Am I Entitled to Money for a Slip and Fall on Business Property?
The answer to this question is: Maybe.
First, let’s examine why a slip and fall could result in money damages. American law recognizes slip and fall cases as a “tort.” A tort is a civil cause of action where an injured person suffers a loss or harm (money losses, physical injuries, or both) caused by the “wrongful” conduct or lack of action by another person or business.
Tort law is not criminal law. It is a civil action and the typical remedy is generally a monetary payment from the negligent party to the injured person. This differs from crimes punished by the State by jail or prison time. In tort law, the injured person is seeking a civil remedy - nobody will go to jail at any point during the trial. A jury will simply decide if the injured party is entitled to monetary damages or not.
Damages in Slip and Fall Cases
Most tort cases involve the injured person alleging the other business or person committed “negligence,” which is defined as a duty owed by one business or person to another, and a breach of that duty which causes damages.
These damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Permanent injury
- Disfigurement (scars or observable signs of injury)
- Emotional distress, such as mental anguish or pain
- Lost wages
- Future impairment
- The inability of the injured person to function as a whole person
Negligence means the landowner (or possessor of the land, person, or business who controls the property) did something wrong or failed to do something reasonable to prevent the foreseeable event from occurring which led to an injury or loss.
A Slip and Fall Is a Tort Under the Umbrella of “Premises Liability”
Premises liability is a legal concept in personal injury cases where the injury was caused by either an unsafe condition of the land (like a crack or pothole in pavement or ice and snow in a parking lot) or some unsafe activity upon the land (like a snow plow contractor who fails to plow a parking lot). Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, including slip and falls or trip and falls under premises liability claims.
In addition to slip and falls, there are many other activities or conditions of land which can cause injury. See other sections of this website for details on criminal acts upon land that injure others or bad acts that occur on the property, such as sexual assaults, fights, molestations, or shootings.
Whenever you get injured in a business, or when you get hurt by a business, remember to call McKibben Shaw Law at (260) 909-8363. It’s free to call or free to chat.