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Who’s at fault for slip and fall injuries?

| Feb 4, 2021 | Premises Liability |

Premises liability holds property owners in Nederland, Texas, responsible for keeping their land reasonably safe to reduce injuries. Slip and fall injuries may be caused by several hazardous conditions, such as fallen tree limbs, uneven surfaces and wet surfaces. Fault has to be established in slip and fall cases for the injured party to win a case.

Factors in slip and fall cases

The plaintiff has to prove the owner acted negligently, and the negligence caused the fall, although they knew about the condition in a reasonable time. For example, if they knew an entrance mat had been wet all day and failed to clean it, they could be responsible for injuries. The owner has to make a reasonable attempt to remove the hazard, such as not just moving a hazard aside.

Some states have comparative fault laws, which require litigants to share fault. This means the visitor has the responsibility to avoid foreseeable hazards, and it could lower the settlement amount if the court decides the visitor should have seen the hazard.

Visitor status

Fault may depend on the status of the visitor which divides into three groups: invitee, licensee, and trespassers. An invitee has implied consent, such as a customer, and they expect the owner to make the area reasonably safe and inform them of hazards.

A property owner usually invites a licensee for business reasons, but the owner should still maintain the safety of the property. Trespassers have no permission to enter the property, and premises laws rarely cover them, but the owner can not intentionally harm them. Children who wander onto the land may be an exception to the rule, if the property has an attractive nuisance, such as treehouses or pools.

Premises liability gives injured parties the right to sue for damages, but property owners may not be liable for all falls. An attorney would have to decide if the plaintiff has a case.