If you fall and get hurt on someone else's property, can you sue for medical bills and lost income?
Yes, but only if you’re able to prove that the property owner was somehow negligent in connection with the incident.
Most everyone has heard of slip and fall cases in which a store customer or visitor on someone else’s property is injured because of some kind of hazard on the premises. These cases are pretty common in the realm of personal injury law.
But it’s important to remember that just because you fell on someone else’s property, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the property owner did anything wrong in the eyes of the law, and it doesn’t mean you’ll receive a dime of compensation, even if you’re legitimately injured. You’ll need to prove that the property owner’s negligence led directly to your slip and fall accident and your resulting injuries.
The issue of fault in a slip and fall case will come down to whether or not the property owner acted reasonably in anticipating and preventing injuries caused by hazards on the property -- that means hazards that the owner actually knew about, and those that the owner could reasonably be expected to have known about.
What the property owner is obligated to do will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Who was injured? Was it a customer, a social guest, or a trespasser? Was the hazard an open and obvious one? Did similar accidents or close calls happen in the past? Does the injured person bear some level of blame for what happened? Learn more about what you need to prove in a slip and fall case.
If you’re successful in establishing the property owner’s liability, then you’re very likely entitled to receive (via out –of-court settlement or a court judgment after a personal injury trial) compensation for all reasonably foreseeable losses stemming from the accident. That includes payment for past and future medical care, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering.
by: David Goguen, J.D.
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