Louisiana individuals and property owners alike may be unfamiliar with their rights and responsibilities when it comes to slips and falls in bad weather. As we continue through a season of uncharacteristically severe weather, it may be helpful to review the effect that rain and other potentially hazardous weather can have on slip and fall liability.
Slip and fall liability of property owners and occupiers
Bad weather or not, businesses and individuals in control of property – whether as an owner, a tenant, or even a maintenance or management company – have the responsibility to take steps to protect those who enter the premises. They must act reasonably and, when they know of dangers, must either remove the hazards or warn visitors that they are there.
In extreme winter weather, this duty remains. But it is not just outdoor hazards to be on the watch for. For example, when rain and slush get tracked inside, it can create slick floor surfaces. Property owners and managers need to address these indoor potential threats as well.
Responsibility of individuals
Individuals also have a duty. It is a general duty to be careful while doing whatever it is they do. This means that whether jogging down the road or shopping in a grocery store, people need to watch where they are going, taking heed of warnings of danger. Louisiana follows a rule of comparative negligence, which means a plaintiff’s personal injury award can be reduced in proportion to his or her own degree of fault.
Not all bad weather hazards have warnings, though. Black ice, for example, is more or less invisible, so it can be difficult to avoid. It is important to be on the lookout for these bad weather dangers, but when they cannot be avoided, it is time to take a closer look at whether someone who controlled the property may be liable.
Talk with slip and fall lawyer Bart Bernard
Like other slip and fall injuries, bad weather injuries may be preventable as long as proper precautions are taken. This duty remains even though bad weather is a more rare occurrence.
If you or a loved one has been injured, speak with Bart Bernard, a slip and fall lawyer Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA put their trust in to fight all the way down the line for injury victims. Bart works tirelessly to investigate your case and collect the hard evidence needed to prove fault. Protect your rights to full and fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more! Call today to set up a free confidential consultation.
Additional bad weather slip and fall resources:
- United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Winter Weather Hazards/Precautions, https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/winter_weather/hazards_precautions.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Important Facts about Falls, https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html