Every owner of a property must build, design and maintain the property in a way that makes it safe for those who visit. This obligation of care extends to all situations in which a property is likely to be visited by a guest -- whether it's for business or social purposes, and, sometimes, even in cases where someone wanders onto the property.
The liability of a property owner also extends to nursing homes. The owners and staff in nursing homes need to maintain the property in a way that reasonably ensures the safety of guests and residents alike.
Slip-and-fall accidents that happen on nursing home property
As with all slip-and-fall accident claims, holding a nursing home accountable for a slip-and-fall-related injury hinges on whether or not the owner of the nursing home -- or the nursing home managers -- took proactive action to prevent and/or eliminate slipping and falling risks. It also hinges on whether the carelessness of the injured person may have contributed to fall and injuries.
Here are some of the most important factors that courts will consider in evaluating the viability of a slip-and-fall accident case in general, regardless of where the accident and injuries occurred:
- Did a dangerous condition on the property cause the slip and fall?
- Did the owner of the property or his or her agents know about the dangerous condition, and/or should they have known about the condition? Or, did the owner or his her agents create the condition?
- Did the dangerous condition represent an unreasonable amount of risk to people on the property?
- Was the dangerous condition such that the injured party would not have anticipated it being there given the surrounding circumstances? In other words, should the injured person have known or been aware of the condition and should he or she have taken action to avoid getting hurt by it?
- Did the owner or his or her agents negligently fail to fix the dangerous condition? Or, was the dangerous condition present for long enough that the owner should have known about it and corrected it within a reasonable amount of time?
After a slip-and-fall accident in a nursing home: Investigate what happened
If you or a loved one slipped and fell in a nursing home, it's important to investigate the reason why. Depending on the answer to this question, and the circumstances under which the injuries occurred, the nursing home might be financially liable to pay for the costs and damages caused by the incident. Learn more about New Jersey personal injury law and how it applies to nursing home slip-and-fall cases.