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Public versus Private Slip and Fall Liability

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2020 | Firm News

Slip and fall cases fall under premises liability, an area of personal injury law. The success of a slip and fall case hinges on the notion of negligence on the part of the property owner. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, the major legal hurdle of your case will be to prove that the property owner was negligent in meeting their legal obligation to ensuring that the property is safe and properly maintained.

Poorly maintained property conditions can cause or contribute to many different types of injuries. However, many premises liability cases are personal injury cases that involve slip and fall accidents. All premises liability cases, including falls, must include three major components:

  • The poor state of the property caused or contributed to the accident
  • The accident caused an injury
  • The owner of the property was negligent

Property Owner Negligence

The legal definition of negligence expresses a concept that a person has a duty to act in line with a level of care that a reasonable person would exercise. This standard of reasonable care is used to determine if the action or inaction of a property owner shows negligence. If the property owner’s actions meet the standard for reasonable care, they are in the clear. If the property owner’s actions fall below this standard, they will be found negligent.

The standard is applied regarding whether a reasonable person would have known about the dangerous condition and whether they took action to correct the danger. The length of time the dangerous condition existed is a significant factor, as it can be used to determine if a reasonable person would have been able to take corrective steps before the accident.

Public versus Private Property

Slip and fall accidents that take place on public property consider the property owner to be the agency that manages the property. Like any property owner, these agencies have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for those who use the space.

Slip and fall accidents that involve an injury suffered on private property are straight forward. The property owner, which is usually a homeowner, is responsible for the upkeep of the property. If an injury occurs due to negligence on their part, they can be held legally accountable. If a person is injured while trespassing on private property, the fact that the injured party was illegally on the premises negates any duty of care the law would otherwise apply to the property owner.

Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Help Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents

If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, the Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. will investigate your accident and build a case to support your claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 412-765-1888 today. Located in Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.