When a person slips, trips, or falls, we usually consider it an innocent accident. These accidents, though, often happen because someone did not keep their premises reasonably safe. In other words, slip-and-fall injuries can be the result of someone else’s negligence, and when that happens, the injured person should be compensated.
Have you been seriously hurt on someone’s unsafe property in Southern California? Talk to us at Barrios & Machado. We are trusted attorneys who have obtained deserved compensation for injured persons in Orange County and surrounding areas. Let’s explore your potential slip-and-fall claim and how we can help you. Call us at (714) 515-9696 today.
Premises Liability in Slip-And-Fall Claims
Not all tripping or falling injuries are compensable. Sometimes, they really just are personal slip-ups in which no one else is at fault. When does a slip-and-fall accident entitle you to compensation? What counts as a valid slip-and-fall claim?
To answer this, let’s first look into the legal concept of premises liability. Simply put, premises liability is the obligation of property owners to keep their premises reasonably safe for guests and legal occupiers. Part of this obligation is to either:
- Reasonably detect and fix hazardous conditions in the premises, or
- Provide adequate warnings to guests about those hazardous conditions.
This legal duty applies to all kinds of properties including business establishments, apartment buildings, private homes, schools, parking spaces, and more.
If the property owner failed in this duty, and this failure led to injuries on a guest or tenant, the owner could be considered negligent and liable to pay for the victim’s damages.
To establish that your slip-and-fall accident is covered by premises liability, you need to show all these elements of a negligence case:
- Duty of care. The defendant (owner) must have a legal duty of care towards the plaintiff (claimant). If you were a guest or a tenant, the owner had the duty to keep you reasonably safe in their property. This duty of care does not apply towards illegal occupants such as trespassers.
- Breach of duty of care. This refers to the defendant’s failure to meet their duty of care towards you. For example, they didn’t fix a dangerous crack on their driveway, or they did not warn you about their slippery floor.
- You were injured at their premises. You must have incurred damages such as physical injuries and associated medical bills.
- The injuries were caused by the breach of duty. You need to show that your damages were a direct cause of the owner’s lapse.
Proving all these elements requires legal know-how and skilfulness in asserting your claim. Enlist a lawyer to help you build a solid, strategic case around your slip-and-fall injury.
Examples of Premises Liability/ Slip-And-Fall Cases in Orange County CA
These are some of the common scenarios that lead to premises liability claims:
- Slipping on a slick floor of a store or restaurant that had no warning sign
- Tripping on a pavement with cracks, potholes, or bumps
- Tumbling on a slick or littered driveway
- Falling on uneven stairs
- Drowning or other water injuries at an unsafe swimming pool
- Falling from a collapsed deck or balcony
- Getting hit by falling objects (such as materials at a construction site or store items falling from a shelf)
- Falling into an open manhole
- Electrocution due to unsafe wires or switches
- Burn injuries due to inadequate fire protection or escape routes in a building
- Bodily injuries caused by substandard gym or sports equipment
- Amusement park accidents due to poorly maintained rides
- Escalator or elevator accidents
- Nursing home injuries due to lack of mobility measures for the elderly
- Dog bites or other pet attacks.
Maximizing Your Slip-And-Fall Claim
In a personal injury case such as slip-and-fall, there are two types of damages you may be compensated for.
First are economic damages, which have an actual dollar value. Examples are medical bills, rehabilitation bills, missed earnings, reduced capacity to earn, and the like. The other type are non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental distress, and disfigurement. While these are not easily quantifiable, they may be assigned an appropriate monetary amount to be repaid to you.
A competent injury attorney should help you maximize the compensation you are entitled to. At Barrios & Machado, we thoroughly examine all aspects of your case, including present injuries and future outlook.
Many injuries don’t immediately manifest after your fall. What seems like a simple bump to the head could later turn out to be a concussion with long-term symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you have no claim in mind. Later, we can work with you to get a proper and complete medical assessment of your injury, so that we can fight for the full compensation you need and deserve.
Our lawyers are fearless when going up against negligent property owners. We remain assertive even when faced with powerful business owners, homeowners, insurance companies, and even government entities. With this tenacity, we’ve helped many Californians receive their maximum settlements even in challenging injury cases.
Free Consultation with Barrios & Machado
Tell us about your injury on another person’s property. Your initial consultation with us is absolutely free and confidential. Call or text us at (714) 515-9696 today.