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What are Slip And Fall?

Slip and fall law refers to the liability rules governing cases in which an individual falls to the ground and suffers harm due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property.

Whether it happens at the grocery store or a friend's house, slip and fall accidents occur fairly often.

LawSumo Slip and Fall Injuries section provide both the basics and some in-depth information about slip and fall liability.

As a subset of personal injury law, these cases are controlled by the basic rules of negligence. Unless an accident occurs on federal government property, state law will control. Violations of local building code ordinances can also be relevant.

In some instances, the property owner is responsible for the injured party's injuries, and in others, the property owner will not be held liable.


Despite the reference to a “slip,” this area of the law covers any accident that results from the victim encountering an unsafe condition underfoot, whether it produces a stumble, overextension, twist, or other movements.

Direct causes can include spilled liquids or food, cracked sidewalks, objects on the stairs, ice and snow, broken floor tiles, uneven steps, and potholes. Indirect causes, such as dim lighting or missing handrails, can also contribute. 

Slip and fall accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Although sometimes people just trip and fall, there are various conditions both indoors and outdoors that can make a slip and fall accident more likely.

Some common reasons for a slip and fall accident indoors are because the floor is wet, improperly waxed, or if a carpet is torn or bulging. Outdoors, the weather, such as ice or snow, and inadequate lighting can play a role in a slip and fall accident. Another common reason for a slip and fall injury is the poor maintenance of parking lots or sidewalks.

Whether someone acted negligently will depend on what they knew. This is especially true in slip and fall cases, as the defendant’s knowledge of the dangerous condition will usually be determinative.

The plaintiff is entitled to find out what the defendant knew through a procedure called discovery. During discovery, the defendant can be forced to turn over maintenance records, repair logs, surveillance video, and other such items.

By securing this evidence early in the litigation, both the plaintiff and the defendant gain an understanding of the circumstances that led to the accident and the degree of fault that can be attributed the defendant

Generally speaking, a property owner has a duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions on his or her property.

If a person who is injured on another's property can show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, and didn't fix it, it's likely that the injured person will be able to win his or her case.Deposition testimony is crucial in a negligence case.

Of course, there are various factors that come into play, such as how long the dangerous condition had been present and the injured person's own conduct.

Taking into account the severity of the injury, both sides can then determine what they believe the case is worth, and settlement negotiations will ensue.