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How do you prove fault in slip and fall accidents?

It may seem like a silly question, but proving fault in a slip and fall accident is not only important, but it can also be difficult. Who is to blame when you fall in a store, or at a restaurant, or in an apartment, or even at work? There are possibly many potential culprits -- or even none at all -- and you want to make sure that every possibility is investigated and checked.

The first question to ask is if the property owner could have prevented the incident, or was it out of his or her hands? For example, if you slip and fall on dilapidated stairs that the owner knew about, then he or she could have prevented the incident. But what if the owner was never aware of the dilapidated stairs? It may seem implausible, but property owners don't always know every problem that is present in their buildings.

However, even in the case where a property owner doesn't know about a specific condition, he or she still has a responsibility to keep his or her premises safe. This is the second factor to consider in a slip and fall accident: did the property owner fulfill his duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions?

Last but not least are the two factors of "reasonableness" and "carelessness." Essentially these two things mean that the incident in question must be reasonable. For example, if you were careless or risky in the build up to the incident, then you may not have a legitimate claim. If the property owner was "reasonable" in his or her actions before the incident, then you may not have a legitimate claim.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents," Accessed Oct. 14, 2016

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