A “slip and fall” may sound like a relatively mild injury. However, in the legal world, a “slip and fall” can pertain to a wide range of serious injuries resulting from negligent care of a property. A Hermosa Beach premises liability attorney can help an injured slip and fall victim determine liability for their injuries, which may not be immediately clear in some cases. It’s crucial to seek legal guidance when you face any kind of uncertainty after a personal injury.
At McLachlan Law, APC, our legal team has successfully represented many slip and fall accident claims for clients of Hermosa Beach. We know the common challenges and obstacles clients with this type of claim often face, and we can put that experience to use in your claim. If you or a loved one sustained any type of injury while legally present on private or public property, contact a Hermosa Beach premises liability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options for recovery.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
A slip and fall accident is a premises liability matter. Every property owner in California and throughout the United States must maintain reasonably safe premises at all times. If a property is open to customers, guests, tenants, or lawful visitors of any kind, the property owner has a responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who visits and spends time on the property. For example, a hotel owner has a legal duty to ensure safe premises for employees, guests, and business contractors who visit the property for specific purposes.
Slip and fall accidents happen for many reasons, including:
- Unmarked wet floors. When janitorial staff clean a floor and leave it wet, they must mark it to warn nearby visitors of the slip and fall hazard. Failure to mark wet floors has led to substantial legal claims against the property owners responsible for these incidents.
- Poor visibility or broken lights. Some areas, such as stairwells, are dangerous when poorly lit. If a property owner fails to address a damaged light or poor visibility in a hazardous area, they will absorb liability if anyone suffers an injury.
- Structural damage. Broken floorboards or damaged staircases can easily lead to severe slip and fall injuries, often resulting in broken bones.
- Failure to clear snow and ice. In areas that receive lots of winter precipitation, property owners must clear snow and ice from areas where lawful visitors are likely to pass.
Each of these examples demonstrates how property owners have a duty to anticipate potential safety issues on their properties and to conduct regular maintenance to ensure their properties are in safe, working order.
Who Is Liable for a Premises Liability Claim?
The crux of a slip and fall injury claim is a property owner’s failure to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their premises. The defendant in any premises liability claim is the property owner responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
If you have experienced a slip and fall injury on private property that you believe could have been prevented with better care of the property, call our firm. A Hermosa Beach premises liability lawyer can help you determine the best available legal options for your situation. Success with a slip and fall accident claim requires proving the hazard that caused the injury was foreseeable and that the property owner failed to take appropriate action.
Possible Complications With Slip and Fall Injury Claims
A property owner will have minimal grounds to contest a premises liability claim if the evidence shows they could have and should have addressed the safety hazard in question prior to it causing an injury. However, property owners are not liable for injuries suffered by trespassers or intruders. An individual who suffers a slip and fall injury in this capacity will not have legal grounds for a premises liability claim against the property owner and will likely face criminal prosecution.
Another potential obstacle for a slip and fall accident victim is the location where the injury occurred. If the location was a public space controlled by the local government, taking legal action against a government entity is very different from a civil suit against another private entity. Most government bodies have sovereign immunity from civil litigation and offer limited recovery options for those injured by government employees and government activities.
It is natural to feel uncertain when you face a complex injury claim involving premises liability. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to speak to an experienced Hermosa Beach premises liability attorney as soon as possible. Contact McLachlan Law, APC today to schedule a consultation with a reliable Hermosa Beach premises liability lawyer and learn more about your legal options.