Failing To Address Slip-And-Fall Hazards Could Leave Someone Liable For Injuries

When someone slips and falls in front of someone's home or business, the injured person could sue for negligence. Successfully suing or settling for compensation involves proving that the owner, renter, or another responsible party knew a hazard existed. If the plaintiff can prove the individual knew of a dangerous defect but did not promptly address the concern, a liability claim could be well-founded. 

Cracked Surfaces and Broken Steps

If a homeowner does not fix damaged pavements or driveways and allows these surfaces to present slip-and-fall hazards for years, the decision not to perform repairs could reflect negligence. The same may apply to a residential or commercial establishment that never fixes broken steps on a stairwell. Ignoring the dangers a poorly maintained property presents may lead the responsible individual into a personal injury lawsuit. 

Previous Injuries and Near Accidents

Instances in which someone else got hurt or even almost suffered harm could further establish negligence. If someone almost fell down a flight of steps because of a damaged handrail, such an incident would send a significant warning to a property owner that a hazard exists. Refusing to fix the flaw may reflect a blatant dereliction of duty to keep others from suffering harm.

Repeated Warnings Ignored

Complaints from customers and friends about hazards should prompt someone to take action. When people alert the person responsible for maintaining a safe environment that dangers exist, failing to take action could indicate a wanton dereliction of duty. If these persons provide witness statements in a civil case, their comments may establish the defendant knew how severe the dangers were and did nothing.

Poor Excuses Might Not Help

The responsible owner or renter may have several excuses for never addressing a slip-and-fall hazard. If someone spent three days in the hospital after a car accident, it would be challenging for the person to know whether the wind blew strewn trash onto their sidewalk. However, there could be limitations to such excuses, including whether the person took steps to monitor problems while they remained indisposed. Preferring to wait for the seasons to change to perform repairs might not work and could be a terrible excuse when the weather's been mild for weeks, if not months. Not wanting to spend money on repairs while having access to substantial cash or credit may not carry weight. If someone can fix a problem, they could face negligence claims when they purposefully ignore the issue.

Reach out to a personal injury law firm like Siben & Siben LLP to learn more.