What Happens If Someone Slips and Falls On Your Property?

By
Mortgage and Lending with Olympus Labs

Have you recently purchased a home or property? If so, there’s no question it’s an exciting time. However, there are some potential issues you should know about as a property owner.

For example, what happens if someone slips and falls on your property? If they are injured, they may hire an attorney from the Tiemann Law Firm to try and recover compensation. This is money you (the property owner) or your insurance company must pay.

The question is, are you liable, and should you have to pay? Keep reading to learn more about the laws and when you may be held liable for slip and fall accidents on your property.

If someone is injured on your property, there are a few factors that must be considered. For example, if the person slips and trips that an ordinary person would find there or see and avoid, they are not considered liable. After all, everyone needs to watch where they are going.

While this is true, it is still necessary for property owners to keep up their property. Keep reading to find some general rules to determine if the property owner is liable for the slip and fall accident.

Determining Liability

As a property owner, specific things must happen for the person who slipped and fell on your property to hold you liable. These include:

  • You must have caused a slippery surface or left an item in the way of traffic
  • You must have been aware of the dangerous surface and ignored fixing it
  • You should have known of the dangerous surface because a “responsible” person taking care of the property would have found, removed, or repaired it

The last situation is the most common, but it isn’t as clear-cut as the first two because of the term “should have known.” Liability in these situations is often determined by common sense. Juries and judges will determine if you were careful by considering if the steps you took to keep the property safe were reasonable.

What Does “Reasonable” Mean?

Any type of negligence claim hinges on if the property owner or defendant acted reasonably. When determining your “reasonableness,” the law focuses on if the property owner made ongoing and thorough efforts to keep the property clean and safe. Some questions you can consider to determine if you are liable for the slip and fall injuries that occurred include:

  • If someone tripped over a bulging, broken, or torn part of floor, carpet, or ground, or if they slipped on a loose or wet area, had the dangerous issue been there long enough, you should have known about it?
  • Do you have a regular and ongoing procedure to examine, clean, and repair your property? If so, what proof do you have of the maintenance?
  • If someone slipped or tripped on something someone left on the floor or put in a room, was there a legitimate reason the item was there?
  • Did broken or poor lighting contribute in any way to the slip and trip accident?
  • Could you have created a barrier or warning to keep someone from slipping or tripping?

If the answers to these questions are not in your favor, then you may be held liable for the slip and trip accident that occurred.

Keeping Your Property Safe

As a property owner, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your property is safe and free from hazards. If someone trips and falls while visiting the property, you may be held liable. However, if you can prove you took steps to maintain and prevent hazards, you can avoid having to pay.

Comments (1)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Dec 01, 2021 06:55 AM