It’s a common misconception that property owners are automatically liable for any accidents that injure third parties at their home or place of business. While they’re often considered responsible in the eyes of the law, there are scenarios in which they’re not.
In other words, if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you’re not necessarily guaranteed a payout. Before you can hold the owner financially accountable, you’re going to have to prove the following elements:
1. The Owner Failed to Maintain the Premises to a Reasonably Safe Standard
Most premises liability claims are founded on negligence, which is characterized by a breach of duty. Generally speaking, property owners have an obligation to maintain their homes and businesses to a reasonably safe standard for all those who enter the premises lawfully. Their duties might include:
- Fixing broken steps;
- Installing hand railings;
- Providing adequate illumination;
- Marking inconspicuous thresholds;
- Securing rugs; and
- Mopping up spills.
In order to hold a property owner liable for a slip and fall, you’re going to have to prove that they knew—or should have known—about the hazard that caused the accident but failed to either warn you or take reasonable steps to address it in a timely manner.
2. The Hazard in Question Caused You to Slip & Fall
The dangerous condition that the property owner overlooked must have been directly responsible for your slipping and falling. In other words, you should be prepared to prove that you were neither impaired nor being disorderly at the time of the accident.
3. You Incurred Actual Damages as a Result of the Accident
The final element of every successful slip and fall claim is damages. You must have incurred legitimate and recoverable losses because of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
The state of California recognizes the following damages in tort actions:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Home and vehicle modifications needed to accommodate any disabilities;
- Replacement services;
- Domestic help;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Pain and suffering.
The state also recognizes loss of consortium. Attributed to spouses of injured parties, this encompasses the loss of support, affection, society, service, and companionship they incur as a result of their husband or wife’s condition.
Evidence that may help you demonstrate the kinds of damages listed above includes:
- Hospital bills;
- Health insurance statements;
- Tax returns;
- Contractor invoices;
- Bills and receipts for reasonably necessary injury-related expenses;
- Psychological evaluations;
- Statements from friends, loved ones, and colleagues; and
- Detailed journal entries.
Discuss Your Case with a Slip and Fall Attorney in Long Beach
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were seriously hurt on someone else’s property, turn to the Law Office of Michael D. Waks for strategic legal counsel. Our tenacious team has recovered numerous six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts on behalf of our valued clients. To set up a free case review with a slip and fall lawyer in Long Beach, call (562) 206-1939 or complete our Online Contact Form.