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Property conditions and areas leading to slip-and-fall injuries

A slip-and-fall accident is the most common cause of a legal action for personal injury. These types of incidents can occur at any time throughout the year and can result from adverse weather conditions or improper property maintenance. When such an incident occurs on the premises of a property owner and they failed to meet their standard of care in maintaining or correcting the condition that caused the slip, they may be liable for any resulting injuries under premises liability.

There are various conditions and areas that may lead to a slip-and-fall injury. For buildings where ice and snow have accumulated outside, the owner of the building is typically not required to remove it. When the accumulation is abnormal in any way due to a condition on the property, the building may have liability to those injured. This may be present when a parking surface creates ice patches, or a clogged drain causes snow on a roof to drip and freeze on the ground.

Property owners who fail to properly light their premises may also face liability for any resulting injuries. Such lighting may lead to trips on curbs, trips on stairways and slips in holes or cracks. If the property owner was aware of the condition, they should have corrected it.

The same holds true for owners of parking lots, as cracks and holes may lead to injuries. Additionally, variances in height throughout the parking lot should not be so severe that it creates a dangerous condition for those walking on it. Finally, for public sidewalks, property owners are typically not liable for slip-and-fall injuries. However, if a sidewalk is used exclusively by customers for a business, the business owner may be liable for any injuries that occur.

Source: Findlaw, "Conditions Leading to Outdoor Slip and Fall Accidents," accessed on Aug. 9, 2015

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