What is required to make a slip and fall claim?

The owner or occupier of public or private premises has a lawful obligation to take all reasonable care for the safety of persons upon those premises. This includes not only persons who are lawfully upon the premises but also may include, in some circumstances, persons who are unlawfully upon the premises.

The obligation to take reasonable care by the owner or occupier of the premises is not absolute. That is, the owner or occupier will only be held liable in negligence for any injury sustained by a person when upon their premises if it can be established, ultimately to the satisfaction of the court, that:

  • The owner or occupier of the premises owed a duty of care to the person.
  • that the duty of care was breached.
  • that as a result of the breach of duty of care the person suffered injury, loss or damage.

Therefore, a person who simply trips over their own feet on someone else’s premises would be unable to sue for any injury sustained. However, if a person slips and falls and is able to establish, again to the satisfaction of the court, that the fall was caused or materially contributed to by the negligence of the owner or occupier of the premises, then they will be able to claim damages for the injuries that they have sustained.

Most slip and fall cases of which we hear mostly occur in shopping centres or grocery stores. There has been much judicial comment on the extent of the duty of care owed by the owner or occupier of such premises. In fact, the law is now well-settled.

An example as to how the law operates in a slip and fall claim would be of assistance. Assume for the moment that a person is walking through a grocery store and just ahead of them a young child spills an ice cream upon which the person in question slips and falls. In those circumstances the court will hold that there was no opportunity available to the owner or occupier of the premises to firstly become aware of the presence of the ice cream on the floor and secondly, to take remedial action. If however it is established that the ice cream had been on the floor for a considerable period of time or alternatively had in fact come to the attention of staff of the owner or occupier of the premises, and no remedial action was taken, then the court is likely to hold that the owner or occupier of the premises liable in negligence for the injury sustained by the person who fell.

Strict time limits apply to the prosecution of a claim for injuries arising from a slip and fall accident. Accordingly, if you have suffered injury as a result of a slip or fall on private or public premises then contact Brydens Lawyers without delay. Brydens lawyers are the experts in the investigation and prosecution of all slip and fall claims whether they occurred on public or private property. Contact Brydens Lawyers for a free, no-risk assessment on 1800 848 848 or at brydens.com.au. At Brydens Lawyers #WE DO slip and fall claims.