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Can you sue for injuries suffered in a slip or trip -and-fall accident?

Imagine that you're out and about doing some holiday shopping when you slip and fall on an icy sidewalk outside of a store or trip and fall on some boxes that were left, by an employee who was stocking the shelves, unattended in a store's aisle. These types of scenarios are all too common and the resulting injuries suffered in trip or slip-and-fall accidents are frequently painful, costly and debilitating.

For an individual who suffers this type of injury and is subsequently left to deal with the related medical bills and diminished physical and earning capacity, it's important to consult with an attorney. Premises liability is the legal term associated with accidents and injuries that occur on private, commercial or government property. When attempting to determine possible negligence on a property owner's part, many factors must be examined and determined.

While some fall accidents that stem from trips and slips truly are just unfortunate accidents, others result solely or in part, because of dangerous conditions. Broken steps, icy sidewalks, precariously stacked boxes, spilled substances and poor or no lighting are all examples of dangerous conditions that may be cited in a premises liability lawsuit as causing or contributing to an individual's injuries.

When attempting to prove that a property owner should be held liable for injuries and therefore provide an accident victim just compensation, the specific circumstances of an accident must be more closely examined. For example, it's important to establish whether an individual was invited onto a property or if he or she was a trespasser at the time the accident occurred. The designation of an injured party helps ensure that individuals who were trespassing on a property with the intent to do the property or property owner harm cannot sue for any injuries suffered while attempting to do so.

In general the courts will examine the circumstances of an accident against, a "standard of reasonableness" with regard to whether or not a plaintiff exercised care and caution while on a property. Additionally, the same standard is used to determine a property owner's responsibility with regard to providing for the safety of the injured party and whether or not, based upon a property's condition, a defendant failed to do so and should therefore be held liable.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?," Nov. 16, 2015

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