Slip and Falls in Places of Worship

Slip and fall incidents can happen anywhere, including churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship. When a slip and fall incident occurs, injury victims are typically able to pursue compensation from the at-fault property owner. But what happens if the slip and fall occurs at a place of worship? Who will be held responsible for these incidents?

Here, we want to discuss slip and fall premises liability incidents at places of worship. Individuals should still be able to recover compensation for their losses in these situations.

Slip and Falls in Places of Worship

Causes of Slip and Falls in Places of Worship

Churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship have the same duty of care as other property owners and businesses to ensure that their properties are safe for those who have a right to be there. This includes those who go there to worship. Unfortunately, slip and fall incidents still occur in these areas, often due to:

  • Poor lighting. Often, places of worship keep lights dim to create a spiritual atmosphere. Unfortunately, inadequate lighting can make it very hard for individuals to see hazards on the floor before it is too late.
  • Floor issues. Places of worship sometimes have tile or marble floors and stairs that lead to the upper floors of the area. These floors and stairs can become dangerous if they are slippery or if there are objects or hazards on the ground.
  • Insufficient staffing. Houses of worship often rely on volunteers to help during services and at other events. These individuals may not have the training or time to properly clean up any spills or remove hazards that could cause a slip and fall incident.
  • Maintenance issues. Most houses of worship are nonprofit organizations that rely on funding from members. However, when a budget is particularly tight, the house of worship may put off needed maintenance to the floor areas, parking lots, sidewalks, and stairs.

Who Will be Liable for Damages?

Most people hesitate when they think about filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against a house of worship. However, it is important to understand that a church, mosque, or synagogue is almost always going to have liability insurance on their property. Nonprofit organizations that have employees and assets are typically required to carry insurance.

So, when you file a claim against the house of worship, you are not taking money out of the church pockets. Essentially, you are receiving compensation from the insurance carrier that has already been paid through premiums.

Even if an individual is uncomfortable filing a claim or lawsuit against the house of worship, we need to stress just how financially devastating a slip and fall incident can be for a victim. Individuals have to deal not only with medical bills, but also potentially lost wages if they cannot work while they recover. It is not uncommon for slip and fall injury price tags to rise into the tens of thousands of dollars.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a slip and fall accident at a house of worship, please reach out to a Portland premises liability attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can fully investigate the incident, work to determine liability, and handle all communication with the church and the insurance carrier involved.