In a split second, you could slip and fall to the ground as the result of someone else’s negligence. At that moment, your entire life could change. You may suffer serious injuries, face astronomical medical bills, and never be able to return to work. The financial hardship and psychological trauma caused by a slip and fall accident can be overwhelming and permanently alter your future. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total medical cost for falls totaled more than $50 billion in 2015 alone.
Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that their premises remain safe for all visitors and guests. If you suffered a slip and fall accident as the result of a property owner’s negligence, a Pomona slip and fall lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. with your case. To learn more about your legal rights, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for a free consultation.
Determining if the Property Owner Had Notice of an Unsafe Condition
To seek compensation for injuries and losses after a slip and fall accident, a victim must prove that the property owner either created, knew, or should have known about the unsafe condition. This means that a victim must prove that the property owner had notice of the unsafe condition on their property and directly refused to either fix the dangerous area or provide notice of it to visitors and guests. There are two different types of notice under the law: actual notice and constructive notice.
Actual notice is when a property owner has full awareness of a dangerous or hazardous condition on their property. Ways to prove actual notice may include obtaining copies of video surveillance footage or photos of the property showing that the hazard clearly exists. Another way to prove actual notice is to request files from the business that may show that several people have provided complaints regarding the unsafe condition on the property. Obtaining health, city, and/or local inspection reports that cite the business owner for a dangerous or hazardous condition on their property that remained unfixed or in disrepair can be helpful as well.
Constructive notice addresses those situations where a property owner may not have actually known about an unsafe condition on their property, but they should have known as part of their duty as a property owner. Examples of constructive notice include obviously broken handrails, crumbling steps, or poorly lit common areas or walkways. While a property owner may not have visited these areas of their property for quite some time, the law indicates that they have a responsibility to do so in order to ensure that their property remains in a safe condition for guests and visitors.
Property Owner Defenses for Slip and Fall Accidents
Many property owners and/or their insurance companies will attempt to absolve themselves from any kind of liability or responsibility for a slip and fall accident that occurred on the property in question. If a property owner can prove that they either did not have knowledge or that the slip and fall accident was the fault of the victim, they will likely not have to provide compensation for any injuries or losses related to the accident. There are two types of defenses that a property owner will often argue to avoid paying a victim for their economic and non-economic losses following a slip and fall accident.
As previously mentioned, a property owner may attempt to say that they did not have notice or knowledge of the unsafe condition and that it was outside the scope of their duty as a property owner to have found the specific condition that caused the slip and fall accident.
The Open and Obvious Defense
The other defense is the “open and obvious” defense. This defense indicates that the area in which the victim slipped and fell was so apparent and obvious that no reasonable person would have considered it unsafe or dangerous in any way. Some examples may include large fountains in the middle of a property or a pond behind a fence.
It is important to understand that both property owners, as well as their insurance companies, will likely use all the tactics they can to avoid paying full settlements to victims for their injuries and losses suffered from a slip and fall accident. A Pomona slip and fall lawyer can help you fight these types of defenses and ensure that your legal rights remain protected throughout the process. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to speak with a member of our team.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Accidents Lawyer serving Pomona, call (800) 223-5115
Work with a Pomona Slip and Fall Lawyer
No matter what type of slip and fall accident occurred or what your injuries or losses are, time is of the essence. Every state has its own statute of limitations, which imposes a deadline for filing a legal claim in court. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, the state of California allows only two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.
The Pomona slip and fall lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can answer your questions about your specific case, conduct an independent investigation, negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company, find arguments against the property owner’s potential defenses, and determine the total amount of compensation you may have a legal right to receive under the law. If you are unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, your lawyer can represent you in court.
Let our team help you fight for the justice you deserve. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for a free case evaluation.