Premises liability in Rhode Island: The basics of a slip and fall case

Premises liability cases can involve slip and fall accidents, unsafe staircases and a lack of proper security.

Stores and hosts are expected to provide a safe environment for their customers and guests. If a dangerous situation exists, the owner generally has a duty to either fix the problem or warn anyone that could be injured to take proper precautions, depending the details of the situation. A failure to do so could lead to an injury. These injuries often fall into the legal category of premises liability cases.

Premises liability cases: The basics.

Premises liability cases can involve a range of accidents. Some common examples include:

  • Slip and fall accidents. This type of claim may exist when a person falls and is injured on the property of another. Generally, a victim must establish that the injury was the result of the owner's failure to properly maintain the property in order to have a successful claim. If it can be shown that a store employee caused the dangerous condition (as opposed to another store patron) then the store would be immediately liable. If the dangerous condition was caused by someone else, then a store would have a "reasonable time" after it was on notice of the problem, to remedy. Examples include a slippery floor and torn carpeting as well as broken or slippery sidewalks. A case may be available for accidents that occur in most locations including department stores, office buildings, apartments and personal residences.
  • Stairwell accidents. A failure to properly maintain stairs can lead to serious injury. Owners of both commercial and residential property are generally expected to provide handrails on stairs that are free of slippery surfaces. Many buildings are not maintained in compliance with the many building code requirements. We at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum have the experts that will find all of the building code violations which can be crucial to prosecuting your case.
  • Negligent security. In most situations, property owners have a duty to provide a safe living environment tenants and visitors. The presence of inadequate lighting or improper security devices on doors and windows can contribute to injury. This can apply to rental properties and hotels among other residences.

Those who are injured in these accidents may be eligible to receive compensation. This can help cover the costs of rehabilitation, medical expenses and lost wages.

Premises liability cases: Remedies.

Determining liability will depend on the details of the case. In most instances, property owners are required to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their property. Establishing a successful case generally requires the victim to establish that a "reasonable" person would have realized the danger was present and fixed it.

It is also important to note that time restrictions may be present for a claim. For example, those who are injured due to a pothole or broken sidewalk in Providence may have a claim against the city. These claims are generally governed by city ordinances and can have strict time restrictions. In Providence, the City Clerk's Office states that claims for damage connected to a pothole must be made within seven days of the incident. Within this time period, the victim is expected to prepare the required city documents and include copies of estimates from two different sources and medical bills.

Premises liability cases: Legal counsel can help.

Victims who believe they may have a premises liability case are wise to seek the counsel of a slip-and-fall injury lawyer. This legal professional can review your case and work to better ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.