Determining fault in a slip and fall accident can be complicated. Several different parties might be responsible for the conditions that led to your injuries:
- Property owner
- Property tenant or lessee
- Property management company
- Contractors or construction companies
- Service providers
- Injury victim
We’ll explain scenarios where each of these parties could be responsible for your slip and fall injuries to help you understand your situation or that of a loved one.
1. Property Owner
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain a safe property for commercial use. Even if the property is leased out to a business for commercial use, the property owner could still be responsible if the tenant or lessee has notified the owner of issues that should be covered under the lease agreement.
For example, the property owner likely maintains responsibility for roof maintenance or other structural aspects that keep water out from leaking onto floors.
2. Property Tenant or Lessee
If the owner is leasing the property to another business, that business becomes responsible for keeping certain aspects of the property safe for visitors. For example, if it’s a convenience store or grocery store, that lessee is responsible for cleaning up spills and maintaining equipment that they own or bring into the building. This might include ice machines or refrigerators that can leak if not properly maintained.
Or, if the lessee doesn’t notify the owner of roof issues or other structural issues, the lessee could be responsible for injuries for failing to uphold their contractual obligations.
3. Property Management Company
If the property owner uses a property management company to maintain the property, that company could be at fault for the accident for failing to respond to issues in a reasonable amount of time.
Injury victims on both commercial and residential properties could look to the property management company for reimbursement of expenses when injured on a property that the company failed to maintain properly.
4. Contractors or Construction Companies
When a construction company or other type of contractor is working on a building, they have a responsibility to inform visitors of dangerous areas with signs or caution tape. Failing to follow protocol on these fronts could mean that they are responsible if an accident happens.
Or if a contractor or construction company fails to create a safe area for visitors, such as forgetting a support beam in a set of stairs or erecting a handrail that does not meet safety standards, the company could be at fault for your injuries.
5. Service Providers
Cleaning companies, delivery drivers, or other service providers that service the property could be at fault for a slip and fall accident. When cleaning or completing maintenance on a building that is open to the public, the cleaning company must put up signs or inform the public of hazards during cleaning.
6. The Injury Victim
Sometimes, the only person responsible for a slip and fall accident is the person sustaining the injuries. You still have an obligation to look out for hazards even when in a commercial space. If you don’t do your part to avoid an accident, you could be liable for your injuries.
Always look where you’re going and be cautious when you see a hazard, such as a sheet of ice in a parking lot or a spill in a grocery store. Failing to do your part could leave you paying for the injuries you sustain.
Ultimately, determining fault in a slip and fall accident comes down to who was negligent leading to the accident. With so many possible parties involved in such an accident, hiring an expert to guide you in the best next steps for your case is wise. Stewart & Stewart knows how to investigate a slip and fall accident to determine fault and pursue damages from the at-fault party. Schedule your free consultation now.