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Premises liability after a slip-and-fall accident

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Personal Injury

Whenever you step onto another person’s property in Michigan, you can expect the premises to be safe. All property owners must ensure the safety of their invited guests or visitors. If a property owner is aware of a hazard before you arrive, he or she must either resolve the issue or provide you with fair warning. This is true for indoor premises as well as external properties, such as a backyard or a parking lot.  

If you suffer injury because of a slip-and-fall accident or other incident occurring on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for seeking financial recovery for your losses against the individual or group who had control over the property where your injuries took place. The legal term for this type of proceeding is “premises liability” litigation. Certain elements must exist for you to achieve a favorable ruling in court.  

What constitutes premises liability? 

If the elements shown in the following list existed at the time of your slip-and-fall accident, it increases your chance of achieving a victory in court when filing a premises liability claim: 

  • The defendant was in control of the property and owed a duty of care. 
  • Negligence occurred.  
  • The negligence that occurred resulted in injury.  

You must prove to the court that the defendant was aware of a potential hazard or should have been aware of it but did nothing to warn you about it or resolve it before you accessed the property. Warning you might include something as simple as roping off a set of stairs and posting a “Danger! Keep Off!” sign.  

Slip-and-fall injuries are often quite severe 

If you suffer injuries after a slip-and-fall accident, you have an increased chance of developing a chronic pain problem. This is because slip-and-fall accidents often cause neck or back injuries, which, in turn, often lead to ongoing health problems. If you fall down a flight of stairs or take a tumble on a slippery surface, you might suffer a severe sprain or fracture. Hitting your head during a fall could result in a traumatic brain injury.  

Extensive medical care may be necessary after a slip-and-fall accident, perhaps including surgery or physical therapy. Your doctor might prescribe narcotics to help manage your pain — which are often high risk for addiction. Slip-and-fall injuries might necessitate taking a lot of time off work during recovery, which could spur financial distress. The compensation awarded by the court in a premises liability claim can help offset expenses and financial strain associated with a slip-and-fall accident.