What Are the Grounds for Filing a Slip-and-fall Accident Claim?

A slip-and-fall accident claim, also known as a trip-and-fall, is a type of personal injury claim you can file when you encounter a slipping accident on someone's property that results in injury. The premises liability law holds owners responsible for property safety. They should observe the safety procedures of building and maintaining safe premises. Therefore, you can sue the owner for an accident on their premises if you suspect negligence and safety violations.

However, for the lawsuit to hold, the fall or accident must have occurred due to the property manager's or owner's negligence and ignorance. Consider consulting your attorney before filing the claim. Experienced lawyers will advise you on the best move and help you gather evidence to build a successful slip-and-fall claim. That said, here are some of the grounds or conditions for filling a slip and fall accident claim:

1. Owner Negligence

The most common ground for filing a slip-and-fall accident claim is owner negligence. Property owners are responsible for ensuring their premises are well-maintained and safe. Alternatively, if there are areas that shouldn't be used for safety reasons, they should provide warnings of faulty conditions that can result in an accident, whether minor or significant.

When filing a slip-and-fall claim, you must provide enough evidence to prove the owner failed to maintain the proper conditions of their premises. However, you should note that the liability can also fall on the tenant or occupier because they're also responsible for maintaining safe spaces, correcting and warning of any problems in their rental areas.

Determining whom to sue between the owner and the occupier can be challenging, especially when unfamiliar with the legal processes. You should, therefore, hire a slip and fall lawyer to help you with the claim.

Generally, the lawsuit falls under the occupier if the accident occurred in a rented space. It may also fall on the owner if they're responsible for all repairs and maintenance in the building. For instance, you could file a lawsuit against the occupier if the accident resulted from a wet floor in their area of residence. In contrast, you file a claim against the owner if it happened in common rooms maintained by the owner.

2. Hazardous Conditions

Another ground for filing a slip-and-fall claim is hazardous conditions. Owner negligence is one thing to consider, but accidents may also result from poor or faulty artistry. However, for the claim to hold, the owner's failure to rectify the condition must cause the injury. Some of these hazardous conditions that can result in a slip-and-fall include the following:

  • Slippery floors: It's one of the major causes of slip-and-fall cases. It could be a result of a waxed or greased surface or because of a wet floor.

  • Defective handrails: This can also cause a significant slip-and-fall injury. You rely on railings when climbing stairs, and you can lose your grip and fall if the rail is defective.

  • Poor lighting: The surface may be even, level, and dry, but you can still fall without adequate lighting. Property owners are responsible for ensuring all areas are well-lit, from the stairways to the sidewalks and garages.

These are some of the hazardous conditions likely to result in a slip-and-fall accident. Such accidents can also occur due to missing and broken steps, uneven surfaces, cracked sideways, and loose floorboards.

When presenting your lawsuit, you must also factor in the 'Open and Obvious Defense.' The law protects property owners from premises liability claims when the cause of the fall is discoverable. In such cases, the defense argues that you should have avoided the danger as it was evident and noticeable.

Unfortunately, many dangerous conditions, like broken and missing handrails and steps, fall under this category. To win the lawsuit, you must prove the situation was either:

  • Unreasonably hazardous: The condition is unreasonably dangerous if the danger is extreme, resulting in significant harm or death.

  • Effectively unavoidable: These circumstances involve accidents and situations you can't avoid and usually apply when you get into an accident as you try to exit a building.

There are also cases when you're partly at fault. Say you're on a call or using your phone, set foot on a broken step, and fall down the stairs. In this case, you can still file a trip-and-fall claim, but you'll be accountable for a certain percentage of the fault, and your compensation will be reduced depending on your portion of the liability as determined by the court.


You can file for a slip-and-fall accident claim if you get into an accident on someone's property. However, the lawsuit's success will depend on the circumstances that led to the accident. For one, there must be proof of negligence and safety code violations. Hazardous conditions prove that the owner violated the safety code put in place to protect renters and people coming into the building.

Winning a slip-and-fall claim may need a lot of work. Ideally, you need legal help from a qualified professional to know if your case will hold in a court of law and to exploit all your legal options. This depends on your state, as the requirements vary when presenting a lawsuit in court. An experienced attorney will help you meet these requirements and understand the statute of limitations in your state of jurisdiction.

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