Who Is Responsible For A Slip And Fall Accident?
Slips and falls are some of the most commonly suffered injuries, but despite their common nature, they can lead to serious or even fatal injuries in some cases When these serious injuries happen, it is important for victims to know that they do have the opportunity to hold the party who caused the injury responsible. The legal system contains an expansive set of principles known as premises liability. Premises liability law imposes a legal responsibility on people who own or control land to ensure that the land is reasonably safe for people who enter onto the property. If you have been injured in a premises liability accident, a personal injury lawyer can help.
The Duty of Landowners
The key thing to understand about premises liability is that it imposes a duty on landowners to keep their land safe. However, this duty is not always present. Instead, the duty only arises if the injured plaintiff can show three things.
First, the plaintiff has to demonstrate that the defendant either knew about some hazard that presented a danger to visitors on the property, or, if the defendant did not know about the hazard, that they should have discovered it.
Second, the plaintiff must show that the hazard that injured them was the sort of hazard that they would not expect or realize existed.
Third, they must show that there was some sort of reasonable precaution that the defendant could have taken which would have prevented their injuries.
If the plaintiff can demonstrate all of these things, then they have successfully shown that the defendant failed to live up to the duty that the law imposes on them, and the plaintiff can recover for injuries caused by that failure.
Different Types of Victims
It is important to note that in the eyes of the law, not all victims are equal. The exact classes of victims change depending on the law of the particular state, so people researching this issue should make sure that they are looking at the appropriate law. In many states, the rule used says there are three classes of victims: trespassers, licensees, and invitees. Licensees are people allowed to be on the land for social purposes, such as guests in a home, while invitees are people engaging in business on the land, such as customers in a store. The law says that owners owe a strict duty to licensees and invitees, however, they owe a much lesser duty to people who are trespassing.
Slip and falls and other accidents as a result of unsafe premises can lead to serious injuries. If you have been injured in a premises liability accident, make sure you have a dedicated personal injury lawyer advocating for you.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, LLP for their insight into how a Buffalo, NY personal injury lawyer can help.