When Is a Property Owner Liable In a Slip and Fall Accident

Posted on behalf of Rizk Law on Sep 09, 2013 in Personal Injury

Did you know that if someone slips or trips and falls on your property and you have failed to take appropriate precautions or correct a problem that led to the accident, you will usually be held legally responsible for resulting injuries?

Ice or Snow Accumulation a Risk for Homeowners

Although the law doesn’t require a property owner to remove ice or snow that accumulates outside the building as a result of weather, if conditions on the property cause an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow, the property owner may be liable for slip and fall accidents.

For example, if:

  • Ice accumulates on the roof, melts and drips off, and then refreezes on the ground
  • The sloping surface of a walking surface causes melting ice to form puddles and then refreeze into ice patches

Inadequate Outdoor Lighting Contributes to Accidents

Inadequate lighting may contribute to slip and falls in parking areas, trips over curbing, falls on a step or stairs, and trips and falls due to holes, cracks and uneven surfaces. A property owner may be liable if he or she knew about the poor lighting and failed to remedy the situation.

Uneven Walking Surfaces a Hazard

A property owner is responsible for filling and patching cracks and holes in pavement (not including public sidewalks) and ensuring that differences in height from one section to another is gradual rather than abrupt to prevent tripping or slip and fall injuries.