A slip and fall accident is usually no one’s fault but, at times, external factors can play a role in increasing the chance for an accident to occur.
When an accident of this nature occurs on private property, occupier’s liability can be used to determine whether the victim is entitled to injuries compensation.
What is occupier’s liability?
Under NSW legislation, liability for an accident can be determined using the 2002 Civil Liability Act. However, it requires the injured person to prove there was sufficient negligence on someone else’s part.
If the incident occurs on private property, a successful case relies on proving that the homeowner’s had some responsibility or liability. This is determined by proving that occupiers acted in negligence, which was evident in a recent case before the NSW Supreme Court.
Wet floors can be more slippery, making a fall more likely.
What determines negligence?
Negligence is defined as failing to undergo reasonable care and skill.
Under the 2002 Civil Liability Act, negligence is defined as failing to undergo reasonable care and skill. Furthermore, for a slip and fall to be considered the occupier’s fault, there needs to evidence that they were aware of the risk or that it is reasonable to assume they should have known.
In February 2010, the victim slipped and fell on a tiled step of the defendants’ home. Due to some rain, the floor had become wet, increasing the likelihood of an accident occurring. The victim suffered serious injuries as a result of her fall, including fracture of her right ankle and soft tissue injuries to her left shoulder, left hip and lower back.
Under the Section 5F of the 2002 Civil Liability Act, the defendants should have warned the appellant if the hazard was obvious. They claimed that since the tiling had been completed, they had not noticed any extra danger in relation to the steps, nor had there been any similar incidents.
Nevertheless, the appellant claimed that the respondents ought to have been aware of the slippery nature of the tiles and given her due warning. Particularly due to the effect of the rain, the victim stated that the risk should have obvious to the homeowners.
Under appeal, Judge Beech-Jones agreed with the victim’s claim, stating that the risk should have been obvious to the homeowner.
“In circumstances where [the Plaintiff] was departing from the premises in the dark, the lighting was inadequate and it had rained since she arrived, a reasonable person in the respondents’ position would have at least warned [the Plaintiff] accordingly,” stated Judge Beech-Jones.
As such, the victim was awarded $750,000 as compensation for her injuries.
Have you sustained injuries from a slip and fall accident?
Getting in touch with professional compensation lawyers who understand this area well can help build your case. Whether on private or public property, there is a chance you are entitled to injuries compensation as a result of the accident.
For advice on the process, contact the experts at PK Simpson who are happy to help.
— PK Simpson InjuryLaw (@PK_SimpsonAU) November 20, 2017