The legal concept of comparative negligence is a fancy way of saying is that more than one person can hold partial responsibility for a situation that hurts someone. Comparative negligence, also sometimes called contributory fault, can sometimes impact personal injury and even insurance claims.

For those who get hurt in a slip-and-fall incident on someone else’s property, understanding the circumstances in which the property’s owner or manager has some or most of the liability for their injuries can help that person better determine what steps to take.

Was negligence, such as inadequate maintenance, to blame?

In most cases, in order to hold a property owner responsible for an injury you suffer on their premises, you need to demonstrate that the way they maintained their property or failed to maintain their property  played a role in what happens.

For example, if there is a leak in the ceiling that goes on for some time and then later causes a puddle that you slip in, you could likely argue that failing to address the leak contributed directly to your injury. However, if you enter someone else’s property while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and proceed to lose your balance because of your own impairment, you will have a much harder time bringing a claim against the property owner in that scenario.

The clearer it is that inadequate maintenance or a failure to clean and care for the facility contributed to the injury you suffered, the more straightforward bringing a premises liability insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit will become.