A slip and fall is a type of injury caused by slipping or tripping and then falling. These types of injuries are very common and they can result in a liability suit for the owner or operator of the premises where the injury occurred. Property insurance policies often specifically cover slip and fall cases and people can purchase supplemental insurance if they are concerned their coverage is not sufficient for their needs. Insurance agents can provide advice based on the type of premises and how it will be used.
In order to prove liability on the part of the property owner, a person who experiences a slip and fall must be able to demonstrate one of several things. A person could argue that the property owner caused dangerous conditions, as for example if a store owner mopped a floor and failed to secure it while it dried. Someone could also claim the property owner knew or should have known about the conditions that caused the slip and fall. Finally, an argument can be made that a reasonable person would have cleared the obstacle or hazard before someone fell and experienced an injury.
Proving these things can be challenging, because a number of variables can occur. If a hazard was just created, a property owner may attempt to deny liability. Likewise, if a hazard is the fault of the person who slipped and fell, the property owner will argue that no negligence was involved. For instance, if someone sets down a heavy bag, forgets it is there, turns, and trips on it, this is not the fault of the person operating the premises where the person happens to be standing.
Defenses to slip and fall suits can include claims that negligence was not present in the given situation, or that the person who fell is responsible. People are expected to exercise reasonable care and may be held liable for falls where they clearly ignored hazards. Someone who walks past a “wet floor” sign and a barrier, for example, is clearly responsible for any falls that follow.
Slip and falls can result in very serious injuries, especially for older people, who tend to have fragile bones. The costs of recovery can be expensive and these cases represent a significant liability if negligence can be proved. Having slip and fall insurance is recommended by many insurance agents to provide protection in the event of accidents. Insurance companies will also help with legal defense if there is a suit, as insurance companies want to avoid paying out if they can.