Each year thousands of people injure themselves through an accidental slip and fall. These falls, often serious in nature, are sometimes the responsibility of the property owner where the accident occurred. Determining who is at fault for a slip/trip/fall injury requires consideration of several issues.
The owner of a property is legally responsible for injuries suffered in a slip, trip, or fall on their property if: (1) it is determined that the owner/employee caused a dangerous surface or item to be placed underfoot of the victim; (2) if the owner/employee knew of a dangerous surface, but failed to act to remedy the situation; or (3) if the owner/employee should have known of a dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have uncovered and/or repaired the flaw. In most cases, common sense and reasonableness determine liability.
A legal determination of “what is reasonable” takes into account whether a property owner makes regular efforts to keep the property safe and clean. For example, if a loose or dangerous piece of flooring exists on the property, has it been there long enough that the owner should have noticed and fixed the flaw? On the other hand, in another case, if an accident occurred because of an object on the floor, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there? Determining liability considers these questions. Liability also considers whether the injured person acted carelessly.
All accident investigations will ask whether the injured person’s own carelessness contributed to the accident. For example, was there a legitimate reason to be in the accident area or would a more careful person have noticed the dangerous spot and avoided it?
Determining liability in slip and fall accidents comes from a consideration of the facts of the situation. This includes a consideration of the issues outlined above.
Source : NOLO