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A slip-and-fall hazard: Local water features

With the spring nearly here and summer coming quickly, one of the things you're likely to see more often is working fountains. Some areas have them out in the open, where tourists and locals can run under the flowing waterfalls. Others have them for decorations, where the water falls back into a dish and is recollected.

The trouble with these water features is that they create an opportunity for injury. Someone running through the waterfall-like area may slip and fall, hurting themselves.

Can you hold someone liable if you fall due to a fountain or water feature?

The answer isn't a simple yes or no. In some cases, you can hold someone liable if you are able to show that there was negligence involved. For example, if the fountain is placed over slick tile, the person who set it up should have known that someone could fall and get hurt. They could be liable for not preventing that.

On the other hand, if all possible precautions are taken and you still fall, the owner of the feature may not be liable. Sometimes, accidents are just that, and it can be hard to hold someone accountable if they took all the possible steps to keep others safe.

The reality is that it's difficult to know if you can sue or not without looking at your case. Your attorney can review it and let you know if there were safety hazards that should have been addressed before a water feature, such as an open fountain or waterfall, was opened to the public.

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