You might assume that becoming the victim of a slip-and-fall accident while on a ski vacation in Aspen or the Adirondacks would be highly likely if you’re not careful. After all, snow and ice are everywhere, including the stuff you can’t see like black ice. But slip and fall accidents occur in vacation destinations all over the world, including hot beach resort areas like Miami and the Caribbean, where guests can slip and fall poolside or on wet wood decks.

What do you do if you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident, whether you’re on vacation or not? You contact the best personal injury lawyer you can find. Says iLawyerUp, a Florida personal injury law firm, if you slip and fall on public property, there’s a good chance the owners won’t be in any rush to pay your medical bills. 

But if the slip and fall was the result of their negligence, such as ice that wasn’t removed properly outside a ski lodge, they may owe you compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other financial losses. That’s where a reputable personal injury lawyer is worth his or her weight in gold. 

All this said, what are the legalities behind a slip and fall accident in the U.S. in 2023? According to a new report by Forbes Advisor,  if you should happen to fall on someone else’s property, you can recover much-needed compensation by filing a lawsuit along with the help of a personal injury attorney. These slip-and-fall lawsuits come about under the property’s liability laws, which means your lawyer needs to prove the property owner is ultimately to blame. 
Here's a little more insight into the legalities involved with slip and fall accidents. 

Defining a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

According to the National Flooring Safety Institute, more than eight million people visit hospital rooms in the U.S. every year after a fall that occurs while traveling, while at work, or simply taking care of daily errands. In fact, slips and falls constitute up to 12 percent of falls and, independently speaking, account for millions of ER visits from injuries that are as minor as scrapes and bruising and as serious as full paralysis or even death. 

Not every fall will result in a lawsuit, however. To successfully pursue a claim, it’s imperative that you demonstrate the property owner should be held accountable for what happened to you. What this means is you need to prove negligence.  

Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

Says Forbes, winning a slip and fall lawsuit means your lawyer has properly demonstrated that the occupier or property owner “failed to fulfill their duty of care.” This is why you see a list of poolside rules prominently displayed outside almost every hotel or motel pool you encounter on your travels. But to win a lawsuit, you need to prove an owner’s irresponsible actions led directly to your slip and fall injuries.   

Occupier vs. Owner Negligence

Slip and fall lawsuits can be problematic due to the fact that sometimes, the individual or individuals who occupy the property are not the owners. It’s important for your personal injury attorney to have a full understanding of which party bore the responsibility for keeping up the space and for the types of property failures that can be viewed as negligent. 
Fact: All owners of commercial property, especially vacation properties, bear a duty to maintain the premises for safety purposes. If they are aware of a hazard or potential hazard, and they fail to remedy it or provide adequate warning, the property owner is at risk of being held fully responsible should a slip and fall injury occur. 

All occupiers of commercial properties are said to have a legal obligation to maintain their premises as safe as reasonably possible. If they know of or should happen to be aware of, a hazard that exists in the space or spaces they are currently renting, they must take action to correct the issue or, at the very least, provide sufficient warning of the risk. 

If it’s impossible for the occupier to repair the potentially dangerous problem on their own, they must notify the owner of it. It’s important that the occupier keep a record of notifying the owner of the problem should the worst happen and a guest suffer injuries from a slip and fall.   

What If You Are Injured in a Hotel or Rented Apartment? 

In the final analysis, what happens if you are injured in a hotel or a rental space like an Airbnb? You would likely file a lawsuit against the occupier or owner if they have clearly failed to address a prominent hazard. 

It’s likely you will also have a legal claim against the property owner if the following exists:  

--The property owner failed to maintain control of common areas of a hotel or apartment. 
--The owner willingly rented the property along with hazards they did not disclose. 
--The owner hasn’t maintained the property properly and in accordance with legal safety standards.

Vacationing and traveling are meant to be fun. But always be vigilant. Slips and falls can occur at any time, anywhere, and they have the potential to be very serious. Be safe out there.