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Who is at fault for slip-and-fall injuries?

Every day, Peoria residents step onto property owned by others for a variety of reasons. They may be visiting a friend at an apartment complex, shopping at the grocery store or even just walking on a local sidewalk. Property owners, store owners, landlords and even the government may be responsible for ensuring that their property is reasonably safe for invitees. If an invitee slips and falls on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition, one or more of these parties may be held liable for the invitee’s injuries.

Slip and falls on a commercial property may be caused by a spill on the floor, uneven or worn-down flooring or a slippery surface. Generally, if a slip and fall occurs at a restaurant, store or other business property, the owner of the business may be held legally responsible for any injuries that occur on the property. To hold the business liable, victims must prove that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, but failed to take reasonable action to remedy it. In other words, the case may depend on whether a reasonable person in charge of the property would have been aware of the dangerous condition and repaired it. Additionally, if an employee of the business was negligent, the business itself and/or the business owner may be held vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence under the doctrine of “respondeat superior.”

In cases involving residential property, the landlord could also be held liable for any slip and fall injuries that occur on the property. In order for a landlord to be held liable, the landlord must have had control over the dangerous condition that caused the accident and repairing the condition would have been a reasonable course of action. The accident and injury must have also been foreseeable and the landlord’s failure to act must have caused the injury.

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