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  • Writer's pictureLOTG

Who Is Responsible in a Slip and Fall Case?

Updated: Apr 15

A personal injury lawsuit such as a slip and fall case aims to determine whether or not the defendant was negligent. In any scenario, the question becomes whether the defendant’s negligence directly resulted in the plaintiff’s fall and subsequent injury.

To determine this, each of the four elements of negligence must be examined.


A duty is a legal obligation. For the defendant to be found guilty of negligence, they must have owed the plaintiff a duty. There are two general kinds of duty: duty of care and special duties. Duty of care is the duty to conduct yourself as a reasonable person would have in the same circumstance. A breach of this duty would be an unreasonable reaction on the part of the defendant. This term usually refers to the duty to act in a way that does not put others at harm. Special duty, however, is a duty required by law or statute, such as the various upkeep of property for the safety of others. Based on these definitions of duty, it is examined whether or not the relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff resulted in owed duty.


A breach is a violation of a duty or the law. To be found guilty of negligence, the defendant must have demonstrably breached their duty to the plaintiff. A breach of duty is based on the types of duty — a defendant could breach their duty by failing the reasonable person test or could do so by not acting when they had a legal obligation to.


The above breach of duty must have been the cause of the harm to the plaintiff. Causation requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly causes their injury. After your fall, it is immensely helpful to take pictures of what has caused you to fall. If you can, snap a few pictures of the area, ledge, or spill that caused your fall.


There must have been harm suffered by the plaintiff to be able to sue for negligence. If the plaintiff fell but was not injured, the case is considered weak. However, it is important to document everything that you have experienced after your fall.

If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, please contact Gomerman | Bourn & Associates. Call 415 545 8608 for a FREE case evaluation.

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