How can property owners prevent slip and fall accidents?

Wisconsin property owners are not free of obligation regarding those who visit their premises. Each person who owns property must keep the grounds as safe as possible for guests. There are several types of situations that may create liability if this obligation is not fulfilled and slip and fall accidents occur.

If a property owner is aware that the carpet in a particular residence is in need of replacement due to torn edges, bulges or other physical defects that pose a safety risk but fails to remove the hazardous carpeting and also fails to warn those who walk on it of potential danger, then that person may be held legally accountable if someone trips and falls. Even if a floor has no carpet, an issue such as excessive floor wax may also place guests in harm's way and may be grounds for owner liability as well. Property owners can post signs, secure certain areas to remove access or verbally inform guests that a specific hazard is present to lower the risk of visitor injuries.

A property owner is also responsible for making sure construction areas are kept clear of debris and equipment that could cause injury to guests. Warning and caution signs may prevent disasters. As for stairs, if someone simply takes an unexpected tumble for no apparent reason, it would likely be difficult to prove property owner neglect in court.

If stairs were wet or obstructed in some way, and the property owner failed to inform a guest, a person who suffers injury may seek compensation for damages. In any personal injury lawsuit, the burden of proof is with the plaintiff. Slip and fall accidents are often complex with regard to possible legal accountability. This is why many Wisconsin residents enlist the help of experienced attorneys before heading to court.

Source: FindLaw, "Slip and Fall Injuries", Accessed on Aug. 16, 2017

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