The Difference between Slip and Falls and Premise Liability Cases
“Slip and fall” and “premise liability” are often used interchangeably – but incorrectly. These two legal terms do not necessarily mean the same thing. To understand the difference, think of premise liability as more of an umbrella term that encompasses slip and falls as well as a range of other types of claims.
What is premise liability?
Premise liability refers to a person or business’s responsibility to maintain safe conditions on their property. When they neglect to do so, and someone sustains an injury because of the property owner’s negligence, premise liability comes into play. To win a premise liability case, the offended party must be able to prove that the owner of the property was negligent regarding property maintenance. Merely being injured on someone else’s property is not enough for a premise liability case; neither is the fact that the property was in an unsafe condition. You must prove that the owner was aware or should have been aware of the hazardous situation and nonetheless neglected to remedy the problem.
Premise liability examples
Premise liability includes a wide range of scenarios. As mentioned above, slip and fall cases are one type of premise liability. Other examples of premise liability include inadequate maintenance, snow, and ice accidents, inadequate security, elevator accidents, swimming pool accidents, dog bites, amusement park accidents, toxic chemicals, fires, and water leaks.
In the case of slip and falls, you must prove that the owner was negligent in some way that caused your fall. For example, defective staircases, wet floors, ice accumulation, unsecured rugs, or loose floorboards. However, it’s important to note that your negligence plays a part as well. For example, was your reason for being in a dangerous area legitimate? Were there warnings posted? Were you distracted in a way that made slipping and falling more likely – for instance, walking while staring at your phone or running or jumping in an area where walking was more reasonable?
Another example is that of inadequate security. Let’s say that someone enters an apartment building through an unlocked door and assaults a resident or guest. That person may have a viable premise liability case against the owner of the building if they can prove that the owner failed to take reasonable precautions to make sure the building was secured. Likewise, if someone leaves their swimming pool open and unsupervised and someone wanders in and gets hurt. The point is that a property owner must take reasonable steps to ensure that their premises are safe, in a well-kept condition, and secure.
Thus, a slip and fall case is only one type of premise liability case. Even though the two are closely related, they are two different things.
About Corradino & Papa, LLC
If you have sustained an injury on someone else’s property and you believe that the owner was negligent and that this negligence contributed to your injury, contact Corradino & Papa, LLC. We are committed to protecting our clients’ rights and well-being and making sure that responsible parties answer for their negligence. To find out more about how Corradino & Papa, LLC can help, contact us here.