Last week, our blog began discussing how it's important for people to understand that negligent property owners can be held accountable for slip-and-fall accidents that occur outside provided the site of the incident is part of the owner's premises, and the owner either 1) failed to rectify the condition that caused the accident or 2) take the necessary precautions.
By way of illustration, we examined slip-and-fall accidents occurring in the snow or on the ice surrounding buildings. We'll continue this discussion in today's post, exploring two surfaces types many of us traverse on a daily basis.
It may come as a surprise for most people to learn that a property owner is generally not liable when a slip-and-fall accident resulting in injuries occurs on a public sidewalk situated in close proximity to their land.
This isn't to say, however, that property owners are never legally accountable in these situations. Indeed, courts have long imposed liability on property owners for injuries sustained in slip-and-fall accidents occurring on sidewalks used almost exclusively by customers entering and exiting their business.
Furthermore, it's important to note that if the slip-and-fall accident occurs as a result of a dangerous condition on a private walkway, the property owner will likely not escape liability.
In general, the owners of parking lots are required to keep them reasonably safe for all who will be using them. This naturally means that they are responsible for ensuring that all of the necessary maintenance work is performed, including filling cracks, patching holes, and fixing uneven surfaces such that any changes in elevation are gradual.
By way of example, a person who breaks their ankle after stepping into a hole or tears tendons in their knee after stumbling over a hard-to-notice buckle in the pavement may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
Here's hoping the foregoing information has proven helpful. As always, if you or a loved one has suffered serious harm in a slip-and-fall accident, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can answer your questions, explain the law and pursue justice.