Slip and falls and trip and falls can happen in a variety of places. Most of the time, they occur either in commercial establishments or outside commercial establishments, depending on where the person is located at the time of the accident. Most all trip and falls occur in supermarkets, in big-box stores, and also in parking lots during inclement weather.
Is The Law Different If Someone Hurts Himself in a Residence?
No. Anyone who owns or occupies a piece of property has a duty of reasonable care to people they invite onto their land. The land owner or occupier must keep his premises in a reasonably safe condition and if there is a known problem warn his guests about the danger.
Therefore, it doesn't matter if someone is in his friend's living room or at a big supermarket chain. Whoever invited him owes the duty of care.
What About People Who Are Uninvited?
There are different standards in this case because there are three basic types of people and duties in Indiana. Invitees are people who walk into a business or people who are invited, like social guests into someone's home. The other two are the licensee and the trespasser.
A licensee is someone who comes on the property for their own convenience. Note that this depends upon many circumstances, like what actually happens or what brings them to the actual premises. The duty is to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring him or acting in a manner to increase his peril. The landowner must also warn of any latent or hidden dangers on the property.
The duty toward a trespasser is the lowest because the trespasser should not be on the land. The property owner owes a trespasser the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly (intentionally) injuring him after discovering his presence. It is fine if the premises is unsafe, except if the trespasser is a younger individual. In this case, the younger individual can come under a doctrine called the “Attractive Nuisance” doctrine.
This attractive nuisance doctrine can be seen in examples with farmer's fields or ponds on people's land. Although they might have a sign warning trespassers, they would still have a duty to block the area off so a young child or a young teen would not be able to trespass and perhaps drown in the pond.
The duty from the owner toward an invitee is the highest. The duty lies in keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition, free of all defects, and danger and warning people who come onto the premises about any type of hidden defects.
What Would Happen If The Person Had A Trampoline or Something Similar?
If a person had a trampoline and the invited person was one of the person's kid's friends who had been to the house five or six times before, then there might be an issue if that child decided to use trampoline on their own.
Are More Suits Filed From Residential Or Commercial Properties?
Many more commercial premises liability cases are filed than residential. If somebody got hurt while visiting a home, and the owner had homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance, then often, there will be some insurance for the medical expenses. Note that a person does not have to claim or sue for these medical expenses, because he is covered under medical payments coverage. The medical expenses would be paid up to $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the insurance and regardless of fault.
If someone had a sunken living room, and a guest stepped down and fractured his ankle and went to the hospital, then the medical payments coverage would pay for that medical care.
Are There Any Particular Types Of Stores Or Locations That Tend To Have More Incidents Than Others?
Busy stores like Wal-Mart have more incidents, especially the older Wal-Mart stores, because they used to stack things very high on the shelves, and the stores were very crowded. With such store congestion, there is a greater chance of things falling on the floor or products breaking.
Afterwards, in many cases, the sales associate cannot get to the area quick enough to clean it up, put a cone out, or warn anyone.
Normally, this occurs in stores without good upkeep. Stores with a high number of sales associates who walk their floors to make sure things are safe do a lot better than some other types of stores.
For more information on Slip and Fall Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you're seeking by calling (219) 874-4878 today.