Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of emergency visits and hospitalization due to their potential for grave bodily harm. Each year thousands of slip and fall accidents occur throughout the United States, leaving the victims with hefty medical bills and other unexpected expenses. When these accidents occur at someone else’s property, it is natural to wonder whose fault it was and whether you can sue the property owner for damages.
If you have been seriously injured as a result of a slip and fall accident on another’s property (home or business), you might be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. However, to obtain said compensation, it is necessary to prove the fault or negligence of the property owner in a court of law. Establishing liability is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial parts of any lawsuit dealing with these cases. The experienced slip and fall accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA have provided crucial methods in proving fault for your slip and fall claim.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by several factors, including broken flooring, loose carpeting, tripping hazards, wet/slippery floors, dim lighting, uneven or broken stairs, etc. Although it is easy to dismiss a slip and fall accident, the fact remains that these accidents can lead to serious physical injury, including bone fractures, concussions, external or internal bleeding, etc. While some victims tend to recover from their injuries, in rare cases these injuries can leave the victims with longstanding consequences like physical disability or worse.
Premises Liability Law
The premises liability law governs the slip and fall accidents and injuries occurring on any public or private property. According to this law, you must prove the following in a court of law to win financial compensation for your damages:
- The accident resulted from dangerous conditions or safety hazards at the property.
- Either the property owner or an employee knew or should have known about said conditions at the property.
- Despite the knowledge of said conditions, the property owner or employee did not take any measures to minimize the danger or place warning signs around the safety hazard (liquid spill, broken tiles, loose carpeting, etc.).
Each property owner owes the guests at his/her property a duty of care. The fact that dangerous conditions exist at the property and cause physical injury to the visitors involved in slip and fall accidents at the property violates this duty of care. Therefore, the property owner can be held liable in a court of law for not taking reasonable measures to make their property safe for everyone and contributing to the injuries caused by the accident.
Comparative and Contributory Negligence
Depending on the state you live in, the fault systems can vary. The two main fault systems are comparative and contributory negligence. According to comparative negligence, each party involved in a slip and fall lawsuit has a certain percentage of fault for the accident. Even if your negligence contributed to the accident, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
However, in the states that have contributory negligence as their standard fault system, victims can not recover damages if their negligence contributed to the accident, no matter how small the fault.
Hiring an Attorney
In any slip and fall accident, it is advisable to hire an experienced slip and fall injury attorney. A lawyer from a reputable law firm will help you file the lawsuit, provide excellent legal guidance, and help in gathering evidence to prove fault in your slip and fall lawsuit against a property owner.