Slip and fall cases are never as clear-cut as you may think. The first thought some have after an injury is to sue someone for their injuries. The next question is often who do you sue? Finding the right person to sue is often a challenge and once you determine who to sue you must prove your slip-and-fall claims. This is why most victims use an attorney. A competent lawyer will review your case, determine who the responsible is and obtain the evidence necessary to hold them responsible.
Frequently there are multiple defendants involved and this is especially true when you suffer your injuries on the property of a business or governmental entity. The first question is whether the carless person or entity should pay. That’s not always clear or easy to answer. Many people may have played a role in your accident while not all of them may meet the causation requirement of every personal injury claim. The simple answer is that the party responsible for your injury is the one who must pay.
Your injury case will depend on premises liability law. This area of personal injury law is dictated by the laws of negligence. This requires that you prove that someone else acted unreasonably under the circumstances and that caused your injuries. A fall alone does not automatically mean you will get a settlement check. Negligence requires that you prove who did what and compare it to what a reasonable person would do in that situation. Many people might have acted unreasonably in your accident.
The most obvious defendant in a slip and fall case is the property owner. They may be held liable for your injuries when you can prove:
- They caused danger that made you fall.
- Someone else caused the dangerous condition, and the property owner knew or should have known of it, yet they failed to fix it or warn the public within a reasonable amount of time.
- If someone else invited you into their home, or you go there with a valid reason, the homeowner will need to pay if you slip and fall on their property due to an unreasonable hazard. You may also hold a store or apartment complex responsible if they are open to the general public.
Homeowners may be responsible for your slip and falls injury when they invite you to their property. They have a legal obligation to ensure reasonably safe premises for those on their property. This includes both invited guests and anticipated visitors. For example, a delivery person who falls coming up the stairs can file a slip and fall claim against the owner if they fail to maintain their front walkway in good condition. Reasonably safe premises does not mean that an accident never happens. It just means that the homeowners must take measures within reason to keep people safe. The category of homeowners will also include renters if they have control of the property. If you tripped inside someone’s apartment, you can file a claim against their renters insurance. In this case, it will not be the building owner who will be to blame for your injuries.
A municipality may also be liable for a slip and fall accident. The government has a responsibility to maintain sidewalks and city streets in reasonable condition. If there is a pothole or broken sidewalk, they must fix it in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, you can file a lawsuit against the city. Injured pedestrians have received settlements and have won jury verdicts when suing the government for these damages. Time limits and special rules apply when you sue a governmental entity, so hire an attorney who knows the rules and how to deal with these cases.
Building owners do not always have control over a building. The owner may have hired a property manager to administer and care for a property. This company may be responsible for things like maintenance and upkeep. The property manager might ignore or fail to spot a dangerous condition. Property managers can have roles in both residential and commercial buildings. You may be required to sue both the property manager and the owner to hold someone responsible and recover enough compensation to pay for your injuries.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. A Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or contact Guenard & Bozarth online. We would be honored to represent you!