Slip and fall accidents surprisingly require extensive documentation for victims to receive their due compensation. If you sustained injuries or other damages in your fall, it is highly likely that the property owner will do everything in their power to avoid a payout. For this reason, you must accurately reflect all aspects of the incident in your records, maintaining awareness of how the property owner may attempt to defend themselves against your claim. When filing a claim, it is essential that you have a full understanding of your defenses to ensure you present a strong case with your slip and fall injury lawyer.
Slip and Fall Accident Claims in California
Under California’s premises liability law, property owners and managers are responsible for providing a reasonably safe environment for visitors. A “safe environment” generally means that the facility should be in a condition that does not pose unreasonable risks to visitors. Relatedly, the property owner’s underlying obligation is to monitor the property and detect hazards as quickly as possible.
These legal responsibilities are collectively known as the property owner or manager’s “duty of care.” This will be the crux of your slip and fall claim, as you will need to prove the following to procure compensation:
- The property owner had a duty of care to you.
- They violated or neglected this duty of care.
- This neglect was the direct cause of your slip and fall accident.
- You incurred financial losses due to the consequential damages.
Although you may collect highly detailed evidence that reflects all the above factors, the property owner may still attempt to disprove their liability.
Possible Defenses Against Your Claim
Some of the most common defenses used against slip and fall claims are as follows:
- Comparative Negligence: The property owner may attempt to blame you for your fall, stating that you contributed to the circumstances that led to your injuries. This would dramatically reduce your access to medical recovery, as you would no longer be entitled to the full compensation if this were proven to be true.
- Presumption of Risk: Under this defense, the property owner may claim that you should have assumed inherent risk upon proceeding onto the surface that caused you to slip and fall. In this case, they would not be liable for your injuries whatsoever.
- Note: This is most often appliable to sports events, for example. Places that host these activities often require visitors to sign a waiver to defend the company or property owner against such lawsuits preemptively. If you were to visit a facility for team practice and were injured on the property due to a fall, they would not be required to compensate you.
- Inefficient Notice: Part of the property owner’s responsibility is to monitor the facility regularly. This allows them to detect hazards in time to resolve the issue before anyone is injured. Because of this, the property owner may defend themselves by claiming that they did not have enough time to be notified of the hazard. Without this notice, did not have the chance to resolve it before your fall. In this case, you would, again, lose eligibility for compensation.
The defenses listed here may pose a significant challenge to you as you attempt to recover your losses from your slip and fall accident. For this reason, you must seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will defend you against dishonest evasion tactics from the defendant and ensure you receive the funds necessary for your recovery.