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Did your slip and fall accident occur on others' property?

Maybe a friend had left his garden hose out in a tangled snarl, and you tripped when walking up to the house at dusk. Perhaps you slipped on spilled liquid and took a tumble in a local market.

Either way, you're left with a painful injury and medical bills that you can't afford to pay. Do you have the right to sue?

Possibly, but it might not come to that. Most businesses and -- it is hoped -- friends will have insurance policies that cover just these types of incidents. You may be able to simply open a claim and receive compensation for your slip and fall injuries and other losses.

But this is not a perfect world, so there will be scenarios where this doesn't occur. If this is the case for you, you may have to file a lawsuit to recoup your financial losses.

However, simply falling down on property owned by somebody other than you doesn't automatically mean that the property owners are liable for your injuries. To pursue a successful claim, you will need to prove that they were remiss in their duty to maintain their premises -- in other words, negligent.

Improper lighting can cause someone to fall if they cannot see where they are going and/or any hazards that lie ahead. So can failing to clean up spills promptly after they occur.

What it usually comes down to is a question of whether the owner of the property knew or should have known that the hazard existed, yet didn't take the steps necessary to fix the problem. If you are able to prove this, it's likely that you will prevail.

Source: FindLaw, "Slip and Fall Injuries," accessed June 08, 2018

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