What is a “Slip and Fall?”

Written by Thom Goolsby


Slip and fall” or “trip and fall” are generic terms used to describe an injury or accident which occurs due to slipping or tripping and falling as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property. It includes falls in supermarkets, as well as falls resulting from water, ice or snow and abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard such as a hard to see hole in the ground.

A person who slips and falls on someone else’s property is not automatically entitled to recover damages for any personal injuries which follow. The injured person (called the “plaintiff”) must prove that the fall happened because of the negligence of the property owner or someone else who could be legally responsible.

North Carolina is one of the few states which still clings to the “pure contributory negligence rule” which bars any recovery by an injured person if that person in any way contributed, by his or her own negligence, to the accident and injury. In cases of open and obvious hazards, this makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the injured party to recover compensation.

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