The vast majority of property owners are diligent and responsible for ensuring their property is safe. Just as the vast majority of people are careful to watch where they walk and to watch out for dangerous situations. It is the few people who do not fall into these categories that cause us to need the court system for justice.
There are several ways a person can slip and fall on someone’s property. The law does not say that every accident is grounds for legal action. However, when a property owner knows they have a problem with their property and they do not take appropriate steps to address it, the legal system must step in.
Types Of Accidents
Below we will address some common issues that occur often. This will give you a general idea if you have a case against a property owner.
However, we urge you to make a call and speak to a qualified premises liability attorney in Coeur d’Alene. Every case is different. You may not have a case, but you will never know until you try. If you were injured on someone else’s property, call an attorney.
Ice, Water, Mud = Wet Floors
This is probably the most common question. When you live in Idaho, you know about snow, frozen rain, slush, and unpredictable weather conditions.
You understand that weather-related problems can create hazards entering and exiting someone’s place of business. Does that mean you can sue them if you fall? The answer is a firm, maybe.
If the snow and ice or rain has recently been deposited and on the property (or if it is continuing), and the maintenance crews have not had a chance to clean it up, then it is unreasonable to think they should have had a clear walk for you to walk on.
However, if the snow fell a day or so ago, and they have opened for business (which would indicate they expect customers and employees), then it would be reasonable to expect the walk to be cleared and properly marked.
Let’s say you are in a grocery store and the refrigerator is leaking on the floor. You would expect that a manager or employee would know there is water on the floor. The water should be cleaned up and wet floor signs placed to protect the public.
However, if you go back later in the day or even on another day and still see the water on the floor, it is obvious that management is not concerned with it. This doesn’t mean you should not use care and try to prevent yourself from being injured. But, if you are injured, you have a pretty firm case against the owner.
● Missing handrails
● Missing lights on walkways
● Broken walkways
● Missing or broken steps
● Blocked exits
Proving Your Case
Take pictures. If you are unable to take pictures, have someone take them for you. Gather names and contact information of any witnesses of the accident. Request medical assistance is called for by management.
If they refuse, call from your own phone. Document anything that anyone says that your attorney should know. For example, if a cashier says, “I told him someone was going to fall!” This is good information.
Obey the instructions of your doctor and attorney. Do not make any statements and do not accept any payments.