If you slip, fall, and injure yourself, you might have the legal right to sue the property owner for your injury – but not automatically. If you are wondering if you have a case, answer the following five questions. You can also contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 to request a free legal consultation to find out what your options are.
- Where You Trespassing at the Time of the Accident?
- Who Owns the Property?
- Was the Hazard That Led to Your Injury a Known Hazard?
- Was the Law Broken?
- Were You at Fault at All?
A property owner has a responsibility to keep their property reasonably safe. However, they are required to do so for people they know are going to be visiting their property, or people that they should know are going to be visiting their property. For example, even though they do not necessarily know what time their mailperson is coming, they know they are coming. However, a person who is trespassing does not necessarily have the same rights to safety as a person who is legally on the property.
Any party that owns property could be held liable for a slip and fall accident, whether they are a private individual, a corporation, or a government body. That said, if the government is the defendant, then you will have a different process to go through. For example, instead of the two years, you would get in most cases, you must file a claim within six months when the government is the defendant.
Property owners are not expected to magically know the moment a hazard pops up on their property. For example, if you were at a restaurant and tripped over a child’s booster seat that had just been thrown on the ground, the owner of the restaurant could not reasonably be expected to have prevented that injury. On the other hand, if the owner of the property knew about the hazard (or should have) and did not fix it or put up signs to warn you, then they might be held accountable.
If the property owner has broken the law or violated a local ordinance, and them doing so directly led to your injury, then your injury claim will be much stronger. For example, if the owner of a property hired a non-licensed person to handle an electrical issue, and it was not up to code, any injuries that resulted would like be the responsibility of that owner.
Don’t worry – even if you are partially at fault, you could still have a way to win your personal injury case. It would just be reduced by your percentage of fault. To learn more, contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 for a consultation.