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Can You Sue For a Slip and Fall Accident?



Can You Sue For a Slip and Fall Accident?

When you slip on a slick surface or trip over something on a property, you may be able to sue for a slip and fall in California. However, just because you’ve been injured by slipping or falling doesn’t always mean you have a case.

If you speak with a slip and fall accident attorney, you will gain valuable insight into whether or not you have enough evidence to prove your claim. These accidents often result in back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones. Read on to find out if you may be able to sue after your slip and fall accident.

You Must Prove a Duty of Care

Slip and fall cases require that you prove that the property owner was negligent in providing a proper duty of care. When you go to a restaurant for dinner, shop for groceries at the supermarket, or are invited to an event, the owner of the property has an obligation to keep it safe with reasonable measures. An attorney can help determine whether the property owner has a legal duty in this matter.

The Owner Had Notice

If the property owner knew of the hazardous condition and didn’t take steps to remedy it or warn visitors of the danger, they could be held liable for your injuries. In a supermarket, for example, spills often happen. Employees are tasked with clearing the spill and setting out signage to warn other patrons of the danger. In this case, they would likely not be liable for your injuries if there was a short time between the spill and your slip.

Proving Danger Exists

If you slipped or fell on a property in California, you must prove that a dangerous condition was present and that the property owner knew or should have known and then fixed this danger. You must also prove that you were allowed to be on the property, such as shopping at the supermarket during normal business hours when the accident occurred.

You Have Actual Damages

To sue for slip and fall in this state, you need to have incurred damages. This could be physical injuries or a vital piece of your property that was damaged in the accident.

The Do’s and Don’ts After a Slip and Fall

An attorney is instrumental in proving your slip and fall case in California. If you were injured in one of these accidents, you should know how to ensure your lawsuit is taken seriously.

DO: Take Photos and Videos

Make sure you document the scene of the accident. The property owner could quickly fix the hazard that caused you to get hurt. Without photos or videos, you’ll have no proof of the hazardous condition. You should also document your physical injuries immediately and as they progress.

DON’T: Be Embarrassed

It’s common for people to feel embarrassed about falling or tripping in a public place. But downplaying your injuries is never a good idea. If you are hurt, be honest about it and get medical treatment. If you pretend you’re fine and then later file a claim, you’re less likely to be taken seriously.

DO: Collect Witness Information

If someone saw what happened during your slip and fall accident, get their contact information. They can be instrumental in corroborating your story and proving that the property owner was negligent.

DON’T: Delay Filling Out an Accident Report

Make sure that you report your slip and fall injury to the manager or property owner. This documents the incident and also shows you’re serious about what happened. The report will have the details of the accident, including the date, time, and location. It should also list environmental factors like a slippery floor without warning signs, obstructions in a walkway, lack of lighting on stairs, etc. Make sure you are as specific as possible when filling out this report.

DO: Get Medical Attention

You may feel embarrassed, shaken up, and a little sore, but don’t put off medical attention. It will also give you valuable documentation you’ll need in your case. Keep all medical records associated with your slip and fall, and if the doctors tell you to seek additional care, follow all medical advice provided.

DON’T: Record a Statement

After filing an accident report, the insurance company or an attorney representing the property owner will likely contact you. They will ask for a recorded statement, but you are not obligated by law to provide this to them. This is where an attorney can come in handy, as you can tell them to speak with your lawyer. Speaking without legal representation may cause you to say something that can be used against you and negate your claim.

DO: Stay Off Social Media

It’s wise to refrain from posting anything about your accident or injuries on social media. Keeping a low profile is best since the property owner’s attorney will likely be looking for evidence that refutes your claim. For example, if you claim you were hurt slipping and falling at a restaurant but then posted photos of yourself surfing, this could give them the evidence they need to throw out your case.

It doesn’t matter if the photos are older or not. They can argue that you’re really not suffering much if you’re posting photos even if you challenge when those photos were taken. Even simply posting a photo of yourself smiling could be enough to stand in the way of your lawsuit.

DON’T: Pursue Your Case Without an Attorney

When you have a slip and fall accident on someone’s property, chances are good that they have powerful lawyers and insurance companies to protect their resources. If you were truly injured by a slip and fall accident where there was a known hazard or lack of warning to keep you safe, your attorney could help prove it and file within the California statute of limitations. They’ll also look out for your best interests and get a fair settlement.

SEE ALSO: 5 Website Maintenance Hacks To Ensure Uninterrupted Online Success

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