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February 4, 2021 | Gary Burger

Who is Liable in a Slip and Fall Case?

You've been hurt in a slip and fall, and you need to figure out who is liable for your injuries. If you were on a sidewalk, parking lot, staircase, bathroom, or any other commercial or residential property that was owned by someone else and you were injured when you slipped and fell, you may have a slip and fall case.

Liability is just one of the many questions that are going to come up in your slip and fall case. For your best chances of settling successfully and recovering compensation for your damages, find an experienced St. Louis personal injury law firm to help you in your case. Find out what Burger Law can do for you by calling us at 314-542-2222 or contacting us online.

Who is Liable in a Slip and Fall Case?

It can be confusing to try to understand who is liable in your St. Louis slip and fall case. As with all other personal injury and accident claims, there is no one answer that applies to all cases in the question of who is responsible for your injuries in a slip and fall case. If you fall on a commercial property or a residential property that you do not own, you may be able to sue for your injuries. Who you can sue depends on the conditions that caused your fall.

Typically, if your slip and fall accident was caused by negligence, either the property owner or a contractor to the property owner may be responsible in your case. Both the property owner and their contractors carry liability insurance. There may also be agreements in place between the property owner and the contractor - such as a maintenance company or a constructor company - and who has responsibility for the safety of the property. To determine who is liable in your case, your lawyer can help you obtain the documents between the owner and their contractors.

The owner of the property may be legally liable for your slip and fall and may be legally responsible for compensating you for your injuries and other damages. For the owner of the property to be held liable in the court of law, one of the following must be true:

  1. The property owner was aware of the dangerous condition and did not make an attempt to correct it;
  2. The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition and should have taken reasonable steps to prevent potential injuries; or
  3. The property owner created or caused the dangerous condition that led to the accident

The law here requires property owners to act reasonably. They have a responsibility to stay aware of and updated on the general condition of their building and surrounding property. This could include things like knowing when incliment weather is expected to make the proper arrangements and being aware of and fixing in a timely manner disrepairs like cracks in concrete or broken glass.

For the property owner or contractor to be liable in a slip and fall case, the slip and fall must lead to damages such as injury, and the fall itself must be caused by the owner or contractor's negligence. To determine if the owner or contractor has culpability in your slip and fall case, we may need to ask some of these additional questions:

  • Was the dangerous condition that contributed to the accident there long enough that the property owner should have known about it?
  • Does the property owner have a record of their responsibility to regularly inspect and maintain the premise? Where they doing this?
  • If the fall was caused by tripping over an object, was there a legitimate reason for that object to be there?
  • If there was a legitimate reason for the object to be there, but that reason no longer applies, could the object have been removed or made reasonably safer?
  • Was there a safer place for the object or a safer way for the object to be placed in a reasonable manner?
  • Could a simple sign, barrier, rail, cover, or other device have been used to prevent people from accidentally slipping and falling?
  • Did an absence of proper lighting contribute to the accident?

Asking these and other questions help determine who was at fault in your slip and fall. Would a reasonable person have been able to prevent the conditions that caused your fall, and did the property owner or their contractor fail to take those reasonable actions? Other relevant information that your lawyer will discuss and that the insurance company and, if your case goes to trial, the jury will want to know is your part in the accident. Did you have a reasonable reason to be in the dangerous area? Was there a sign or other warning that a reasonable person would have noticed and used to avoid the slip and fall? Though the onus is not on you, the plaintiff, to prove that you were exercising caution, it will help your case and help you prove liability if you can show that you were not being irresponsibly reckless.

St. Louis Slip and Fall Lawyer | Burger Law

Do you think you may have a slip and fall case? If you have fallen on someone else's property, whether it was a sidewalk, parking lot, inside a store, or somewhere else, and you were hurt in the fall, you may have a slip and fall case. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer and law firm to help you determine who is liable in your slip and fall case, prove that they were liable, and fight to get you just compensation for your slip and fall injuries. Gary Burger and the Burger Law team can help. Reach us by calling 314-542-2222 or contact us online.