooked. 

Construction Sites

Construction sites are inherently dangerous places. Whether you work on-site or you’re simply walking by the area, there is always a risk in and around construction sites. 

Sidewalks and Parking Lots

The most significant issues with sidewalks and parking lots are lack of supervision and maintenance. For this reason, innocent victims suffer falls every day in these locations. 

Houses and Apartments

Even if you’re visiting someone’s private home or apartment, you should still feel safe and free from danger. Still, some home and apartment owners and landlords do not take sufficient enough care of their properties, resulting in accidents. 

How Do Slip and Falls Happen?

Slip and falls can happen in several ways. While many automatically associate slip and falls with wet floors, that’s not the only cause of a serious fall.

Along with slipping on wet surfaces, slip and fall accidents can happen because of:

  • Loose floors and carpeting
  • Uneven or damaged pavement
  • Exposed wiring
  • Icy and slick walkways and steps
  • Defective, broken, or missing handrails
  • Changes in elevation without markings or warnings
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Fallen objects that cause tripping hazards

Regardless of the cause of your fall, if someone is to blame for your accident, you can hold them responsible. A slip and fall accident attorney can best determine whether you can pursue monetary recovery for your injuries. 

Injuries Often Resulting From Slip and Falls

Injuries from slip and fall accidents can be particularly serious, depending on the location and cause of your fall. In some cases, a slip and fall accident injury can even result in life-changing complications to your health and quality of life.

Some of the injuries that most often occur due to slips and falls include:

Based on your injuries, you may require extensive medical care, both at the time of your accident and in the future. Unfortunately, because medical bills can quickly add up, slip and fall injuries can be costly, causing undue strain on your finances.

A slip and fall lawyer can work toward obtaining the compensation you need and deserve after your accident. While money cannot solve all of your problems, it can save you from having to shoulder the financial burden on your own. 

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents Depends on Many Factors

Slip and Fall Injury Attorney in New Port Richey
Slip and fall accident liability can be more challenging to determine compared to other types of accidents. For example, if you’re in a motor vehicle accident, you can usually clearly identify who caused your accident. Because of the way slip and fall accidents happen, it’s not so simple.

When you suffer a fall, it is highly unlikely that the responsible party is present at the scene. Therefore, you may have no idea who is liable for your fall.

Your slip and fall attorney must conduct a thorough investigation to determine who can be responsible for your accident. To figure out liability, they’ll start by reviewing certain critical details about your accident.

Where the Slip and Fall Happened

First and foremost, liability for your slip and fall depends on where the accident happened. Based on the location of your fall, your lawyer can determine who’s responsible for maintaining the property safe.

Additionally, it’s important to pinpoint exactly where the accident occurred because liability can depend on where the fall occurred within a property. For example, if your accident happened in the lobby of an apartment building, the owner of the building will likely be liable. However, if the accident occurred inside an apartment, the owner or tenant of that apartment will likely be at fault. 

The precise location of your slip and fall matters.

Who Owns or Rents the Place Where You Slipped and Fell

After providing your attorney with the exact location of your fall, they can then determine who owns or rents that property. This is important for two reasons.

First, you must determine who is responsible for maintaining the premises, as they will more than likely be liable for your fall.

Second, there can be a big difference between owners and renters. Just because someone owns a property doesn’t mean they’d be liable for your fall, and conversely, just because someone is renting the premises doesn’t mean they’d hold full responsibility.

Your lawyer can figure out who will be responsible for your accident and covering your fall-related expenses and losses.

Your Status on the Property at the Time of the Accident

Depending on the location of your fall and your business on the property, your lawyer can determine your legal status on the property at the time of the accident. Once a person enters a property, they are either labeled an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.

An invitee enters the property, usually for business purposes. Whenever you enter certain locations, like stores, restaurants, and hotels, you are an invitee. Property owners owe invitees the highest degree of care, meaning they must keep their premises safe and warn invitees of dangers within the property.

A licensee is invited onto someone’s property, typically for social purposes. You will be a licensee when you visit family or friends at their homes. Property owners also owe licensees a duty of care, but not as high as that owed to invitees. Licensees must have adequate warnings of dangers on the premises that owners know exist.

Finally, trespassers are neither invited nor legally allowed on someone’s property. While property owners owe trespassers no duty of care, they usually cannot cause trespassers intentional harm either.

Based on your status at the time of your fall, your lawyer can determine what duty the property owner or occupier owed you, which is relevant to prove negligence.

How Do You Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case?

You must do more than simply figure out who you can hold liable for your accident and state your claims; you must also take the right steps toward successfully proving liability. While this can be tricky, a slip and fall accident lawyer can utilize their skills and resources to handle the task.

Establishing liability happens in steps. One of the first steps is figuring out your legal status within the property when your accident occurred, as this answers the question of what duty, if any, did the property owner owe you.

Based on this answer, you can determine other key details. For example, if your fall happened while you were a licensee, did the property owner know or have reason to know the dangers within their property? These and other details can help you along your path to proving liability.

In most cases, slip and fall accidents arise out of negligence. When a party is negligent, this means they’ve essentially failed to act as a reasonable person in the same situation should.

To prove liability, you must satisfy the necessary elements of negligence, which include:

  • Duty: The responsible party owed you a duty of care
  • Breach: The responsible party’s act or omission led to a breach of the duty owed to you
  • Causation: The party’s breach was the cause of your fall
  • Damages: Because of your fall, you suffered injuries and other losses

Building a strong case against the defendant usually requires evidence, which your lawyer can request and obtain. Evidence in slip and fall cases often involves surveillance footage, photos and videos, and witness statements.

If you can show the connection between the at-fault party’s actions and your accident and injuries, you’re well on your way to recovering compensation.

Pursuing Compensation for a Slip and Fall Accident

You’ll want to seek fair compensation if you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident due to a negligent party. But how much is your case worth? Your attorney can determine the value of your case.

Your slip and fall lawyer can assign a dollar amount to your case based on:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How your injuries affect your physical and mental health and quality of life
  • Whether your injuries affect your ability to work and make a living, whether for a limited time or permanently
  • The total cost of your medical expenses
  • Whether you’ll need medical care in the future

Depending on the details of your case, your recoverable damages may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability

You can rely on your slip and fall accident attorney to accurately assign a value to your case and pursue full and fair compensation on your behalf. 

Can You Sue for a Slip and Fall?

Whether you file a lawsuit for your injuries depends on your case. Sometimes, you may successfully obtain compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. You don’t have to worry about filing a lawsuit if this is the case.

On the other hand, if the insurance company refuses to settle for what your claim is worth or the liable party is uninsured, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. Your slip and fall attorney can figure out the best way to pursue monetary recovery, whether that means filing an insurance claim or, in the alternative, involving the courts. Time is limited to take legal action, as dictated by the statutes of limitations. An attorney can give you the counsel you need to meet any deadlines for filing a lawsuit. 

Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney in New Port Richey

If You’ve Suffered Injuries in a Slip and Fall, Consult With an Experienced Lawyer Right Away

Personal Injury Attorney in New Port Richey, FL area
Christopher C. Dyer, Accident and Injury Attorney in New Port Richey, FL

When you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident in New Port Richey, securing a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney is crucial to navigating the complexities of personal injury claims. Our skilled injury attorneys are committed to ensuring that you receive the compensation you need and deserve while offering empathetic support throughout the process.