Slip & Fall / Premises Liability

Slip & Fall / Premises Liability

Although slip and fall injuries have been depicted as comedy in movies and television, there is nothing funny about the serious injuries that can result from a sudden fall down an icy stairwell or a wet floor in a grocery store aisle. Slip and fall injuries may be serious, devastating and permanent, and can prevent an individual from working. Compensation may be needed to cover medical expenses and lost wages and help you begin to put your life back together after an injury.

Some accidents are due, at least in part, to the carelessness of the individual. We all know that we must exercise caution before we step. Open and obvious hazards, for example, should be avoided if possible. But in many cases, a property owner may be liable for acting carelessly, or failing to act reasonably, in maintaining property. Sometimes, a hazardous condition that is known only to the landlord or property owner is not otherwise observable by others until it is too late. If the property owner failed to act within a reasonable time to correct the condition, he or she may be liable when someone falls down or becomes injured.

Some examples of premises liability cases I have successfully litigated and settled for my clients include:

  • An icy sidewalk from a leaking hose bib;
  • A parking lot with a hazardous, unnatural accumulation of ice;
  • A dishwasher door left down in a darkened kitchen;
  • A broken section of municipal sidewalk;
  • A wet floor in a bar at closing time;
  • A poorly illuminated parking lot with a pothole that was not seen;
  • Snow removal efforts that caused an unnatural accumulation of ice to form at the bottom of a wheelchair ramp;
  • A wet stairwell in a bar;
  • A wet floor in a grocery store from a leaking cooler;
  • Debris left on the floor in a hardware store;
  • A wet bathroom floor in a retail store;
  • Inadequate security and a defective shopping cart rail at a "Black Friday Door Buster" sale;
  • A broken chair or a poorly lit stairwell in a movie theater;
  • A bag of salt carelessly left on a front step;
  • A slick floor in the lobby area of a pie restaurant;
  • A glass case shat shattered in a grocery store;
  • Merchandise left on the floor of a hardware store;
  • A hazardous condition at a hotel pool;
  • A slippery floor in the produce department of a grocery store;
  • Snow removal efforts that caused an unnatural accumulation of ice in a banquet hall parking lot;
  • A ladder that suddenly fell over in a store aisle;
  • A falling sign in a retail store; and
  • A puddle of spilled detergent on the floor of a retail store;


There are some important legal issues that must be considered before determining if your claim is actionable. It is also important take photographs of the scene or condition before it is corrected or altered, and to place the owner of the property on notice of the claim as soon as possible.