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Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

Ranked #1

Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

Proving Slip and Fall Accidents

You may be very careful and aware of your surroundings and keep yourself from bodily harm, but accidents can still happen. Accidents happen to even the most alert and responsible people. However, if you suspect that your recent slip and fall accident was due to negligence, inattentiveness, or recklessness of another person, then you should take action against the negligent party.

The owners and managers of hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, supermarkets, office buildings, and other places in which there is regular public traffic have a legal obligation to keep their spaces free of hazards or to warn people when they are present. You must be warned if a floor surface is wet. If you have not received this kind of caution and you slip and fall, then the people responsible have to pay compensation.

Our lawyers can help you file a claim or a lawsuit. We can provide you with the skill, experience, and expertise to get you fair compensation.

You should know from the start that you will have a fight on your hands. The property owner is likely to contest your claim, and may have the resources to put up a vigorous defense.  There is no cut-and-dry rule that stipulates when a property owner is liable. The standard is: could the accident have been avoided if the property owner had been more careful?

You have to prove that the owner did not take reasonable measures to protect the public against a clear and present hazard. Indeed, the owner may not be liable to an accident that is the result of your own inability to avoid such a hazard. For example, if you trip over a leaf rake that is leaning against a tree, it is more than likely that the owner will not be forced to pay damages.

If you have been injured due to a slip and fall on someone else’s premises, you will need to show that one of the following conditions were present to win your case:

  • The owner or the person acting for them had a duty to be aware of the hazard.
  • The owner or manager knew about the hazard but did nothing to repair it or seal it off so that no member of the public could access it.
  • The owner or their employee caused the dangerous condition.

At some point during the claim or lawsuit, you will have to deal with the reasonableness of the actions taken by the owner as they relate to your accident. Before starting the case you and your premises liability lawyer will want to ask some basic questions:

  • How long had the discrepancy or defect existed before the accident? For example, if the wet surfaced you slipped on was caused by a roof that had been leaking for the past month, then it is reasonable to think that the owner should have fixed it long before your incident occurred. But if the leak sprung up shortly before the injury, then the matter becomes less clear-cut.
  • What kind of daily cleaning and inspection does the premise owner do? Many owners claim they carry out a premise inspection every day. You and your premises liability lawyer should ask the question: what kind of proof can they produce to back up this claim?
  • If you tripped over something, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there? Was it in plain sight? If not, was there some warning or caution given to tell you it was present?
  • If you tripped over something that had a legitimate reason for being where it was, did that reason still exist at the time of the accident? Property owners have refurbishment work done all the time. Once the job is finished, it is their responsibility to make sure all trip hazards have been removed. If you have fallen because you tripped over a paint pan that had sat there for 2 months, then you have a good case for owner negligence.

These are some of the issues and questions that you and your premises liability attorney will need to get into before you take the property owner on. However, you will also need to prepare for the lines of attack they will mount against you in their defense.

Most states allow defendants in slip and fall cases to test the reasonableness of the plaintiff’s actions. It is called the rule of comparative negligence, and it means that if you were in some way responsible for or contributed to the accident that led to your injury the compensation you receive will be reduced. You need to sit down with your attorney and ask the following questions:

  • Did you have a legitimate reason for being on the owner’s property when the accident occurred? If, for example, you entered a construction site or an area that was under refurbishment, then you might have a problem.
  • Would a cautious person similarly situated have avoided the danger? You have to demonstrate that there was no way you could have avoided the hazard unless you were aware it was there.
  • Did the property owner seal off the dangerous area or give clear warning not to enter or go near it? Most owners post warning signs. Was such a sign posted or had it fallen to the ground? You should be prepared to answer this question.
  • Did you do anything that contributed to your accident? This is a big one. If the owner is able to bring forth witnesses that saw you running, engaging in horseplay, talking on your phone or texting, then you might be deemed at least partly responsible for the accident.

These are the kinds of questions that the respondent’s legal team will ask you. It is important to have good answers for them. Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience and expertise in slip and fall accidents and will work with you so that you are ready if the case goes to trial.

It is the main goal of our personal injury lawyers to put together a case so strong that the defendant prefers to settle rather than go to trial. If that happens, then it will be the job of our lawyer to get you a compensation package that is fair with all that you have suffered.

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