Personal Injury In Slip And Fall Cases

October 31, 2013

Western New York property owners have a legal duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.  When a personal injury occurs because someone’s property was not reasonably safe, the owner may be responsible for paying damages.

Liability for personal injury may arise under several different circumstances.  It is most likely to be found, however, when an owner or occupier of a dangerous building was aware of a potential hazard on the property but neglected to either repair it or warn others about it.  Examples of conditions that can lead to liability include defective staircases, ice or snow patches, broken walkways and collapsing ceilings.

Even though the property owner had no intent that someone be injured, if a personal injury is caused by a property owner’s negligence in maintaining the property, the victim may have a premises liability claim.  Success in pursuing a personal injury claim following a slip and fall often hinges upon the issue of whether the property owner either was aware of the dangerous condition or would have been aware of it had he or she been diligent in maintaining the property.

Courts often hold that property owners are not liable when a defect is a latent defect. A latent defect is one that is dangerous but is concealed.  Under these circumstances, it is difficult to prove that the property owner knew, or should have known, about its existence.  A patent defect, on the other hand, is one that is generally obvious to a casual observer and should have been seen by the property owner.

If you are the victim of a slip and fall, you should contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in the area.  Call us at 716-400-0000.