Elements of a Slip and Fall Case

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In a now infamous 2009 Maricopa county premises liability scam, a couple entered a department store and attempted to stage a slip and fall incident using a hot dog. Security cameras caught the man 'planting' the hot dog and the woman intentionally 'slipping' on it moments later. Slip and fall lawsuits brought large cash settlements in days past.

Today, premises liability cases are still common, though not every case results in a slam-dunk, big cash payout. An attorney can determine if a case contains these essential elements:

  1. A plaintiff who is injured – there must be a person who sought medical attention for an injury that resulted from the incident on the premises
  2. A duty – there must be a direct connection between the place of the accident and the responsibility of the owner to keep it free from danger
  3. A hazard that caused the injury – it must be clear that the obstacle, spill or object caused the plaintiff to fall or trip
  4. Notice – it must be evident that the defendant knew or should have known that the condition might have caused injury

Comparative negligence is an additional element that is considered in a premises liability lawsuit. When a plaintiff pursues compensation for an injury incurred during a fall on public or private property, both the owner of the property and the victim are held to some degree of responsibility for the accident.

Despite the reasonable care a business or property owner takes to maintain a safe environment on its premises, accidents do happen. As many as 20,000 Americans die of falls suffered on various premises. Other common slip-and-fall related injuries are:

  • Broken legs, arms, hips
  • Sprained ankles, wrists
  • Broken teeth
  • Facial lacerations, bruising
  • Soft tissue injuries to shoulder, neck and spine