Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? Do you want to pursue compensation for your injuries? It’s important to ensure that your accident qualifies as a slip and fall accident and that you can file a claim.
What is a slip and fall accident?
Slip and fall accidents occur when someone falls and is injured while on someone else’s property. They are included in the premises liability category of claims. The owner of the property can be held liable for the damages if it is shown that the owner of the property breached his duty of care owed to the injured party. A breach of duty may be as simple as failure to warn of a known hazard.
While slip and fall accidents may seem straightforward, complications often arise when it comes to determining the duty of the property owner toward the injured party. This is because the duty of the property owner varies depending on whether the injured party was on the premises lawfully or was trespassing at the time of the accident.
Are you a trespasser?
When considering slip and fall accident claims, it is important to determine whether or not you were a trespasser at the time of the accident. The law defines a trespasser as a person who remains or enters another person’s property without consent, invitation or privilege. This includes thieves.
If you are injured on another person’s property and it is found that you were a trespasser at the time, the property owner may have a defense that allows him to avoid liability for your injuries. In this case, the owner of the property may not owe you duty of care. While there are limitations to this defense, a property owner may not be required to protect all trespassers from harm.
This however does not mean that the owner of the property can willfully or intentionally cause harm to a trespasser. For instance, a property owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by a trespasser who stumbled across a hidden trap set by the owner of the property.
Property owners have a duty toward people who have entered or remained on their property in order to carry out some transaction. This is typically the case when the property is used as a place of business. It doesn’t matter whether the transaction is for the benefit of the victim or the owner of the property.
An invitation to the property from the owner of the property makes the owner responsible for the safety of the person invited to the property. The invitation doesn’t need to have been given to the person directly from the owner of the property. It can be inferred.
Understanding where you stand with a slip and fall claim will help you determine the best approach to filing a claim for compensation.