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Premises Liability and its Relationship to Slip and Fall Accidents

Although a home may be a person’s castle, it will not provide protection from legal action if it is the scene of a “slip and fall” mishap. The victims of such accidents may be entitled to monetary damages to cover the cost of their injuries, but they will also need the assistance of a Rhode Island personal injury attorney  or a RI slip and fall attorney to assure fair treatment under the law.

Personal Injury from Falling Merchandise

Rhode island slip and fall attorney

The Risk of Falling | RI slip and fall attorney 

Falls represent a leading cause of injury in this country, with nearly 1 million Americans requiring medical treatment after tumbling to the floor or ground. According to official statistics, one in five falls results in serious serious harm to the victim. Falls are in fact the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the United States. Many of these accidents take place on private property.

A fall occurring at a private dwelling can result from a wet or otherwise slippery floor, sidewalk or driveway. It may also stem from objects left on the ground, floor or stairway, or from defects in the property itself, including cracked pavement or torn carpeting. These and other conditions can result in litigation in Providence Superior Court if they cause someone physical and mental pain.

Understanding Premises Liability law in RI

A tort is a civil wrongdoing. Though not considered a criminal offense, the guilty party in a tort case may have to financially compensate the victim. Premises liability is an element of tort law that specifically deals with accidents and injuries occurring on a given piece of property, including private dwellings. A large number of premise liability cases in Rhode island and Providence Plantations are related to the simple act of slipping and falling.

RI slip and fall  and premises liability law

“In order to win a “slip and fall” case, the victim must prove that the responsible party knew or should have known of a particular hazard and failed to take corrective action. Victims must also prove that their injuries resulted directly from known hazards and not  completely from their own irresponsible actions.” 42 A.3d 1273 (2012)Maureen HABERSHAW et al. v. MICHAELS STORES, INC. et al. No. 2011-94-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. May 17, 2012. 1274*1274 Ronald J. Resmini, Esq., Providence, for Plaintiff. John A. Caletri, Esq., Providence, for Defendant. Present: SUTTELL, C.J., GOLDBERG, FLAHERTY, ROBINSON, and INDEGLIA, JJ. OPINION

“It also is well settled in our jurisprudence that there is an affirmative duty on owners and possessors of property: “to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises * * * includ[ing] an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.” Kurczy v. St. Joseph Veterans Association, Inc., 820 A.2d 929, 935 (R.I.2003) (quoting Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I. 2000)); accord Mead v. Papa Razzi Restaurant, 840 A.2d 1103, 1107 (R.I.2004). Although a business invitor is not a guarantor of the safety of those who might be expected on the property, a duty remains to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for prospective business invitees. Terry v. Central Auto Radiators, Inc., 732 A.2d 713, 716 (R.I.1999).” Id.

“To recover in a slip-and-fall action such as the case before us here, a plaintiff “must present evidence of an unsafe condition on the premises of which the defendant was aware or should have been aware, and that the condition existed for a long enough time so the owner of the premises should have taken steps to correct [it].” Bromaghim v. Furney, 808 A.2d 615, 617 (R.I.2002) (citing Barone v. Christmas Tree Shop, 767 A.2d 66, 68 (R.I. 2001)).” Id.

The Need for Legal Representation by a Rhode Island personal injury attorney or a RI slip and fall attorney 

A “slip and fall” mishap will not automatically result in the awarding of damages. There may be an attempt by the property owner to place at least some of the responsibility on the victim, which can greatly reduce the size of the award. Proper legal representation by a Rhode Island personal injury attorney or a  RI slip and fall attorney is needed to ensure the best possible outcome in a tort case. This is why the victims of “slip and fall” accidents should consider seeking the services of a Rhode Island personal injury attorney or a RI slip and fall attorney .

Information for this account was obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls/htm.

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