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When (And Who) Can You Sue for a Slip & Fall Injury?

When (And Who) Can You Sue for a Slip & Fall Injury?

When Can You Sue For a Slip & Fall Injury?

The rules for imposing liability for slip and fall lawsuits are based on a subset of tort law called "premises liability law." Under these rules, negligence is required for you to sue for an injury resulting from a fall on someone else's property.

Whether the property owner or renter can be considered negligent will depend on whether they owed you a duty that was breached. The duty that is owed to visitors to a property is established based on the status of the visitor. For example:

  • Those invited to a public store to do business are called invitees. If you slip and fall at a grocery store because of a wet floor or a banana peel that hasn't been cleaned up, you will be considered an invitee. When invitees are present, premises liability law requires the owner/renter of the property inspect for dangers and either warn of hazards or make those hazards safe.
  • Those invited to a friend or acquaintance's house for a casual visit are called licensees. If you slip and fall at a neighbor's house because of rickety steps or some other hazard, you will be considered a licensee. When licensees are present, premises liability law only requires the owner/renter to warn or make safe hazards that are known or that should reasonably be known.
  • Those who enter a property unlawfully and without the owner'a/renter's permission are considered trespassers. Even trespassers are given some protection, in that property owners can't create traps to injure them.

If you can prove a duty was owed and breached, then you may be able to sue for your slip and fall injuries. You will also need to prove that the breach was the direct cause of your injury and that it wouldn't have happened had the required care been taken.

Who Can You Sue For a Slip and Fall Injury?

You may sue the owner of the property and/or the renter of the property who is in control of the premises. For instance, if you visit an apartment and are injured in the common area, the landlord would be the best potential defendant. If you are injured in the apartment itself, then the renter would likely be the one held responsible.

Filing Suit

Determining when and who to sue for a slip and fall injury can become complex, especially if there are multiple potential defendants or if one or more defendants is alleging that you were responsible for the fall. The attorneys at Wolf & Pravato have experience with slip and fall cases and can help you to sort out who should compensate you for the loss you have endured.

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