According to the nonprofit Common Good, annually an estimated 15 million civil lawsuits are filed in the U.S. While there are certainly many cases in which liability and negligence are obviously a factor, many other lawsuits are frivolous in nature and are filed by individuals who are simply attempting to capitalize on a situation.
Lawsuits involving slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents are especially common and often claims involve exaggerated or false accusations against property and business owners. In cases where an individual suffers a slip and fall and subsequently attempts to sue a landlord, business owner or government entity; it's important to secure a defense attorney who is well-versed in matters and laws related to premises liability.
The reality is that many slip-and-fall accidents are exactly that—unfortunate accidents. Examples of premises liability claims involving slips or trips and falls include icy sidewalks, uneven pavement, wet floors, loose handrails and broken stairs. Thankfully, the burden of proof in these cases is shifted heavily upon the plaintiff who must prove and satisfy certain legal requirements including:
- Reasonableness - Were the property or business owner's actions reasonable with regard to the defect or cause of a slip or trip and fall?
- Knowledge - Did a property owner, employee or other responsible party know about the defect?
- Fault - Did the property owner, employee or other responsible party cause the dangerous or hazardous condition?
These are just a few of the issues that must be examined in fall-related premises liability lawsuits. These types of cases can be highly complex in nature and it's advisable to seek the help and representation of a legal professional.
For New York and Vermont residents, the insurance defense attorneys at O'Connor, O'Connor, Bresee & First, P.C., are committed to defending and protecting the rights of property and business owners against fraudulent legal claims.