Often, when people slip and fall in a grocery store, hotel, or other property, they feel embarrassed and would rather not call any further attention to themselves. However, if you slipped and fell because there was a hazardous condition that could or should have been prevented or remedied, you may be able to seek compensation from the owner of the property.
Slips and falls can occur anywhere there is a wet or slippery floor or surface. They happen a lot in grocery stores and restaurants where liquids often get spilled and not cleaned up promptly. Rainy weather can create slippery conditions inside the door as people drip and track water when they enter. They often occur on stairways that property owners and those they hire to manage their properties sometimes neglect to keep clean and in good condition.
Typically, you have the right to bring a claim against a property owner if you can show that there was a hazardous condition that they knew about or should have been known about and fixed or at least roped off or put a warning sign out.
Exceptions for trespassers
Another issue to consider is whether someone was on a property legally. Obviously, if you’re in a store or hotel as a customer or guest, you’re not a trespasser. If someone is, however, unlawfully on a property, they typically can’t hold a property owner liable for harm caused by a condition on the property unless the harm was malicious. A property owner setting a “trap” to intentionally hurt trespassers is one example.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a slip-and-fall or any other kind of accident that you believe was the result of the property owner or their employees’ negligence, don’t sign away your rights by signing a liability waiver provided by an insurance company who has made you an offer.
Don’t accept a quick settlement simply because it likely not enough money to cover your medical bills and other expenses. Some falls can cause broken bones, head injuries and other potentially serious issues far into the future.
Having legal guidance can help you protect your rights.