You might assume that a slip and fall accident is minor, but serious injuries, such as broken bones, back injuries, and head injuries, can be caused by a slip or trip and fall. If you were injured on someone else’s property in California, you may be able to recover damages through a premises liability lawsuit. At Knoll Law Group, our California slip and fall lawyers may be able to help you. We represent accident victims throughout California.
Property owners are supposed to use ordinary care in managing their property in order to avoid exposing visitors to an unreasonable risk of harm, and if they do not fulfill that duty, they can be held accountable for visitors’ injuries. Slip or trip and falls may occur because of spills, leaks, uneven surfaces, loose carpets, loose cords and cables, broken railings, failures to place warning signs about dangers, and failures to close construction sites.
When property owners fail to provide warnings or make repairs to dangerous property conditions, they may be liable. For example, if you are eating at a restaurant and slip on the floor of a newly mopped restroom, fracturing your wrist, you may be able to hold the restaurant accountable. Similarly, if you are in a mall and trip on a loose cable, suffering serious back injuries that require rehabilitation, you may be able to hold the owner of the mall accountable.
In order to recover damages, a slip and fall attorney in California will need to prove that the defendant owned, controlled, occupied, or leased the property; the defendant was negligent in the maintenance or use of the property; you were injured; and the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing your harm.
We will need to establish that the property owner had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition that resulted in your slip and fall. If a defendant actually knew about a dangerous condition but chose to ignore it, you can establish notice. For example, it may be possible to establish through investigation or discovery that a patron of a store had noticed a spill and reported it to the store manager, yet hours passed before your slip and fall occurred, during which time the store manager did nothing.
Constructive notice exists when a property owner should have known about the dangerous condition that created a risk of harm. Constructive notice may be established if you can show, given the circumstances, a condition that the defendant should have discovered by using reasonable care. You must show that the defendant should have repaired the dangerous condition, adequately warned of the dangerous condition, or protected against harm arising out of the dangerous condition. When a commercial property owner did not make inspections of its property within a reasonable time before an accident, a California slip and fall attorney likely can show that a dangerous condition existed for long enough that a commercial enterprise owner would have discovered it by using reasonable care. For example, if a surveillance tape shows that a spill was on the floor of a grocery store for hours before a slip and fall, during which time reasonable inspections should have occurred, this may establish constructive notice.
In some circumstances, it may be necessary to retain experts on the issue of whether the property owner’s maintenance procedures were adequate and whether a reasonable property owner would have discovered the dangerous condition.
If we can establish liability, we should be able to recover compensatory damages on your behalf. These are damages intended to put you back in the place in which you would have been had there been no slip and fall. Compensatory damages can include medical bills, physical therapy, rehabilitation, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, lost wages, and lost earning capacity.
Slip or trip and fall accidents should be taken seriously. They can result in significant injuries. After the accident, important evidence such as surveillance footage may be lost fairly quickly, so it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to recover damages by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you should consult with the accident attorneys at Knoll Law Group. Call us at (818) 610-0955 or complete our online form to speak to a slip and fall lawyer assisting people in California, as well as throughout California.