Whenever someone gets seriously injured after slipping and falling on the premises of a business, the natural instinct is to hold the business owner responsible for creating or not removing a dangerous hazard. In most cases, the business owner should be held liable, but there are a few cases where they may not be at fault for the slip and fall accident.
That is why it is important that you first contact an experienced personal injury attorney after suffering a slip and fall on someone else’s property. They can provide you with help determining liability before you jump the gun and make a slip and fall claim against the wrong person. That could just end up wasting valuable time that could be spent going after the real culprit who is responsible for your injury.
There Are No Dangerous Conditions on the Property
In many cases when someone slips and falls in a store or some other kind of business, it is usually because of a hazard like a slippery floor. But there are also cases where the person who slipped and fell was at fault for their accident. If someone was looking too closely at their phone and tripped over a display case, then the business owner should not be held liable. That is because it could be reasonably argued that anyone who was paying attention would have seen the display and avoided it.
The business owner is only liable for accidents that occurred on their property that were caused by negligence on their part. They cannot be held liable for mistakes or negligence on the part of their visitors.
The Person Was Not Hurt By the Slip and Fall Accident
A slip and fall accident is a subset of personal injury cases and one of the elements of a personal injury case is that someone got injured due to the negligence of another. So if someone experienced a slip and fall but did not get hurt, then they have no grounds to file a claim.
One could easily make the argument that the business owner was being negligent by not removing or warning visitors about a hazardous condition, but unless that condition led to someone getting hurt, then they cannot be liable for anything. So getting into an accident is not sufficient grounds for a slip and fall claim, the accident has to lead to an injury before a claim can be filed.
The Business Owner Could Not Have Reacted in Time to Fix the Dangerous Condition
If a dangerous condition lingers without being addressed by the business owner and it ends up causing an accident, then they should be held accountable. However, if a condition and the accident it caused occurred so quickly that no attentive person could have reacted in time, then the business owner should not be held liable. For example, a customer accidentally spills a bottle of wine that causes the floor to get slippery, a store worker notices and immediately goes to fetch the materials needed to clean it up.
While they are obtaining the cleaning materials, another customer slips and falls and gets hurt because of the spill. The store owner should not be held liable because they reacted as quickly as they could to fix the situation. If the spill was there for a while without being cleaned up, then the store owner could be held liable for any accidents that occurred because of it.
Make Sure The Business Owner is Responsible Before Filing a Claim
As you can see, there are many slip and fall situations where the business owner is not at fault so you need to make sure that there is someone to blame before you file a slip and fall claim. If you do end up filing a claim when the business owner is not responsible, then you could be in for a long legal battle that you may not be able to win. So make sure to contact a slip and fall lawyer to review your case before filing a claim. They can help you to determine whether you have a valid claim or not.
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