Slip and fall accidents and premises liability – the basics

Written by Andres Bryant. Posted in Family

  A slip and fall accident is likely to occur in any location. Statistically, thousands of people are wounded each single year, some of them very seriously, when they trip and fall on a wet floor in a grocery store or on an uneven sidewalk. If you have been wounded in this way, then you can sue for premises liability and get compensatory damages that cover your medical expenses as well as your absence from work. However, your Tustin injury attorney has to make sure that the value of the case is high enough. Not every case gives rise to legal liability, so you should know from the start what you should expect.

Premises liability – background info

Taking a closer look at the legal concept which governs most situations will come in handy if you slip and fall on somebody else’s property. A slip and fall accident is one that can be classified as a particular type of tort case. To be more precise, should you trip, fall or get injured on a property belonging to someone else, there are strong chances to file a lawsuit and be awarded damages. The case is constructed upon premises liability due to the fact that it is carried out against the owner of the property. Premises liability means that the owner of any given property has the legal responsibility for the injuries that a person has sustained in consequence of unsafe conditions on the property. Premises liability cases exist in almost any kind of open space and can include a number of accidents. It is important to take note of the fact that the elements of a personal liability case vary from state to state. If you are interested in finding out how things work in California, for example, you should consult a CA Premises Liability Infographic.

Proving fault

If you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you should take into account the fact that is a normal part of life for things to fall and trip on the floor or the ground or for smooth surfaces not to be even. Equally important is that some things which are placed in the ground, like drainage gates, have a meaningful purpose. The property owner/occupier does not necessarily carry the responsibility for picking up every slippery item on the floor, nor is he responsible for things that you should avoid. But they have to be careful so as to keep up their real estate. To be legally responsible, the owner must have caused the spill or the slippery surface, he or an employee must have had knowledge about the dangerous surface without doing nothing about it. This is all up to your lawyer to prove in court.

Making a settlement

A slip and fall lawsuit is filed only when the two parties cannot reach an agreement. Maybe you are asking for too much money, or the insurance company of the defendant refuses to pay. Either way, the lawsuit begins when you cannot reach a settlement. The fact is that you should at least try to reach a settlement. Not only are settlements advantageous for both sides, but you may actually get what you deserve in terms of compensation. If you are offered less that you claimed, then it is time to reexamine the settlements offer and make sure that they are acceptable.

Taking matters to court

Should you fail to settle before trial, estimating the degree of recovery is quite difficult. In court, the final decision is left to the jury who will decide the exact amount of compensation that you are entitled to, that is if you are entitled to any. The truth be told, putting the case in the hands of a jury is highly risky. Jurors are sometimes subjective, so it is worth having a persuasive attorney.  

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