Falling in public can be an embarrassing experience, no matter who you are, and can at times result in injuries. Taking a fall in a place like a shop or building can be scary, but often it is not 100% the fault of the person who fell. If you or a loved one fell in a public place on what can be considered a hazard, you may have the right to pursue legal recourse.
Who Is Responsible?
Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their buildings safe from slip, trip, and fall pitfalls that can bring harm to unaware pedestrians and customers. However, it is a common occurrence for people to slip-and-fall on uneven ground, or in an area where there is no clear or obvious hazard. So how do you know if your accident may have been the fault of another negligent party?
To be held legally responsible for the injuries an individual suffered from falling on the property of another, one of the following must be found true:
- The owner of the location or an employee must have caused the spill, torn or worn out an area, or caused a slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot and did not clean it up.
- The owner of the location or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing to correct it or make it safe.
- The owner of the location or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have located the hazard and removed or repaired it.
Any liability in a slip-and-fall case typically depends on whether the defendant acted in a reasonable manner before the accident took place. In determining a property owner’s “reasonableness,” the law is focused on whether the owner made regular and exhaustive efforts to keep the property clean and safe for pedestrians walking on the premises.
Often, the victim of the fall does not have to prove they were acting in a safe manner. Insurance companies and attorneys will be looking to see if the incident was indeed caused by negligence of the building owner or an employee.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall
If you or a loved one tripped and fell over a hazard in a public area, the property owners may be held responsible for the injuries that occurred. Anyone injured by the negligence of another has a legal right to pursue compensation in order to receive the resources that they need to heal.
The experienced legal team at PPID is dedicated to preserving your rights and protecting your future by handling slip-and-fall injury claims through assertive and well-planned legal representation. Call 212-203-4795 for a free consultation at our New York office.