What is a ‘slip and fall’?

A "slip and fall" or "trip and fall" is the generic term for an injury which occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else's property. It includes falls as a result of water, ice or snow, as well as abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see hole in the ground.

If you are on someone else's property and injure yourself as a result of a dangerous condition on the property, the land owner or business proprietor may be liable for your injuries. If you are a property owner and someone injures himself on your land, you may find yourself legally responsible for his or her injuries.


I fell down and injured myself on someone else's property. I don't feel well. Should I wait to see if I feel better before doing anything?

No, you should see your primary care physician or another medical doctor, since your injuries may be more severe than you think. You may also want to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a claim against the landowner.

You should also be aware that floor or ground conditions may change, and you may need to preserve or record the condition that caused your injury (typically with a photograph or videotape). In addition, every state has a "statute of limitations" which limits the time you have to act. Some states require you to give notice to certain types of landowners, such as municipalities, within as little as 30 to 90 days of the incident. If you do not give the required notice, or sometimes file a claim or lawsuit within the time set by law of the state in which the injury occurred, you lose your ability to recover from the landowner. If your injuries turn out to be more severe than they first appear, you'd be in trouble.

If you have a valid claim against the landowner for your injuries, delay may be fatal to your claim. You should act quickly to evaluate your options.

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