SLIP AND FALL; IS THE OWNER ALWAYS RESPONSIBLE? 

A property owner is usually responsible in cases of slip and fall if he failed to undertake reasonable effort to provide a safe environment if he was aware of conditions that led to the slip, for instance, a wet floor and if he was negligent of a condition which he should have known. There are some instances however when the owner of the premises is not legally responsible for a slip and fall incident.

The status of the visitor who is involved in a slip and fall accident matters in determining the responsibility of the premises owner. People invited into the premises for commercial reasons or for social purposes are present at the premises with the owner’s permission. The invitation to the premises is an implied promise that it is safe to be on the premises. Trespassers even if involved in a slip and fall incident by their status (they have no right to be on the premises) exempt the premises owner from liability.

In instances where an injured person is partially or fully responsible for the slip and fall, the owner of the premises is not held responsible. If the injured person failed to exercise reasonable caution or did not read a warning sign the owner of the premises is exempted from liability on the basis of contributory negligence.

The owner of the premises is exempted from responsibility if the complaint is filed after a two-year deadline has lapsed. Countdown of the two-year deadline begins on the day of the accident. The two-year timeline includes a death that may occur as a result of injuries sustained during the accident.