Falls often result in no more than some embarrassment and a minor scrape or scratch. However, some falls can lead to significant injuries with severe consequences. Although property owners must take reasonable care to keep their premises safe for visitors, they often fail to maintain their land.
If you fell because of negligently maintained premises, a skilled personal injury attorney could help you claim compensation from the property owner. A Woodland Hills slip and fall lawyer could review your case and devise a strategy to help you file a successful claim. En Español
Owners Must Maintain Safe Premises
Anyone who owns property in California must take reasonable measures to keep it safe for guests. This obligation applies to property owners, lessees, renters, managers, homeowners, landlords, and tenants. However, safety obligations depend on the circumstances.
The steps for maintaining a safe property vary depending on whether the property is a store, restaurant, public pool, private home, or doctor’s office. Property managers must assess the risks to visitors and protect them from potential injuries. Factors that could determine whether safety efforts were reasonable include the following:
- Visibility of the dangerous hazard
- Likelihood of injury due to the condition
- The difficulty of eliminating the risk
- Control over the hazard
- How long the hazardous condition existed
- Whether the condition was predictable
A hardworking attorney in Woodland Hills could review the circumstances of a fall to determine whether failure to take reasonable care caused the incident.
What Are Potential Defenses to Slip and Fall Claims?
Although a property owner has a duty to keep guests out of harm’s way, California Civil Code §1714(a) requires a visitor to be cautious when on another person’s land. In some cases, responsible parties and their insurance companies question an injured person’s lack of care as a defense to a slip and fall claim.
For example, if a dangerous condition was apparent, a landowner might argue that the injured person should have seen the hazard and avoided it. Similarly, if a property owner notified someone about the risk and ignored the warning, the guest could be partially responsible for their injuries.
If an injured person’s conduct contributed to their accident, they may still be able to collect damages. However, the amount they collect will be reduced by their percentage of responsibility. A diligent lawyer in Woodland Hills could preserve an injured person’s right to maximum damages by presenting evidence showing that their conduct contributed little to their fall.
Filing a Civil Claim If an Accident Happened on Public Property
If a fall happened in a government office or property, an injured person could hold the state, local government, or public agency liable for their injuries. However, special procedures apply, so it is critical to seek legal advice immediately.
The negligence standard for private property owners does not apply when someone falls on public property. To hold a government agency accountable in a slip and fall case, a legal team member must prove that:
- The public entity had notice of the dangerous condition and adequate time to fix it before the accident
- A public employee working within the scope of their employment caused the hazardous condition
In addition, local governments require slip and fall victims to file a notice of claim within six months of their injury. Someone who does not file the notice on time could lose the right to sue for their injuries.
An attorney could ensure that a fall victim meets necessary deadlines after an accident on public property in Woodland Hills.
Rely on a Woodland Hills Attorney to Handle Your Slip and Fall Claim
If a fall caused you a significant injury that required medical treatment or caused you to miss work, you could hold the landowner liable for your damages. You could receive compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A Woodland Hills slip and fall lawyer could help you build a strong case. Speak to an experienced attorney today.