A slip-and-fall accident can be serious and may leave you with significant injuries and lasting pain. No matter where a slip-and-fall injury occurs, make sure you receive complete treatment from a medical professional as soon as possible.
If your fall happened in someone else's private residence, such as a friend's house, establishing who is responsible can be uncomfortable. However, your medical expenses can add up quickly. Before filing a claim for your losses -- and risk straining your relationship or taking less than you are owed -- gain an understanding of your legal rights.
Are homeowners always liable for injuries within their homes?
When it comes to private residences and legal liability, there are rarely simple, black-and-white answers. While the owner of a property is normally liable for injuries that occur on that property, homeowners are not always held liable for slip-and-fall accidents. A lot depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
What caused your fall? Homeowners must keep their properties free of dangers or hazards that may cause injuries. They must also alert guests to hazards that may harm them. If homeowners are negligent and do not inform guests of known hazards, it is more likely that they are responsible.
For example, a homeowner has just waxed the floors and invites guests over for a living room dance party. It is likely that a guest will slip and fall. If the homeowner does not inform the guests of the dangers of the freshly waxed floors, he or she could be liable for your medical care.
However, the law does not completely place the responsibility for a guest's behavior on the homeowner. Some accidents are unforeseeable. If the homeowner does not know of a hazard, and reasonably could not have known about it, then they may not bear full liability for slip-and-fall injuries.
Build a legal strategy to protect yourself
Regardless of who is responsible for your injuries, you need proper medical care to make a full recovery. Be sure to examine the details of your circumstances carefully through the eyes of the law to protect your rights while you work on your recovery.