It is impossible to know for certain if you have a viable slip and fall injury case without speaking with an attorney about your situation. Certain factors will have to be present for you to be eligible to pursue legal action, including:
Everyone has fallen at some point in their life. These falls are so common that many fall victims incorrectly assume they have no legal recourse if they suffer injuries. While not every slip and fall accident will result in a successful lawsuit, a fall victim could be entitled to compensation if the property owner or occupier is to blame.
Below, we review some of the elements necessary for a successful slip and fall personal injury claim. If you believe you are entitled to compensation, it is in your best interest to speak directly with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
An unsafe condition resulted in your injury
To qualify for monetary compensation, your fall must result from an unsafe or dangerous condition that exists on the property of another person. Many falls occur due to dangerous conditions like spilled drinks, broken steps, and inadequate lighting. To succeed in your claim, you must establish that a hazard was unreasonably dangerous and that it led to your fall.
You were not aware of the unsafe condition
There are circumstances where you have some responsibility for your own safety, even when you are on the property of another person. The most common example would be if you sustained an injury from a hazard you were aware of. If you knew of the hazard and simply failed to tread carefully, you might not succeed in recovering damages on your claim. The same is true if a hazard is so obvious that you should have been aware of its presence.
The property owner failed to reasonably respond to the unsafe condition
After proving that a dangerous hazard existed and that you were unaware of it, you must further demonstrate that the property owner failed to address the hazard in a reasonable amount of time. If you are certain that the property owner was aware of the hazard and failed to do anything about it, you could have a strong slip and fall case. You are not excluded from potential compensation even if the property owner was unaware of the hazard, however. Owners and occupiers of their property are expected to maintain their premises in a safe condition. If they should have been aware of a hazard, they could be held responsible for it.
You should also consider whether or not the property owner or occupier had the opportunity to address the hazard before the injury occurred. The amount of time between the emergence of the hazard and your fall is important. If you slip on a drink that was spilled moments before your fall, the property owner could argue that he or she did not have a reasonable amount of time to address the spill. But if you fall on a drink that was spilled hours earlier, you could have a case.
You suffered compensable damages in the fall
You are only entitled to monetary compensation if you are damaged by a fall. In other words, if you face little more than a bruised ego, you will not be entitled to compensation. This is true even when the fall was due to an unsafe hazard. If you are not injured, you are not entitled to financial recovery.
Whether or not you have sustained compensable damages is a legal question best left to an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles. In some cases, your injuries may not become apparent for hours, days, or even weeks after your fall. In cases involving severe injuries, establishing that you have suffered compensable damages can be more straightforward.
How seasoned legal counsel can help
These are just general guidelines to think about when considering a personal injury claim. If you have suffered injuries in a fall, your best chance of recovery involves the guidance of skilled legal counsel. Call Salamati Law right away to schedule a free consultation.