Slip and Fall Cases are often lumped together with Trip and Fall Cases in the personal injury world. They are both subcategories of the Premises Liability Cases (visit that page on our website for more information) and have the same negligence elements wherein an injured party must show that the owner owed a duty to the injured party. The injured party must prove a breach of that duty which proximately caused the injury.
The truth is that these are two distinct types of personal injury lawsuits, though there is a significant amount of overlap between the two. Although there are a number of types of Slip and Fall Cases, the most common are probably foreign substance cases such as oil spills. The most common trip and fall cases are defective condition cases such as uneven sidewalk cases.
Both types of cases require that the property owner have actual or constructive notice of the condition or that the property owner actually created the condition in order for them to be liable for the incident and resulting injuries. The owner may also be given proper notice if such notice is given to the owner’s agents and/or employees. Dangerous, defective or hazardous conditions must be remedied in a timely fashion to avoid accidents and injuries. There are special procedures that need to be followed when the accident occurs on Municipal Property (visit that page on our site for more information).
The term “Actual Notice” simply means that the property owner was actually informed of the condition. Having been actually informed of the condition, the owner had the duty to remedy the condition and eliminate the possibility that the incident could lead to injuries to those individuals present on the property.
The term “Constructive Notice” means that they may not have been directly informed of the condition as is the case in actual notice. Instead, had they been reasonable in the maintenance of the premises, they would have become aware of the condition. For example, if the glass front door to a store is significantly cracked for a period of time, the owner should be aware of that. Any reasonable inspection of the premises would uncover the defect. When a property owner is deemed to have constructive notice of a defective condition, they must remedy the condition in a timely fashion to avoid injuries to individuals present on their property.
The term “Created the Danger” refers to a property owner who created the defective condition. When an owner creates a condition that is dangerous, they are not required to be given subsequent notice of the condition to be liable. They are liable because they caused the danger by creating the condition in the first place.
Another consideration in these cases is whether the injured party was legally present at the location of the accident at the time it occurred. Some unique twists and legal concepts arise in these cases when illegal conduct is involved. An even more complicated set of circumstances occurs in cases when a person wanders into an area that was restricted in some manner (i.e. taped off or barricaded off). Interesting fact patterns arise where there are arguments of whether restricted markings are clearly understandable to reasonable persons.
As in all types of personal injury cases, slip and fall/trip and fall injuries can range from minor to significant. Victims are often left unable to work. They are in extraordinary pain. This leaves the victim and their families in a position where their entire lives are changed.
Here at the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC, we know what steps need to be taken quickly to preserve your rights and protect your claims. There are no do overs if you do not act quickly and precisely. That is why it is in your best interest to have us on your side. We are here for you and as always, the initial consultation and case evaluation is free.
If you or a loved one have been injured and are suffering due to an accident on someone else’s property, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620. We are here for you!