The Cost of a Slip and Fall: Understanding Liability and Compensation

The Cost of a Slip and Fall: Understanding Liability and Compensation

Under Montana law, if a person owns or possesses a building or property, they owe a duty of reasonable care to everyone who comes onto their property, regardless of their status. This duty requires the property owner to use reasonable care in the maintenance of their property, including warning of hidden or lurking dangers and open and obvious dangers that they should anticipate may cause harm to people on their property.

Unfortunately, not every property owner maintains their premises in a safe condition. In the event that a property owner's negligence leads to a slip and fall accident, victims can typically recover compensation for their losses. Some examples of slip and fall hazards that are often the result of property owner negligence include:

  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Poor lighting
  • Wet floors
  • Unmarked construction
  • Uneven stairs
  • Torn carpet
  • Debris in walkways

For members of the public in Montana, it is advisable to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, particularly during the winter months when snow and ice can pose hazards. When pursuing a slip and fall claim against a property owner in Montana, it is important to anticipate that the other side may argue that a victim shares some responsibility for an accident. 

Montana follows comparative negligence laws, which means that if a person is found to have contributed to a fall, their damages can be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault, as long as their contribution is not greater than the property owner's. This means that if a person is determined to be 30 percent at fault for a fall and suffered $100,000 in damages, the property owner would be responsible for 70 percent of the damages, or $70,000. 

However, if it is found that a person contributed more than 50 percent to a fall, they would not be able to recover any damages. A defendant is likely to make various arguments to support their claim of contributory negligence, such as:

  • Being in a prohibited area or an area where visitors are not expected.
  • Being distracted or not paying attention.
  • Asserting that the dangerous condition causing the fall should have been obvious, such as a spill that was blocked off by cones or signs.

The best way you can protect your rights after a slip and fall accident is to retain an attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer familiar with these and other insurance company tactics can fight back and get you the compensation you deserve.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Montana Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. To schedule your free case evaluation with a slip and fall attorney in Montana, call us today or contact us online.