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Who's at fault in a slip and fall injury?

If you are out running errands and you get injured from a fall, is someone at fault? Do you just have to accept that accidents happen and deal with the damage, or can someone be held accountable? If you slip due to a dangerous condition, such as a wet floor or torn carpet, it's possible that you can make a premises liability claim for your injury.

There are many factors that contribute to proving fault in slip and fall cases though. Here's an overview of how to prove who is at fault.

How is fault decided?

When looking at an instance of a slip and fall injury, there are two major factors considered, one from either side of the equation:

1. The property owner's attempt to make slipping unlikely

2. Your own carelessness in not seeing the dangerous condition

A dangerous condition is defined as a condition on the property that poses an unreasonable risk and that a person would not reasonably anticipate in such circumstances.

The property owner has to make slipping unlikely if a dangerous condition exists. An example of this is the "Wet Floor" signs that stores and restaurants must use after mopping or when there's a spill. Even if the condition can't be completely removed at the time, the sign reasonably warns that a dangerous condition exists and that people need to be careful.

How do you prove fault?

The main factors that have to be proven in a slip and fall case are:

1. The cause was a dangerous condition

2. The owner knew about the dangerous condition and didn't correct it

As you can see, the second factor can be a bit more subjective and potentially difficult to discern. "Knowing" about the condition implies that:

• The owner created it but didn't take measures to make slipping unlikely

• The owner knew the condition was there but didn't take measures to make slipping unlikely

• The condition existed for a long enough time that it reasonably should have been discovered

Sometimes, slip and fall injuries are honest accidents. You can slip and fall despite knowing that a dangerous condition exists, or maybe you are in a hurry and don't see the attempts by the owner to tell you that a dangerous condition is present.

However, if you are injured from a fall on someone else's property and you weren't reasonably warned about the condition that caused you to fall, contact a lawyer about it and ask what your options are and how you should proceed next.

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