How can you prove that a property owner is liable for your slip and fall accident?
When you have a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be left with unexpected medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. An Alhambra slip and fall lawyer can help determine if enough evidence exists to support a premises liability claim for your injuries. But first, you must understand the property owner’s responsibilities and the legal requirements needed to establish your case.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in Alhambra, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Duty of Care
One of the first issues in premises liability claims is the duty of care principle. This means that owners of buildings, hotels, resorts, and other properties have an obligation (duty), to make sure that those who are on the property are in reasonably safe conditions. “Duty of care” essentially is the responsibility that a property opener has to maintain the property in safe conditions without any danger involved for those who are invited to the property.
An invitee is someone with the legal right to be on someone else’s property. This invitation can be made formally, informally, or can even be implied. In public places like supermarkets, malls, and restaurants, people have implied invitation—they do not need a formal invitation. Even trespassers may be able to file a claim for injuries suffered on someone else’s property. California does not have a legal distinction between invitees, trespassers, or similar categories in these types of cases, but these categories can still play a part in determining liability, per Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) No. 1001.
However, the underlying fact remains that property owners should attempt to make reasonable efforts to keep people safe from hazardous conditions while on the property. The property owner must fix any hazardous conditions as soon as they are aware of the problem. A property owner’s action must be reasonable. By taking reasonable action, the owner’s actions would be seen by other property owners under similar conditions as a normal and accepted measure of safety.
Negligence of the Property Owner
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), someone who acts negligently does not set out or intend to injure another person. Their conduct becomes “negligent” when it falls below a legally recognized standard of taking care to protect others from harm.
In a typical slip and fall injury case, the person who was injured must be able to prove four critical legal pieces to prove property owner negligence.
- First, you must prove that you were owed a duty of care while on the property where the slip and fall accident occurred. This “duty of care” is the obligation of the property owner, management company, or another party to take necessary precautions to prevent injuries.
- Second, you must prove that this duty was breached by the property owner. In other words, the property owner did not take the required precautions to correct a hazard on the property. A hazard or dangerous condition could be anything from a pothole to a cracked or broken floorboard to uneven walkways, all of which might have led to your slip and fall accident.
- Third, you must prove that you were affected by this breach of the duty of care and suffered injuries or were harmed in some way. If requested, California courts do allow the plaintiff to have a trial by jury upon demand in negligence cases.
- Fourth, you must prove how the injuries you suffered caused harm and damage to you. This may include medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
An Alhambra slip and fall lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove these four elements, such as photos, videos, eyewitness testimony, accident reports, and more. Contact our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Lawyer serving Alhambra, call (800) 794-0444
Actions of a Property Owner
As mentioned above, a property owner’s actions must be deemed as “reasonable” in civil code mandates around slip and fall accidents. However, there’s another term to describe the actions of the property owner in preventing any hazard or danger on the property.
That term is “foreseeable,” and this outlines that owners or managers of a property, place, or building should have predicted that a hazard or dangerous conditions on the grounds might cause a slip and fall accident.
Basically, if a property owner clearly could foresee that a hazard existed on the property, then it is assumed that at that moment, the owner should have taken the next steps to reconcile the dangerous condition for any visitors.
However, just because a person is injured on somebody else’s property does not necessarily make the injured party free from fault. Contributory negligence may be a factor in some slip and fall accident cases.
Contributory negligence is when an injured person did something that contributed to their own injuries. The higher the degree of the victim’s responsibility for their injuries, the less liability will be assigned to the property owner. This can reduce or eliminate a slip and fall injury settlement.
There is no single rule you can reference to determine a dangerous foreseeable threat. If the property owner’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances, and if the victim contributed to their own injuries, the facts must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Alhambra Slip and Fall Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Finding a property owner liable for causing the conditions that led to your slip and fall accident can be a complex process. Besides needing to prove negligence, which is not always easy, you will also need witnesses, evidence, and reports documenting your slip and fall accident.
An Alhambra slip and fall lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can guide you through this process and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We know the laws regarding slip and fall accidents, and we are here to help you try to achieve a winning settlement. Contact us today at (800) 223-5115 to get started.