What Is Legal “Notice”?
Author: Attorney Dennis Schaefer
The term notice is a “word of art.” It is a technical term in the law. It is not overly difficult to understand. However, it is a heavily litigated word in slip and fall law. The word or concept is what usually decides the liability in a slip and fall case. Notice, means just that, knew of or should have known of a particular danger. When a premises owner specifically knows of a danger and does nothing to correct it, the legal concept of notice is easily handled. The owner knew, did nothing, someone was hurt because of that, liability is easy.
In the case of a situation where the owner should have known of a danger, and didn’t do anything to correct that danger, the concept gets trickier and more difficult. To prove liability you must be able to prove the owner should have known of the existence of the dangerous condition, if he was acting in a reasonable fashion to keep the premises safe, and did nothing to repair the dangerous condition he should have seen.
To complicate matters where an owner should have known of a dangerous condition if he acted responsibly, a reasonable time element becomes part of the equation. Meaning the owner even though he should have known of the danger has a reasonable time to react to repairing or correcting the danger. This time element and the concept of acting reasonably is what causes most of the liability issues in slip and fall cases.
Dell and Schaefer deals with these issues on a daily basis. We have argued, arbitrated, mediated and litigated these issue many times. If you have a question about a slip and fall accident please call us for a consultation.