Winning a personal injury case involving a slip and fall requires much more than simply showing that a fall resulted in an injury. In order to succeed a plaintiff has to establish that the property owner owed the plaintiff a duty to keep the property free from dangerous conditions. For example, a landowner does not owe the same duty of care to a trespasser as a store owner would to a customer.
A property owner has a duty to keep its property in reasonably safe condition for users of the property. For example, if a grocery store owner has knowledge that an unsafe condition exists in the store and fails to correct it or warn of the potential hazard and a customer suffers injury as a result the store owner may face legal liability.
A plaintiff must also show that they did not ignore an “open and obvious” hazard that the property owner would expect a user to avoid. A landowner generally does not owe a duty to warn of “open and obvious” conditions on their property.
Conditions upon land often change with time of year due to weather or subsequent repairs. It is usually helpful to take a picture of the condition you believe caused your fall in order to document the condition at trial.
In addition, the plaintiff must show a connection between the dangerous condition and the fall leading to the injury. If the facts show that the plaintiff was not acting in a reasonable manner, such as running on an icy sidewalk or carrying multiple boxes up a spiral staircase it is possible that the court may find no connection between the alleged dangerous condition and the injury.
This is not meant to cover every possible scenario that may arise in a personal injury case involving a slip and fall. If you have questions regarding a slip and fall case or any case involving personal injury, please call the attorneys at Mitchell Hoffman & Wolf LLC at 312 726 6722