Do I Have a Slip and Fall Claim?
San Diego Lawyer on Determining Fault in Premises Liability Cases
Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident? The answer to this question is not always clear-cut. Determining what the law defines as “reasonable behavior” on the part of the land or building owner strongly influences whether a slip and fall case will be successful.
If you suffered injuries because of a slip and fall, an experienced San Diego slip and fall lawyer can guide you through the legal process of gathering evidence and proving the premises owner knew or should have known about the dangers that caused the accident. For help determining what acts of negligence and premises liability the defendant may be responsible for, the following page outlines basic California premises liability law about what a slip and fall injury claim needs to be successful.
Who is At Fault for Me Slipping and Falling?
Most property accidents link back to owners not maintaining or failing to remedy dangerous conditions on their premises. Some common hazards include:
- Unsafe property design or layout
- Lack of property maintenance
- Slippery surfaces due to inclement weather, spilled liquid or any other cause
- Lack of or poor lighting
- Defective steps and staircases
These types of hazards can be present on almost any property. However, your best legal options depend greatly on where you received your injuries. For example, if you fell on private property, you could likely bring a premises liability claim against the property owner to recover your damages. On the other hand, if you fell on public property, you would have to bring a lawsuit against the government agency. However, it may be necessary to file a proper administrative claim with the appropriate agency within a very short period of time. If you fall on the job, you should consider filing a claim for workers’ compensation. A slip and fall lawyer near you can help you determine what the best legal avenues are based on where you were injured.
How Can You Prove the Owner Should Have Known?
The term “reasonable behavior” is an area of conflict in many slips and falls. What “should” have been done can be subjective, so results vary from case to case. Questions a personal injury attorney may ask to determine what was “reasonable” in a slip and fall case are also an important factor. For example:
- Was the dangerous condition there long enough that the owner or operator should have known about it?
- Does the property owner have a procedure for regular maintenance? Can they prove it?
- If you tripped over an object, was there a legitimate reason for it to be there?
- Was there a safer place where the object you tripped over could have been located?
- Was lighting an issue? If there was better lighting where you slipped or fell, would the accident have occurred?
What Will Happen if I am Partially to Blame for the Accident?
If you feel that you may be somewhat responsible for the slip and fall accident, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries. California follows the comparative fault doctrine, which means the law will calculate the percentage of fault for which each person in the lawsuit is responsible. If the law finds the victim 20 percent at fault for the accident, then any compensation awarded will be diminished by this percentage.
How to Contact an Attorney that Handles Premises Liability Injury
Determining if you have a legitimate case in a slip and fall accident can be tricky. After a slip and fall, ask premises liability lawyer Frederick M. Dudek your questions in a free case evaluation. While Fred only takes a limited number of cases, he does this so that he can continue to provide personal and comprehensive attention to each of his clients. There is no charge for this initial consultation, and no obligation to use his services. To get details on your best legal options, call today.