Why Is It Harder To Win A Slip And Fall Case If The Accident Occurred Outside Rather Than Inside?

Each year, approximately 1 million people visit emergency rooms or hospitals for injuries that occur from slips and falls. Slips and falls can occur in many ways, and they can happen inside or outside. If you recently slipped and fell outdoors, you may wonder if you can sue the owner of the parking lot where this happened. You should realize there are differences with indoor and outdoor slips and falls, and it can be slightly harder to win an outdoor slip and fall case compared to an indoor one.

The Duties Of Business Owners For The Inside Of Buildings

Every business owner has duties and responsibilities when it comes to keeping the inside of their businesses safe for the public. This includes:

  • Making sure floors are clean and dry
  • Cleaning up spills when they occur
  • Notifying customers of wet floors and other dangers
  • Ensuring there is nothing on the floors that customers can trip over
  • Keeping cords out of the way so people do not trip over them
  • Taking every step to ensure the floors are safe to walk on

These are the normal duties a business owner has when opening the doors to the public. In addition to these duties, business owners must complete the same duties to the immediate exteriors of their buildings. This includes the sidewalks in front of their businesses, and the doorways leading inside.

If a business owner fails to do these things and a person ends up injured, the person has every right to sue the business owner for the damages of the incident.

The Duties Of Business Owners For Parking Lots And Exteriors

Business owners may also be somewhat responsible for keeping the exterior parts of their businesses safe for people to walk on, but there are fewer responsibilities. This is why it can be harder to win a slip and fall case that occurs in a parking lot of a business.

Business owners are not typically responsible for removing normal snow and ice from parking lots; however, most owners will try to do this anyhow. Snow and ice can naturally form during the winter months, and it can be almost impossible to keep parking lots completely clean. Any customer that shops during winter months should understand that the parking lot may be slippery from snow and ice. Because of this, customers should take responsibility to be more cautious when they walk on slippery ground.

If a person slips and falls on an irregular type of slippery surface outside, the person may have the right to sue. An example of an irregular type of slippery surface is the ice that can occur from gutter issues. If the gutters on a building are clogged and ice melts off the roof, it can form huge blocks of ice on pavement. These icy patches can be extremely slippery, but they could also have been prevented with proper maintenance. If a person falls on this, there is a greater chance he or she could win a slip and fall case.

Bottom Line

Anytime a person slips and falls on a business owner's property, the person may still have the right to sue. If this recently happened to you, you should contact a lawyer that specializes in slip and fall cases. Your lawyer will look into the accident and may be able to find other areas of negligence on the part of the business owner, and this could help you win the case. An example of this is if the accident occurred at night and the parking lot had inadequate lighting.

To learn more about your rights and options, contact a slip and fall lawyer today. You may discover that you have a case that could win, and you may decide to pursue it.

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