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Who is at Fault for a Slip and Fall Injury?

When a surface is slippery or uneven, it poses a risk for slipping and falling. Every day people injure themselves due to surfaces that are not safe. Though these injuries can sometimes be as simple as a bruise or abrasion, occasionally they are much more serious and a person can suffer broken bones, a head injury or paralysis due to these accidents. 

When such an accident occurs, an injured person may have the right to sue for their injuries. Premises liability law is designed to address situations in which a property owner or manager fails to properly maintain his or her property and a person is risked as a result. This type of law includes situations in which a person is injured due to slipping or tripping on improper surfaces. In order to successfully bring such a claim, a claimant must meet the standard for negligence. This type of civil claim requires the showing of duty, breach and injury. 

The element of duty involves a showing that a person was required to maintain a surface. In most situations, storeowners and other commercial property managers are required to keep their surfaces free of hazards. 

To proceed with his or her case, a plaintiff must show that a person failed to meet their duty. Such a breach includes the caveat that defendants have only the duty to protect against reasonable and foreseeable risks. For example, if someone has spilled a liquid and, seconds later, a person slips on that liquid, the storeowner may not be found negligent as they cannot be expected to protect against all dangers the moment they arise. 

Finally, a plaintiff must be injured as a result of that breach. This may seem obvious to some people, but many claimants fail to recognize that it is not enough to simply fall on a slippery surface. They must also be injured as a result of that fall. If a person falls and is uninjured, he or she cannot seek damages because there were no damages. He or she must have suffered real and measurable damages to successfully bring a negligence claim. 

To learn more about your options for a premises liability claim, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson in New York.

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