Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
When someone is injured while on someone else’s property, it usually falls under the category of a slip and fall accident. Most of the time, this kind of accident occurs in a storefront and it is often the store owner that gets blamed for the accident. Is the store owner truly always to blame in a slip and fall accident or are the circumstances sometimes more complicated than that?
It may be tempting to say that the property owner is always at fault in a slip and fall accident, but the reality is that there are a number of caveats that go into determining fault in this kind of incident. The property owner could indeed be responsible for accidents that happen on the property, but only if certain conditions are met. Firstly, the owner had to have created the condition, either directly or indirectly. The most common example of this is when an employee of a store cleans the floor of the building and sometimes slip on wet flooring. The same could be said however if a product the store sells spills, as it is the product of the store itself.
Secondly, and more importantly, the owner must have known about the dangerous condition and had enough time to reasonably react. If a store owner has an employee clean the floors, then obviously he or she is aware of the condition. If, however, another customer spills liquid and the owner is unaware of the issue, the owner then would not be liable. This would of course take into account a reasonable time frame. If the spill happens and immediately after someone slips, the owner is not liable. If there is an hour in between however, the owner might be liable.
Finally, the owner of the property must either correct the dangerous condition or provide sufficient warning. If the wet floor isn’t tried in time, then a sign must be provided warning patrons of the wet floor. If the owner fails to do this, again, within a reasonable time frame, he or she would be liable.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to see what your options are. To learn about how we at the Franco Law Firm can serve you in this way, please call (813) 872-0929 and schedule a free consultation with us today.