Blog of Charles Bryan Alred
Slip and Fall Cases
Posted on July 10, 2016
Slip and fall cases can happen anywhere but commonly occur in commercial settings such as large retail and grocery stores or parking lots in inclement weather conditions. When these accidents occur, consumers can hold store owners liable for failing to maintain the premises, however, these claims can become complicated by a number of factors. Businesses will be liable for accidents on their property if they failed to maintain safe conditions, depending on whether they had or would have had reasonable notice of the unsafe condition and thereafter failed to remedy the condition. Additionally, consumers in some states have to show they exercised reasonable care when the injury occurred and that it was not open and obvious enough that the consumer should have taken steps to avoid the danger.
In 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that businesses are now actually liable for open and obvious dangers on their premises if the business was a factor in creating the condition. In Woods v. Mercedes Benz of Oklahoma City, a caterer fell on an icy sidewalk while setting up for a catering event. The sidewalk became iced over the night prior due to the dealership’s sprinkling system. Due to the dealership’s knowledge of the caterer’s presence, the court ruled that while the caterer saw the ice and knowingly walked over it, the dealership should have accounted for this open and obvious danger. While this leans towards making slip and fall claims more plaintiff-friendly, the court did note that it will depend on the specific set of facts given.
The customer will also need to consider their degree of fault in a slip and fall case, as Oklahoma is a modified comparative negligence fault state. Under this negligence model for personal injury, if the customer was more than 50% at fault for the injury, which is a standard determined by the court based on the facts, he will not be able to recover for his injuries. If he is less than 51% at fault, he will recover, but will have his damages reduced by the amount he is responsible. Additionally, like other personal injury statute of limitations in Oklahoma, there is a two-year limit from the date of the accident for which you can file your claim.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or someone you know was injured due to failure to maintain a premises, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced and knowledgeable team of attorneys at the office of Charles Bryan Alred, PC in Tulsa to discuss your case. Contact our office using our website or call us at 918-745-9960 for a free initial consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals.