Property Owner & Liability If you were to trip/slip and fall on someone else’s property, the standard for a slip and fall injury would differ depending on whether you are in a public business or a private home. If you are in a public business, the business has a higher duty of care and they must make sure that the premises are safe. If you are in a home, however, the homeowner isn’t held to the same standards of care and it will be harder to prove negligence. In either case, you would have to prove the following in order to hold the property owner responsible and have a premises liability case:
- That the property owner caused the unsafe condition and the subsequent trip/slip and fall accident (by spilling something and not cleaning it up, by digging a hard-to-spot hole in a heavily trafficked area, etc.)
- That the property owner knew about the condition but did not try to correct it (by not posting a sign on uneven ground, etc.)
- That the property owner should have known about the danger, because a “reasonable” person would have found the problem and taken steps to prevent injuries caused by the slip and fall accident
- A dangerous or hazardous condition may be apparent such as a broken step or railing in a staircase, or it may be hidden such as ground hole that is overgrown with grass.
- A dangerous and hazardous condition may be permanent such as a 2 inch raised area of a sidewalk creating a change in elevation, or it may be a temporary spill of liquid in the aisle of a grocery store.
- A dangerous and hazardous condition may even appear to be something normal, but in reality is a slippery situation.