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Premises Liability vs. Slip and Fall Accidents

Premises liability accidents and slip and fall accidents are two terms often used in personal injury law that can sometimes be used interchangeably. Without an understanding of their differences, people who are not familiar with legal jargon can sometimes only see their similarities. This can be confusing to those who have experienced an injury due to these accidents, especially if they attempt to file a personal injury claim to recover the compensation they are owed.

Our personal injury law firm, Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law in Portland, Oregon, aims to simplify these terms by offering guidance to those affected by slip and fall accidents or premises liability disputes. We’ll define these topics and provide context for how they operate. We’ll explain everything you need to know to determine the feasibility of your personal injury claim, including how to prove your claim in a court of law.

If you’ve been injured in a Portland slip and fall accident, or you have questions about how a premises liability attorney will view your personal injury claim, call us today. We can provide specific details about your case and answer all your questions before you start.

Understanding Premises Liability

Premises liability is a legal concept that includes a range of incidents where someone is injured on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence. It’s a concept that holds property owners responsible for maintaining a safe environment for the visitors or customers they invite to their premises. This can include slip and fall accidents, but it also includes a variety of situations, such as injuries from falling objects, sidewalk injuries, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and more.

In Portland, the duty of care that property owners owe to their visitors is taken very seriously. This duty of care means that property owners are required to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for all visitors. Failure to do this can lead to a premises liability case, including but not limited to a slip and fall accident.

Slip and Fall Accidents: A Part of Premises Liability

Slip and fall accidents are probably the most well-known type of premises liability cases. They occur when a person slips, trips, or falls due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Common causes include wet floors in shopping aisles, slippery sidewalks in front of businesses, or poorly maintained parking lots that lack proper lighting. In short, all slip and fall accidents are premises liability incidents, but not all premises liability incidents are slip and fall accidents.

Slip and fall attorneys, like our team at Zbinden & Curtis, specialize in representing people injured in these types of accidents. We help them navigate the legal process and seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We emphasize the importance of determining liability and proving negligence, but that’s not an easy task for every accident victim we meet. Next, let’s look at the difficulties you can encounter when trying to navigate this process.

Factors Determining Liability

Determining liability in premises liability cases, including slip and fall accidents, revolves around the legal concept of negligence. Negligence means that a property owner failed to act with reasonable care, and their inattention to detail led to someone’s injury. Several factors are considered when determining negligence in premises liability cases, including:

  • The Condition of the Property: Was there a dangerous condition that the owner should have been aware of?
  • The Actions of the Property Owners: Did the owner take reasonable steps to remove the risk, or at least make visitors aware of it?
  • Knowledge of the Hazard: Was the owner aware of the hazard, and did they ignore it because of financial restraints, labor complications, or simple laziness?
  • The Injured Person’s Actions: Did the injured person’s actions contribute to their own injury? Were they being reckless, irresponsible, or trespassing in areas that weren’t safe for visitors?

In personal injury cases in Portland, including slip and fall accidents and premises liability claims, it’s crucial to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take appropriate action to fix it. For example, if the slip happened inside a grocery store, managers should have seen the slippery surface on the security cameras. They should have either cleaned up the spill immediately or put out a wet floor sign that alerted customers. If a fall occurred during an outdoor concert, the event staff should have investigated the premises beforehand for tripping hazards or potholes. If they found one, they should have either covered it up or corded it off so visitors were aware of the danger.

Ensuring a Safe Environment: Responsibilities of Both Parties

While property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment, visitors also have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions when navigating an unfamiliar property. This involves paying attention to literal warning signs as well as metaphorical ones. It means keeping yourself reasonably safe, even when surrounded by the dangers of an unfamiliar environment. Visitors should stay away from large machines or equipment, be aware of the areas where they are not permitted, and follow the directions of the managers or staff. If an investigation into your personal injury claim reveals that your actions were reckless, you may be responsible for paying your medical bills alone.

The Role of Personal Injury Lawyers in Slip and Fall or Premises Liability Claims

Personal injury lawyers, or premises liability attorneys, play an important role in slip and fall accidents. We represent the people who have been injured due to a property owner’s negligence. We work with victims to gather evidence, prove negligence, and negotiate compensation for personal injury damages. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering that a victim went through.

Our personal injury law firm, Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys at Law, has years of experience handling premises liability cases, including slip and fall accidents. We understand the difficulties involved in proving the property owner’s negligence, and we work hard to ensure our Oregon clients receive the compensation they deserve.

If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property, call us at (503) 287-5000. Our team is ready to help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process required to secure the compensation you deserve.

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