More than your pride suffered when you fell on someone else's property. Serious injuries affect your life for the weeks, months and even years after they occur. Depending on the circumstances, the owner, tenant or manager of the property, among others, might be liable for the financial and physical damages you sustain and keep sustaining until you fully recover, if you fully recover.
What circumstances create a premises liability claim?
Property owners, tenants and managers must maintain the property and keep it free from hazards that could cause you injury. Legally, these parties owe you a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid creating or ignoring any hazards that can potentially cause injury to you and others. Failing to identify and remedy these conditions could give rise to a premises liability claim. This duty implies a responsibility to inspect the property for hazards that arise through the ordinary course of the property's use.
For example, a known hazard in a Walmart may include a product spill on the floor. Products spill, are dropped or fall from the shelves more often than people realize. Walmart could encounter difficulty establishing that such an event was not foreseeable in one of its stores. A failure to conduct routine inspections of the aisles or to respond promptly to reports of a hazard might create a liability for any injuries that occur.
The property owner, tenant or manager blamed me for my injuries
In the Walmart example, the retail giant might attempt to say that you should have known of the hazard, but failed to avoid it. Most California residents, including you, do not go around stepping into spills or walking under falling objects. Maintenance records, inspection records and incident reports will provide evidence regarding whether the store fulfilled its obligation to maintain a safe premises even if you failed to watch where you stepped.
For example, no one expects a broken bottle of ketchup to be on the floor while moving through the aisle, so you probably did not look for it. You could not predict a patch of black ice outside in the parking lot or a newly mopped floor without a "wet floor" warning sign posted for you to see.
In order to prevail in a premises liability claim, knowledge of your rights and the potential defenses that the property owner, tenant or manager might use shape how the case will proceed. An attorney understands these issues, but you more than likely do not. This means that without legal assistance, you might not receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Serious injuries often come with hospital visits and lengthy recoveries, if you fully recover at all.
In the aftermath of a serious injury on someone else's property, you more than likely incurred medical bills, lost income and sustained other financial damages associated with your injuries. Establishing to a civil court that one or more parties bear liability for your damages could result in compensation to help with your current and future needs.