Slips and falls are such common reasons for personal injury lawsuits that some attorneys have specialized to represent only slip and fall injury victims. When a person is injured due to a hazard in their path that they have no reason to anticipate, the person or entity responsible for the hazard may have to pay the victim’s doctor bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Certain entities, like public shops, schools, and common use areas, have special responsibilities: their guests are known as legal invitees, and they owe the duty of highest care in removing or preventing any spills or obstacles that could cause injury. Because the Huntington Beach area has so many public spaces, there are many ways for a person to gt hurt.
Duty of Care
The duty of a person or entity to anticipate or remove obstacles from another person’s path, or eliminate anything that could cause a fall, depends on whether the entity is a public or private space, the age of the victim, and whether the victim is trespassing. If the victim is a trespasser, the duty of the property owner to prevent obstacles is lessened, unless the victim is a child or the property is an attractive nuisance, like a playground or swimming pool. Private citizens owe a lesser duty of care in their private home.
Breach of Duty
When a person is injured due to a slip or fall, it is up to the courts to decide what level, if any, of duty of care is owed to the victim. Then, the courts must decide if there was a breach of that duty. In many cases, the attorneys on either side can predict what the courts might think, and use that prediction to reach a settlement that reduces litigation time and expense while recouping some of the victim’s losses.
If the victim suffers no harm, she is not entitled to a settlement simply because there was a misplaced item in her way. In order for a recovery to be made, damages must be incurred by the victim. The damages usually occur in the form of doctor bills, increased insurance premiums, lost wages, and property damage. A court will determine what damages were incurred and assign a monetary value to compensate for the victim’s losses.
Of course, a Huntington Beach slip and fall attorney can articulate what duty you were owed if you were hurt in a fall, and what kind of damages you might be able to recover. Some damages may not be obvious, but an attorney will know what to look out for. Contact a Huntington Beach slip and fall accident lawyer for an initial consultation.
Every year as they go about their daily business, hundreds of residents of Milpitas, California take an ordinary step and fall. Usually, these ‘slip and fall’ accidents are harmless and due to simple carelessness. Sometimes, however, the injury was caused by negligence. If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a property owner’s neglect, you will want to consult an attorney who can help you assess your claim.
Slip and fall law is a ‘premises liability’ claim, meaning that the liable party is the owner of the business or property where the accident occurred. California law stipulates that property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that their premises is safe and free from hazards. If this seems straightforward, it isn’t. What constitutes ‘reasonable’ is actually a nuanced legal question and needs to be evaluated by experts. Milpitas Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers understand the law and will work closely with you in order to help you determine your best legal options.
Because every accident is different, your attorney will have to complete a thorough investigation. Some examples of slip and fall injuries are those that occur on a wet floor, a poorly maintained stairwell or on a pavement that is broken or uneven. The law stipulates that a property owner must be aware that there is a ‘dangerous’ condition on their premises. If they created the hazard or simply knew of its existence and failed to repair the problem, they can be held legally responsible. Even if they were unaware of the situation, but it existed ‘long enough’ that they should have been aware of the problem, they can be found liable.
One of the reasons slip and fall legal claims are so complicated is that even if the property owner appears responsible, the courts will take into account the ‘reasonableness’ of their actions. If it appears that they have taken reasonable precautions, then they might not be liable for the accident. The court will also want to know about your behavior. Were you equally liable for the accident? If you had been taking reasonable care, could the injury have been avoided? You are also expected to behave in a ‘reasonable’ fashion to ensure your own safety.
It takes an experienced lawyer to help assess a slip and fall case because there are no clear cut rules regarding responsibility. Each situation is different and all of the facts must be weighed carefully before proceeding to a claim.
Representing the injured party
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s very important that you consult with an attorney. They will help you understand what to expect throughout the process. Remember, these cases require an expert who understands how to build a successful case. Your attorney will help you assess your best options.
In California you have six months from the date of your injury to file a legal claim, so it’s important to take action as soon as you are able. If you or someone that you love has been involved in a slip and fall accident, contact Milpitas Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers. Having an expert on your side can make all the difference.