If you slip and fall on an individual’s or business’s property, they may owe compensation for your injuries. However, the case must meet several criteria for a valid slip and fall claim. We all fall down from time to time, and not every accident deserves compensation. Only under certain conditions is the owner of the property responsible for your injuries. Find out if your slip and fall accident may be worth pursuing a personal injury settlement.
Does Your Case Meet the Components of a Premises Liability Claim?
Slip and fall claims fall under the category of premises liability. Premises liability means the owner of the property is responsible for providing a safe environment for guests. When unsafe conditions lead to an accident, the victim is often entitled to compensation. The victim prove the owner acted negligently, though. There are three essential elements to establishing a negligence claim:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Property owners have a duty to protect the people on their property from hazards in most circumstances. This duty of care does not usually extend to trespassers.
- The defendant breached his duty through his actions or failure to act. The property owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent the victim’s accident.
- The defendant’s breach of duty resulted in harm to the plaintiff directly. The victim must have suffered damages. If the defendant acted negligently, but the plaintiff isn’t facing injuries, a valid negligence claim does not exist.
What Was the Condition of the Property?
To deserve compensation for your slip and fall accident, you must have been subjected to unsafe conditions on the premises where your accident occurred. Examples of unsafe conditions include:
- spilled or leaking liquids in areas you would not expect
- wet or slick floors
- icy parking lots, sidewalks, and entrances
- potholes or badly broken concrete/asphalt/stairs
- obstructed paths
Was the Owner Aware of the Property’s Condition?
We cannot hold property owners responsible if he or she was unaware of the hazard that caused your injuries. The owner must be aware of the unsafe conditions to be liable. This is often the most difficult component of a slip and fall claim to prove. The court may look at how long the hazard was present before the accident occurred to decide if the owner should have known about the unsafe conditions.
Did the Owner Attempt to Warn You or Fix the Problem?
Property owners should attempt to resolve the problem as soon as possible. When someone cannot fix a hazard immediately, the owner must notify guests of the danger. Failure to display a “wet floor” sign near slick floors could cause an accident worthy of compensation.
Are You at Fault for the Accident?
Although property owners have a duty of care to their guests, individuals also have a responsibility to avoid injury. If your accident was the result of your own negligent or reckless behavior, you may not be able to seek recovery for your injuries. For example, if you’re injuries result from skateboarding on a visibly icy sidewalk, the court may find you are partially responsible for your injuries. In these cases, the court may reduce your compensation by the percentage to which it determines you are at fault.
Reach out to Michael Beliz, Slip and Fall Attorney in Long Beach, California
For a free consultation and case review, contact the Beliz Law Firm today. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.