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Who could be at fault when you slip and fall outdoors?

When it comes to proving fault in a slip and fall case, a situation is rarely clear cut.

This is especially true if the owner of the property knew ahead of time that places on his or her property could potentially injure someone.

Place of the injury

According to FindLaw, a dangerous condition entails an unusually risky situation where it is more likely than not that you will get hurt. You also would likely not be able to know about the potential danger ahead of time, meaning that you could not avoid it even if you wanted to.

Prior knowledge

Another aspect of responsibility is that the owner knew ahead of time what dangers the condition posed. Instead of fixing it or repairing a potentially risky part of it, he or she chose to let it stay as it was. This negligence puts visitors at risk, and can potentially be a liability.

Reasonable person test

One test for anyone who has trouble telling if a situation is dangerous enough or not is to wonder if a reasonable person would know about the potential for injury. Common sense dictates that if the majority of people know to stay away from the trouble without being told, then it would not be dangerous enough to label as unavoidable.

Many slip and fall cases come from weather-related issues, such as ice or snow. In this case, it is the property owner’s responsibility to keep his or her sidewalks and land free from these tripping hazards. In addition, old steps on stairs or other areas should stay cleared of hazards too.

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