The concept of a slip and fall case is simple, but the court cases often turn out to be complex. This is because slip and fall cases are often not cut-and-dry.
Instead, slip and fall cases rely a lot on what is generally known as “common sense,” and while that may make the cases sound simplistic, they are anything but. According to Findlaw, the phrase “should have known” decides the majority of slip and fall cases, and proving that a responsible party “should have known” is difficult.
Who “should have known” what?
The most common variety of slip and fall case involves the premise that the owner of the property “should have known” that there was a dangerous condition and neglected to remove the danger, thus leading to the injury.
Essentially, in order for this sort of case to be successful, it is important to prove in a court of law that the owner of the property was aware of danger and did not act. This can be very difficult to prove, because then the law must determine what led up to the dangerous condition. For instance, ice on the sidewalk is dangerous, but if the ice appears at 6 in the morning after a cold snowy night, the landlord is not responsible for the appearance of the ice immediately.
What determines neglect?
Proving whether the property owner was responsible for the dangerous condition is the entire hinge of a slip and fall case. It is important to have as much documentation of the dangerous condition as possible, including how long the condition existed and any communications between the property owner and other entities regarding the condition.