The most common places for slip and fall injuries are in business where there is a foreign transitory substance, like water or grease on the floor. On the other hand, trip and fall incidents usually happen outside commercial business. I've handled cases in parking lots, stairs, ramps, carpet, sidewalks, and uneven flooring.
Is slip and fall law different if the injury happens in a residence?
No. If you are invited or are a guest on a person's property. The property owner owes you a duty of reasonable care to keep their residence in a reasonably safe condition and to warn guests about any dangers.
So, it doesn't matter if someone is in his friend's living room or in a supermarket. If the injured person was invited on the property, the owner owes him a duty.
What if the injured person is not invited and shouldn't be on the property?
This person would be considered a trespasser and the property owner only owes a duty to refrain from committing a willful or wanton injury against the trespasser. If the trespasser is a child and is drawn unto the property because of something the owner would know of like a pond or trampoline, then the attractive nuisance doctrine may apply, which lowers the hurdle for the child to bring a claim.
Are more slip and fall claims brought against business or residential property owners?
In my experience more claims are brought in the business context because of shear volume and the difficulty of maintaining large properties. Typically, homes and apartments are smaller and the chance of a dangerous condition lasting a long period of time is much less than a cooler that may be leaking water in a grocery store.
Have you noticed that certain businesses have more problems than others?
In my experience yes. The busier the store, the higher the chance of something going wrong. For instance, if you compare a Wal-Mart store to a Target store, the atmosphere is different in these two stores. A Wal-Mart is typically busier, has more “stuff” around, which increases the chances of of a customer getting injured. On the other hand, Target seems to have larger aisles, the products are displayed more orderly, and there is less volume of customers so the chance of being injured has decreased.
If you would like more information on the particular locations and types of slip, trip and fall claims, Call Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168.
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