Proving Liability in a Slip & Fall Case
A slip and fall case will take shape in similar ways to that of a premises liability case. In both, it is generally assumed that the property owner or premises manager should be held responsible for ensuring that their premises are safely maintained and free of any hazards. In proving liability, the following elements need to be proven:
- The unsafe area must have been caused by the owner of the premises (or an employee).
- The responsible party who knew about the dangerous area did nothing to make it safer or to warn others.
- The owner failed to follow the actions of what a "reasonable person" would have done in the same situation.
When business owners, managers, or store personnel fail to maintain safety regulations (i.e. well-lit hallways, dry walkways, unobstructed paths, etc.) the potential for slipping and falling is tremendous.
Unfortunately, these are accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries.
What Causes Slip & Falls? How Can You Prevent It?
Slip and fall injuries can occur because of defective floors or slippery work conditions. There may be a lack of adequate signage that bars workers from entering work areas where floors are prone to slipping. When safety guardrails and personnel restraints are not available or properly employed, falls can occur from elevated positions. Falls are a major cause of injuries on a construction site, with falls from scaffolding, cranes, forklifts, and trucks accounting for a majority of the accidents. The frequency of slip and fall accidents can be greatly reduced if proper fall protection systems are in place. Employers must recognize fall hazards in the form of holes on the working surface, or unsafe conditions that may result in a fall like windy weather, and provide for adequate safety systems, body belts, harnesses, and guardrails for worker protection.
- Inspecting fall protection systems frequently
- Clear warnings to keep workers away from known hazards
- Guarding any holes on a site larger than 12 in x 12 in
- Compelling employers to make concrete commitments to fall prevention
- Regularly inspecting known slip-and-fall hazards
- Sufficient lighting that illuminates all areas of the workplace
- Providing high-traction footwear to all workers working on slippery surfaces
- Providing high-traction footwear when the weather creates a more slippery workplace
- Prohibiting forklift and tractor operators from carrying personnel
- Thoroughly recording and investigating any slip-and-fall accident in the workplace
Our Houston Slip & Fall Lawyers Can Fight for You: Call (888) 493-1629
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, then you should not wait to speak with a top-rated Houston premises liability attorney from Arnold & Itkin LLP. In most cases, we will need to launch an investigation to determine the slip resistance of the walking surface upon which you fell. Special devices such as the pendulum tester and the BOT-3000 can be used to identify whether the walking surface was at the proper level of resistance. If it was above or below the threshold, then you could have a case on your hands.
At Arnold & Itkin, we're committed to pursuing just compensation for our clients. To find out how we can help you, contact us for a free case evaluation. We are here to help you!