Slip-and-fall cases are lawsuits claiming personal injury due to negligence of a property owner, reports Nolo. Determination of slip-and-fall cases depends on the extent of the injury, the possible carelessness of the injured person, and how much the property owner is negligent in preventing the injury.
Slip-and-fall cases may arise because owners of private residences or businesses fail to prevent conditions such as slippery floors, damaged sidewalks, debris, holes or accumulated ice and snow, according to Nolo. For a plaintiff to be able to prove premises liability, the property owner must have caused the dangerous condition, known about it and done nothing, or failed to warn people of the danger. If the dangerous situation is open and obvious or the owner posts a suitable warning sign or properly cordons off the area, the owner is generally not liable. Often determination of a slip-and-fall case is not clear-cut. In assessing responsibility, judges and juries also consider an owner's regular efforts to maintain the property.
An important factor in a slip-and-fall case is whether or not carelessness on the part of the victim contributed to the accident, advises Nolo. An accident victim may have been performing a distracting activity, trespassing in an unauthorized area, or failing to heed a warning sign or obvious indication of danger. Additionally, because slip-and-fall lawsuits are time consuming and costly, accident victims must decide if the extent of the injuries justifies the expense.