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When is a business not liable for a slip and fall?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2021 | Premises Liability

A business is not always responsible for slip and fall accidents that happen on its premises.

To be liable, the business must be negligent, and there must be damages and causation.

No negligent condition

Sometimes an accident is just an accident. The business is not liable for an injury if it was not its fault — for instance, a customer tripped over his own feet, and nothing in the business environment contributed to that.

The condition contributing to injury must be unreasonable, and the business must have been able to remedy it and thus prevent the injury.

Reasonable monitoring

A business can’t constantly monitor the actions of its customers, and thus a spill or other unsafe condition could occur without its knowledge. If an injury occurs soon after, the business may not be liable.

However, it may be negligent and thus liable if it let the unsafe condition persist for an unreasonably long time, and the injury then occurred. It has the obligation to monitor its premises for safety at reasonable intervals.

Other bars to liability

A business is not liable if there were no damages or causation. The whole point of a claim is to receive compensation for damages, so there must be injury aside from just the fall itself. Also, the dangerous condition complained about must have caused the fall.

An intervening cause might supersede or negate a business’s liability. This is an event that occurs after its negligent action and which contributes to the injury.

Each slip and fall case is different, and specific details may make a difference as to who, if anyone, is negligent and thus liable.