Snow, Ice…Slip and Fall Liability

January 22, 2016 | Slip and Fall Accidents

As the winter season drags on here in Indianapolis, snow piles up, parking lots are often poorly groomed, and icy sidewalks can create dangerous situations for pedestrians and shoppers. While risks are often more pronounced through the first couple of snowfalls, as everyone is adjusting to the change in conditions, the cause to be extra careful is present anytime temperatures are around or below freezing.

You’ve heard of “slip and fall”, but do you know what it means? Who can be held responsible in the event of an injury? Falls on commercial or residential property can be extremely dangerous and can cause lasting damage to victims. 

Slip and fall injuries fall under the general category of negligence. Property owners or management companies are required to exercise reasonable care to ensure that those who enter the property are safe from harm. Whether cleaning up spills, melting sidewalk ice, or marking dangerous areas, it is important that commercial and residential owners take appropriate care of property to prevent accidents, including falls.

While many slip and fall cases involve commercial properties, private property owners may also be held liable in the event of slip and fall or other accident if they have failed to address a defect in a reasonable amount of time, or warn of a potential danger.

Juries will consider a number of different steps to determine whether a property acted reasonably to prevent an accident. To prove knowledge or reasonable care, a victim may present video or surveillance evidence, pictures or witness statements. The longer that a property owner had knowledge of a deficiency without addressing it, the more likely it is they will be held liable for negligence.

Slip and fall accidents can result in severe and permanent injury, and in some cases, accidental death. Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, long-term care, pain and suffering, lost wages and additional costs related to the accident and injury.