Mission Viejo Slip and Fall Accidents
California law requires that property owners exercise reasonable care in the ownership and maintenance of their properties. These individuals have a duty to both maintain their spaces and notify others if a hazardous condition exists.
If dangerous conditions develop on the property that cause personal injury, it may be grounds for a premises liability case. Whether the property owner was made aware of these hazards or not, he or she may have been negligent in maintaining the area.
What Is Slip and Fall?
There are two types of accidents that can occur under the umbrella of slip and fall: slip and fall and trip and fall accidents.
Slips occur when people walk over a wet or slippery surface and lose their traction. This often results in the person falling backward and causing injury to the head or back. A slip and fall case can arise if a person slips on someone else’s property, resulting in bodily harm. This can happen on any premises; the floor may have been mopped and is still drying or a liquid may have been spilled. The property owner may be liable for injuries that occur due to these instances.
Trips occur when an obstacle on the floor inhibits a person’s step, often causing him or her to fall forward onto the hands, knees, or face. In a trip and fall case, someone has tripped on a surface that has caused bodily harm. Trips can occur if the flooring in a building is uneven or there is an abnormal obstacle in the way.
Slip and fall cases may be filed against business owners, corporations, or governmental entities. There are different laws, limitations, and claims handling practices surrounding slip and fall cases, depending on the entity involved. You should contact a professional lawyer experienced in these cases if you sustain a slip and fall injury.
As with all premises liability cases, negligence on the part of the property owner must be proved. If you slip and fall on the floor of a property, it may be natural to feel it is the owner’s fault. And while this may be true, the fact remains that the negligence must be proven.
The basic concepts of negligence in a slip and fall case are below:
- The property owner had a duty to ensure the slip and fall area was properly maintained. He or she should have a policy for routinely checking for hazards.
- The property owner breached this duty by either knowing the obstacle was present without fixing it or did not notice the obstacle within a reasonable amount of time.
- The breach of duty caused a foreseeable injury to someone on the property.
- The injury caused actual damages to the victim.
While these are the basic concepts of negligence, each slip and fall case is different and should be assessed by a Irvine premises liability lawyer.
Actions You Should Take
Immediately after a slip and fall accident, you should take pictures of the scene. If you have sustained a serious injury, ask someone else to take pictures. Make sure to take quality photos that highlight exactly what caused the slip and fall. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information so your lawyer can contact them in the future.
Contact a Irvine Slip & Fall Accident Law Firm
At the Law Offices of Mann & Elias, we recommend you then hire a lawyer who can help guide you through your slip and fall case. Be sure to supply him or her with the names and contact information of your witnesses along with the pictures you took at the scene. This can help these professionals gain a better understanding of your case.