"Slip and fall injury" or "trip and fall injury" is the generic term for an injury that occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else's property. These cases fall under the broader category of cases known as "premises liability" cases. The term "premises liability" refers to a situation when an individual is injured on a property, or "premises" owned or maintained by someone else, and the owner or possessor of the property is held liable for such injury.
"Slip and fall" injuries often result from slippery conditions caused by water, paint, food or other slick substances on a walking surface. "Trip and fall" injuries may be caused by hidden hazards, poor lighting, uneven walkways or missing handrails.
Slip and fall accidents are covered by the law of negligence, and a key issue is what duty the property owner had towards the injured person in terms of protecting him or her from injury. Traditionally, the law distinguished among four categories of people who might be on someone else's property:
- invitees (for example, a delivery person);
- social guests;
- licensees (someone who is on the property solely for their own benefit); and
- trespassers (for example, a vandal).
the owner should have discovered and corrected it prior to the incident.
For a plaintiff to be successful in a slip and fall accident, they must typically prove the following:
- there was a condition of the defendant's (landowner) property which presented an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;
- the defendant knew or should have known that the condition of his property involved an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;
- the defendant should have anticipated that persons on the premises would not discover or realize the danger, or would fail to protect themselves against it;
- the defendant was negligent;
- the plaintiff was actually injured;
- the condition of the defendant's property was a direct cause of the injury to the plaintiff.
An injured person who slips and falls due to the negligence of another may be able to recover the costs of lost income and medical bills, as well as compensation for any pain and suffering or physical disability, among other damages. If you have been injured due to a dangerous condition or negligence on behalf of another party, contact Brent M. Cordell at www.cordell-law.com or call (713) 248-5265 for a free consultation.