Understanding Tenants’ Legal Liability in Slip & Fall Accidents

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, your first concern will probably be to attend to your health needs. After that? You’ll probably be thinking about who is to blame for your accident. Is the accident your fault? Can you blame someone else for not putting that “careful, wet floor” sign out? Furthermore, can you receive compensation to help pay for imminent doctor bills and lost wages? Your ability to do this hinges on proving that an act of negligence has occurred.

When it comes to slip and fall cases, you’ve probably heard the phrase “premises liability.” This is the body of law that states a person in possession of land is responsible for injuries sustained by those who are present on the premises. But to what degree must an owner be responsible? How is “negligence” defined? If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the legal team at Green Law Firm will diligently review your case to assess if an act of negligence has occurred! Let’s review how negligence is defined when applied to slip and fall accidents on various types of property.

Tenant Legal Liability in Residential Buildings

When you rent an apartment or a house and experience a slip and fall accident, can your landlord be held liable? As with all slip and fall cases, without negligence, there can be no liability. Without liability, there is no case! Look beyond the obvious, and we can dig a bit deeper into understanding the importance of how and where an accident occurs. Remember that simply having an accident does not mean that a negligent act occurred. Sometimes, accidents are simply accidents.

For the landlord to be deemed negligent, they must have:

  • Caused (or failed to prevent) the dangerous condition
  • Known (or should have known) that a dangerous condition existed and done nothing to address it

Inside Your Apartment…
If something happens inside your apartment that is a potential danger but your landlord is not notified, there is (seemingly) no way for them to know about this danger. If a slip and fall results from this, in most cases, you would be unable to prove the landlord negligent in case there previously existed such conditions that would have made it clear and obvious that a potential danger existed. If, however, you notify the landlord of the potential danger and they do nothing to address this and a slip and fall occurs, they may be liable for your accident.

In a common area or outside…
Again, the big difference here is understanding what a landlord is responsible for. If, for example, someone spills coffee in the lobby and you happen to slip on it, your landlord probably won’t be responsible for that. If, however, a broken step remains unfixed for a period, after the landlord has been notified, and an accident occurs then they probably will be held responsible. Still confused? Let the experts at Green Law Firm help straighten things out for you!

Tenants Liability in Commercial Establishments

Perhaps the most common type of slip and fall accident is one someone makes in a commercial space like a store or mall. If you sustain an injury while on the grounds of business, can you file a claim against the store for damages? As with all premises liability cases, the big concept is the idea of negligence. Was the store or business negligent, and did that negligence cause your accident?

Not all accidents are the direct result of negligence. Sometimes, accidents are simply that…accidents. They must be carefully examined and determined to determine why was there a dangerous condition on the premises in the first place?

For example, was there excessive floor polish or wax? Snow, water or ice? Grease? Food debris? Also, it must be determined how long the condition was unsafe. For example, if someone “just” dropped coffee on the floor and someone slips on it immediately after, this would be deemed an accident and not an act of negligence. However, if the coffee sat spilled on the floor, untouched for 30 minutes after the management had been notified of the condition, and someone slipped on it then this would be seen as an act of negligence.

Then, one must address the idea of who would be sued. In a slip and fall at a business, would you sue the landlord or the store owner? Who is ultimately held responsible for what happens on the property premises is determined by the specifics of the lease involved. This is where Green Law Firm can step in and assist! We understand all the subtle intricacies of premises liability law and will help to build you the strongest case possible and receive the maximum compensation.

Government Buildings in Slip and Fall Accidents

If you should happen to have a slip and fall accident on a government building, can you sue the government for your damages? It sounds dramatic and, to an untrained eye, it might seem like the opportunity to score some big bucks. The truth, however, is that slip and fall accidents on state and federal land must be judged with the same liability scrutiny that all premises liability cases are.

The government is only responsible for a slip and fall accident if you can successfully prove the following things. First, that an employee or the governing entity was negligent in their actions. Second, that this negligence directly caused your accident.

Also, there are very strict rules and deadlines that must be followed if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against the government. The first of these is the requirement of giving notice. This means you must file a formal notice of your injury with the correct governing entity. This statement needs to include:

  • The injured party name and contact info
  • A detailed account of the injury and how the accident transpired
  • A statement expressing that you believe the government was negligent and how this negligence directly caused your injury to occur
  • A detailed overview of your injuries and the accrued medical bills and financial losses assumed because of it

The devil is in the details! When it comes to filing against the government, the mistakes are to be found in the seemingly small details. For example, the deadline for filing such a notice can be as short as 30 days! Also, it is crucial that you file your notice with the correct governmental office. If you slip and fall in front of a government building, is the state responsible or the federal government? Depending on the specific type of lease involved, the “owning” body may vary. This is why it’s imperative you retain the services of an experienced legal team. Bill Green will make sure that your deadlines are met, the proper government bodies are involved and your case is as strong as possible. There are mandated limits to how much you can claim in damages from the government. These limits can be way under $100,000.

Green Law Firm Slip and Fall Lawyers Will Protect Your Rights

When it boils down to it, creating a strong slip and fall case hinges on evidence and interpretation. It’s exceptionally hard to prove that an act of negligence occurred! After a slip and fall accident, you may be seeking medical treatment, overwhelmed and in pain. You may be focussed on what you need and not how to accomplish it. Green Law Firm can step in after an accident has occurred and review your case to set you up for success. We’ll take your case without any initial money up front; we are paid based only on the amount that you are awarded! Call us toll free at 888-800-2455 for a risk-free assessment today!