Slip and Falls Common Places and Causes
People can get injured by slipping, tripping or falling at an infinite amount of different locations.
But, no matter where the person is, the landowner owes him or her the highest duty of reasonable care if that person is a customer or social guest. (See "What to Know" page under "Personal Injury" on this website for a discussion of how the status of the injured person upon the land determines the standard of care that a landowner owes that person).
This applies to store owners, apartment complexes, homeowners, business owners, government buildings such as post offices, restaurants or any of the various places that people go to shop, dine and visit.
Shaw Law Offices has successfully received compensation for clients injured at Dollar Stores, Apartment Complexes, Fast Food Restaurants, Fancy Dining Restaurants, College Dining Halls, Gas Stations, Convenience Stores, Retail Stores, Clothing Stores, Shopping Malls, Outside Shopping Malls, Hotels, Motels, Stairways, Parking Lots, Sidewalks, Common Areas, Balconies, Single Riser Curbs and Steps, Swimming Pool Areas, Department Stores, Grocery Stores, McDonald's, Target, Kohl's, WalMart, Meijer, Menard's, Home Depot, Lowe's, Uneven Pavement, Family Express, Speedway, Cord Placements, Cracked and Uneven Sidewalks, Hospitals, Clinics, Drug Stores, CVS, Walgreen's, Martin's, Jayco, Kroger's, Chase Bank, Banks, Wells Fargo Banks, Trump Casino, Casinos and many, many more locations.
The important thing to remember here is that each time the landowner or business owes a duty to the invited person to use "reasonable care."
This standard was adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court in the famous case of Burrell v. Meads.
In Burrell the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the best definition of the duty owed to an invitee comes from the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 343 (1965), which states that:
A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to his invitees by a condition on the land if, but only if, he: (a) knows or by the exercise of reasonable care would discover the condition, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees; (b) should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it; (c) fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against the danger. Id. at 639-40.
This means the landowner owes the duty to the person on the land to make reasonable inspections at a timely interval so that all dangerous and defective conditions can be discovered and remedied in an efficient fashion.
This does not mean that all parking lots and sidewalks must be free from ice and snow. Nor does it mean that a landowner must salt/plow during a snowstorm. Clearly, a safe premises would be impossible to achieve under those conditions.
But, what it does mean, is that a landowner must try to make the land safe by using "reasonable" measures to do so. Consequently, if there was a two-day snowstorm and the landowner does not plow at all or waits until the next week, then that landowner would not be acting "reasonably" and a jury verdict could be rendered in favor of the Plaintiff.
Call us at Shaw Law Offices.
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