Wilson Law Offices, PLLC
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Charleston, West Virginia, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney

Personal Injury Newsletter

Proving Liability for a Slip and Fall Injury

There is no concise formula to determine whether injuries sustained from a fall are the responsibility of another. Each case is individually evaluated to see if the business or property owner was careful to prevent any injuries. The injured individual is also evaluated to see if they were acting carelessly when the slip and fall took place. In order for a property or business owner, or one of their employees, to be held liable for a slip and fall injury, the following are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The property owner, business owner or their employee(s):

  • Must have caused a rough spot, a slippery situation, or a bulge or tear in the flooring of the premises
  • Must have known that there was a dangerous area on their premises, but did nothing to alleviate the problem
  • Should have known that there was a dangerous area on the premises because a person in their situation would have taken precautions to remedy the danger

Determining Reasonable Care of a Property or Business

Property and business owners have a duty to protect visitors, patrons or customers on their property from harm. However, their legal duty to protect their visitors, patrons or customers is based upon a reasonableness standard. A reasonableness standard is one in which an ordinary person in the shoes of the business or property owner would have done or not done something in order to make their business or property safe. Here are some questions to determine if the business or property owner used reasonable care to ensure the safety of others:

  • Had the dangerous spot on the premises been there long enough that the owner had ample time to correct the problem?
  • Does the owner have a documented procedure, regularly used, to prevent and remedy dangerous situations on the property?
  • Did poor lighting or broken or burnt-out lights contribute to the problem area?
  • Limitations on Intra-Family Lawsuits
    Over the years, intra-family immunity from lawsuits against other family members developed; “parental immunity” and “spousal immunity.” Some have suggested that these immunities were part of a body of rules that... Read more.
  • Recoverable Damages and the Collateral Source Rule
    In addition to laws passed by legislatures, there exists a body of principles derived from court decisions and other judicial sources called the “common law.” Courts frequently rely on common law in deciding cases. One... Read more.
  • Franchisors Might be Liable for Franchisee Actions
    An increasing array of goods and services are offered through “franchises.” Franchising is not a new concept, but it has exploded in popularity; according to statistics compiled by Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2005 (the... Read more.
  • An Overview of Structured Settlements
    There are numerous legal situations in which a person may receive a large sum of money through a court award or settlement. Often arising as compensation for personal injuries or other acts, most such payouts are reduced due to some or... Read more.
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