There is an estimated one (1) million injuries from slip and fall accidents each year. A slip and fall injury includes a bruise, broken bone, head injury, and even death. In fact, there is approximately 17,000 deaths each year due to a slip and fall injury according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A slip and fall injury may not manifest itself for weeks so it is important that you report it as soon as possible to the property owner to prevent the impropriety of a false claim.
Property owners have a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition for the people who lawfully enter onto the property. The extent that an owner must ensure that the premises are safe depends on the status of a person entering onto the property. People who enter onto another’s property are classified into three categories: (1) invitee; (2) licensee; and (3) trespasser.
The highest duty is owed to an invitee. The classic invitee is the customer who enters a retail store. The retail store owes the customer a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition for its customers. The two other status types are owed a significantly less duty than the licensee.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall type accident, it is important that you meet with an attorney to find out what legal duty was owed to you by the property owner. Once your status at the time of injury is determined, you may then be entitled to receive compensation for your injury.