Thousands of people are injured each year in San Fernando Valley in “slip and fall accidents,” which may be caused by slipping or tripping on uneven ground, a wet floor, or on unstable stairs. Who is at fault? Property owners are required to act carefully so that the fall was not likely to happen, and visitors or passers-by are equally responsible for acting with care and avoiding a fall.
If a property owner is to be held responsible for injuries suffered in a slip and fall or a trip and fall, the owner must have caused the condition, such as the uneven ground, the wet floor, or the unstable stairs. A property owner could also be held responsible if he or she knew about the dangerous condition, such as the ground, floor, or stairs, and did nothing about it. Finally, the third way a property owner might be held responsible is if what is known as a “reasonable” person caring for the property would have discovered the dangerous condition and removed or repaired it.
Legally speaking, the word “reasonable” means that the owner makes routine, extensive efforts to keep the property safe. If you have fallen, consulting with an attorney about your injuries can help. Your slip and fall attorney will ask a series of questions about what happened to try to determine whether you have a good case for claiming the property owner is at fault. For example, your lawyer might ask whether you know if the property owner has a regular maintenance schedule for the property. If you tripped on something like a large object, your attorney may ask how long the object was placed there, and maybe whether there could have been a safer place for the object.
Your attorney may also ask what the lighting was like, whether there was a fence or barrier around the object, and whether there were any warnings such as “watch your step”, as well as questions about what you were doing at the time of the fall to determine your level of carelessness. For example, did you have a reason, that an owner would have anticipated, for being in the area where you fell? Were you doing anything else, such as texting or talking, that could have distracted you from where you were going and what you were doing? These questions will help your lawyer determine the strength of your case.
If you file a claim for insurance, the insurance claims adjuster will ask questions as well, so be sure to describe the situation clearly and honestly so the adjuster will understand what happened. Consulting with San Fernando Valley slip and fall attorney Barry P. Goldberg can help you prepare for this step as well as others you may need to take to pursue your claims.