Slip and Fall Accidents – When Is It Not Your Fault?

by Ladyblogger on September 8, 2012

Accidents can happen anywhere at any time, and there are times when these accidents are caused through the negligence of others. When this occurs it is sometimes possible for a person to receive compensation for their injuries. One of the most common accidents that people incur injuries from is a slip and fall. This occurs when something in the environment leads a person to slip or trip and injure themselves during the fall. Millions of these accidents occur every year, but just because an accident of this type occurs doesn’t mean someone else was negligent. There are several things a person should consider in deciding whether their accident was caused by their own actions or through the negligence of another person.

Accident Location

Accident location is an important factor and the first consideration a person should have when deciding who is at fault for their accident. The area in which the accident occurred will most likely need to be an openly accessible area that is intended for some sort of public use. A person who slips and falls on their own property is usually considered at fault due to the fact that another person cannot typically be considered negligent for this accident.

Places that fall under this publicly accessible rule are grocery stores, public establishments and sometimes even the sidewalk in front of another person’s home. Some localities require homeowners to keep the sidewalks in front of their homes safe and clear for pedestrians. See more information at, such as in any case where an area is accessible to the public there is a chance that the accident victim may not be to blame for the incident.

Comparative Negligence

While comparative negligence applies to a larger portion of tort law, it is the best way to describe the next thing an accident victim should consider. For an individual, corporation or organization to be held liable for an accident, it is usually necessary that the victim not contribute to their own accident. The question is whether or not a reasonable person who is not distracted would’ve suffered the same injury.

The online video that shows a woman falling into a fountain while playing on her cell phone is a great example. This woman obviously suffered a slip and fall accident, but another person who was not distracted by the use of a cell phone would’ve likely not suffered the same consequences. Since the woman was not monitoring her surroundings as a reasonable person would’ve, she would probably not receive any compensation.

Second Party Negligence

The most important thing to consider when deciding if an accident victim is at fault for their own slip and fall is whether or not a second party’s negligence caused the accident. In the aforementioned falling in the fountain example, the mall obviously was negligent in no way that could’ve caused the woman to fall into the fountain, but this is not always the case. It becomes necessary in any personal injury claim to prove that the second party (ie. store, homeowner) was at fault for the accident.

One instance that shows negligence from the second party is if the owner or employee of a business caused the dangerous situation that led to the accident. Negligence can also be shown if the second party should’ve reasonably known about the danger and failed to have fixed it in a reasonable amount of time. Store cameras are often important in proving this type of negligence.

Even putting up a ‘Wet Floor’ sign can sometimes be enough for a store to avoid a negligence lawsuit. As long as they took measures that were sufficient enough to prevent a reasonable person who is aware of their surroundings from being injured, it is likely that the accident victim will be considered at fault for their own injury.

Slip and fall accidents have several gray areas that sometimes make it difficult to decide whether an accident victim is at fault for their own accident or not. These cases are usually left to the common sense of the judge or jury of a particular case. Knowing the signs to look for in these incidents, however, will give a person an idea of whether or not they should contact a lawyer to pursue their case further.

Anthony Joseph is a freelance writer, and also a contributing author for When you’re injured in an accident, it’s very important to get the right advice and information on exactly what you need to do, in the quickest amount of time possible. This is the legal resource service to put you in touch with the perfect attorney in New York to defend your case.

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