A personal injury lawsuit after a slip and fall claim allows a victim of fall injuries to secure compensation for losses. Plaintiffs have the burden of proving several elements of a slip and fall claim if they wish to be paid for their financial and non-economic damages.
Notice – the property owner or tenant’s knowledge of a dangerous condition – in slip and fall cases is one of the things a plaintiff must prove in a slip and fall case. Notice can be proven by showing the owner or tenant’s maintenance and/or inspection records, photographs from the location where the fall took place, witness testimony, expert testimony, along with other kinds of evidence.
What is Notice in Long Beach Slip and Fall Cases?
A property owner is liable for harm caused by a dangerous condition of which the owner had actual or constructive notice. California Civil Jury Instruction Section 1103 makes clear a plaintiff must prove the defendant “had notice of the dangerous condition before the injury occurred.”
Notice can be either “actual” or “constructive”. Actual notice means that the defendant had actual knowledge of the defect. That the defendant knew that it existed but failed to remedy it. Proving actual notice can be accomplished by many methods such as obtaining the defendant’s maintenance records or grocery store “sweep sheets”. Photographs depicting the old worn out condition that obviously was left in disrepair by a landlord is another method of proving actual notice. Testimony from an employee of the defendant also often provides evidence of actual notice. Any evidence that proves that the defendant was actually aware of the defect qualifies as actual notice.
To prevail, the plaintiff does not necessarily have to prove the defendant had actual notice. Constructive notice – what a reasonable person or entity should have known – is enough. California Civil Jury Instruction Section 1011 addresses when a defendant has constructive notice of dangerous property conditions. When a jury considers whether the defendant – private or government entity – should have been aware of dangerous conditions, the jury should assess whether under the circumstances “the condition was of such a nature and existed long enough that the… defendant… had sufficient time to discover it” and then either repair it, warn about it, or protect the plaintiff against the harm.
Property owners are expected to make reasonable routine inspections of their property to find potential hazards and risks. If they don’t live up to their obligations, this is when slip and fall civil cases can arise. As long as the plaintiff can show his or her slip and fall injuries were directly caused by conditions the defendant had notice of, the plaintiff should prevail in a civil case.
Getting Help from a Long Beach Slip and Fall Lawyer
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Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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