Residential and Commercial Slip and Fall Cases
A serious slip and fall accident can take place at any time, and in any location. This is true whether you are at the home of a neighbor, or you are shopping at a local business. Residential and commercial slip and fall accident cases share one key similarity:
Victims of negligence can collect compensation for the full extent of their damages.
Still, there are major differences between the types of slip and fall claims. Our Long Beach personal injury lawyers can help you understand the difference.
Three Important Differences Between Residential and Commercial Slip and Fall Accidents
1. Insurance Policies
Details of insurance policies are the primary difference in slip and fall cases. An injury that occurs at a residence will need to go through a homeowner’s insurance policy. A fall that occurred at a business will go through a commercial policy. While this may sound obvious, it is an important distinction to make. Most homeowner’s insurance policies have far lower recovery limits than do commercial policies.
2. Proving Liability
When injured because of another’s carelessness or neglect, they owe you compensation. You must prove that the responsible party is actually at fault. In California, this requires proving that their negligence contributed to your accident. Establishing a homeowner’s negligence requires a different investigative process than it does for a business owner. Additionally, the standard of care may be different depending on the circumstances.
3. Identifying Ownership
Another key difference between residential and commercial slip and fall cases is ownership identification. You must always identify the property owner. But this can be more complex in residential cases. Renters may occupy a residential property. They are not the true owners, though. You’ll have to identify the landlord in this case.
What About Slip and Fall Accidents on Public Property?
It is also worth noting that many slip and fall accidents occur on public property. For example, an injury could happen to you or a loved one at a school, a park or even on a public sidewalk. Fortunately, in these cases, you still have legal options available. There are some unique concerns that you will need to keep in mind. For instance, you may actually have far less time than usually to bring your claim.
Most often, government buildings, organizations, and property carry insurance policies. For example, a Long Beach area public school will have its own insurance policy. The insurance company on the other end of the policy may handle your case. However, for public slip and fall accidents, there is also a possibility that a city, county or state agency may need to approve your settlement agreement.