Holding a Property Owner Accountable for a Slip and Fall Accident
The crucial first question in a premises liability lawsuit is who owned, possessed, or controlled the property. This is the entity or person responsible for injuries that arise from a slippery substance on the floor or ground. Often, slip and falls occur in grocery stores and restaurants, where objects that are wet can drip on the floor and cause it to become slick. Whoever controls that property may be held responsible.
Premises liability law is based on the principles of negligence. In a slip and fall case, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant controlled the property where you slipped and got hurt, the defendant negligently maintained that property, you were injured, and the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing your harm.
Slip and fall cases may be tricky because you need to show that the owner or occupier of the property actually or constructively knew that there was a slippery substance or another condition on the floor that caused your fall. A property owner is supposed to inspect the property often enough to find out when substances must be cleaned off the floor. However, in a slip and fall case, the evidence is ephemeral. The floor will be wiped immediately or soon after your fall, and video surveillance footage may be recorded on a tape that is taped over as a matter of course. Thus, it is very important to take photographs or consult a Folsom personal injury attorney right away so that you can get some evidence about the substance that caused your fall.
The longer the substance remained on the floor, the more likely it is that the owner knew or should have known about it. Sometimes this may be established through maintenance records or witnesses. For example, someone may have seen that the substance was on the floor hours before your spill and reported it to management.
If you are able to prevail in your slip and fall case, you likely can recover compensation, including medical expenses, lost income, household services, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment. Damages vary from case to case and depend on the extent to which you were harmed.
Special rules, including a shortened window of time within which to notify and sue, apply to slip and fall claims against government entities, such as the State of California or the City of California, which is another reason why it is important to consult a Folsom personal injury attorney right away after your slip and fall.
Seek Guidance from a Folsom Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are hurt in a slip and fall accident, you should obtain experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel. Folsom personal injury lawyer Travis G. Black worked in the insurance industry before establishing his own firm. He now wields his knowledge of insurance adjustors in service of his clients. Our Folsom firm offers perceptive legal counsel and works hard on behalf of accident victims. Contact us online or call Black & DePaoli at 916-962-2896 for a free consultation with an injury attorney.