We get calls daily from potential clients explaining that they have fallen, slipped, or tripped on something while shopping at a store. This type of injury is generally known as a Slip and Fall and it “falls” under an area of tort law known as Premises Liability. More technically/legally speaking, Slip and Falls are defined as incidents that occur due to the negligence of a property owner.
These particular premises liability claims are some of the most difficult and fact-intensive cases to prove in Mississippi because of how hard it is to prove a property owner’s negligence. Property owners have a general obligation to keep their properties safe and well-maintained for customers, and when the owner fails to do this, he or she is considered negligent. If the owner is not negligent, however, then the owner will not be held liable for whatever injuries occurred on his or her property. Simply put, just because you are hurt on a business’s property, does not mean that you are automatically entitled to compensation.
That is a very broad and basic statement of slip and fall liability. Each case is different and has specific factors that determine whether or not the owner was negligent. Below, I go into more detail about what facts may determine whether a property owner was negligent or had met its duty to protect.
In the state of Mississippi, a valid premises liability claim must have the following elements:
A dangerous condition could include any of the following: food or drink spills, blocked aisles, falling objects, broken handrails, loose floorboards, rotten wood, missing stairs, broken concrete, and other things of that nature. (Water on the floor can be considered a dangerous condition, but its location on the premises will usually determine whether it is actually dangerous.)
However, as briefly noted above, an owner or property manager will not be held liable for the injury because of one of those dangerous conditions unless he or she knew of the dangerous condition. The knowledge element of the owner/manager is usually the crucial element of proving a slip and fall claim. You have to show that the responsible party knew that the condition was present or should have known that the condition was present through the course of normal inspection. Once you have proof of knowledge, the final step is to prove that the owner/manager failed to repair the dangerous condition in a reasonable time frame or failed to warn its customers and patrons of the presence of the dangerous condition.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as result of a slip and fall in Mississippi, contact the experienced and serious personal injury attorneys at ‘Maggio|Thompson.
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