A slip and fall injury, also known as a premises liability, is an injury which occurs on someone else’s property as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition. In this type of injury, either the injured person or the property owner or both are liable for the accident, depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury. The key to these cases is determining if either party was negligent and to what degree. If you have sustained a slip and fall injury and would like help determining your rights to compensation, a premises liability lawyer at Joseph Farzam Law Firm can help.
All property owners and businesses are required to maintain a safe property that is “reasonably” free from impediments, hazardous conditions, structural defects or other situations which could create an accident, or to warn customers and visitors of possible dangers if the owner has not yet been able to make repairs. The law of premises liability determines the responsibility of the property owner or manager in a slip and fall personal injury case, whether the property is a residence or place of business.
Negligence law governs premises liability claims and looks at the details of the claim to determine if there was evidence of negligence, i.e failure to exercise the appropriate degree of care considered “reasonable” to prevent injury. The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant either created the dangerous situation that led to the accident or that the defendant knew or should have known about the danger and taken steps to remove or repair it. Proving negligence can be difficult since you must prove when the hazard first occurred.
Keep in mind that it is equally possible that the injured person will be found negligent rather than the property owner or business establishment, if the injury was found to be directly related to carelessness or inattention on the part of the injured. For example, if a person walks into a deep pothole in a business’s parking lot that has been clearly labeled and taped off and the person sustains injuries, that person will be held liable for not paying attention to the warnings.
While negligence is key to your case, proving it can be difficult. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries immediately after it occurs and write down the names and addresses of any eyewitnesses. Increasingly, businesses and property owners have adopted the policy of filing an accident report immediately after it occurs. However, if a report is not filed, attempt to gather the details of the accident and a description of the scene yourself so that you have some kind of documentation to present to a jury.
Remember, a property owner is not liable simply because the accident occurred on his or her property. The property owner has to be proven negligent. Therefore, premises liability cases will find the owner of the property liable for damages if the injured person can prove that:
- The condition of the property was dangerous;
- The owner knew, or should have known, about the hazardous condition;
- The owner had a reasonable opportunity to correct or warn of the condition, which was not reasonably obvious to the injured party at the time of the accident.
- Slippery floors or standing water, ice, or snow
- Damaged or uneven walkways, slippery stairs, or poor upkeep
- Pool drownings
- Falling trees
- Exposed construction or landscaping waste
- Products falling off of shelves at a store
- Torn carpeting
- Abrupt changes in flooring
- Poor lighting
- Narrow stairs (including lack of or insufficient railing)
- Wet floors
The Joseph Farzam Law Firm – Slip and Fall Lawyers Los Angeles
Slip and Fall litigation is often complex. It can be difficult to prove negligence without a thorough investigation by an experienced team of professionals. Furthermore, victims who proceed with a slip and fall accident claim with the help of a lawyer who specializes in such cases are many times more likely to recover full compensation than victims who are not represented. Compensation that can be recovered includes:
- Damages for all medical expenses including initial treatment, surgical procedures, rehabilitation, and psychiatric treatment;
- Compensation for lost wages or the ability to earn future wages;
- Qualitative damages, including pain and suffering, the trauma associated with permanent injury, and spousal loss of consortium.
If you are dealing with the pain, trauma and grief of dealing with injuries caused negligence, the last thing you should have to deal with is fighting for the compensation from unresponsive insurance companies and uncaring property owners. The experts at Joseph Farzam Law Firm are compassionate about your situation and will fight to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law.