Being injured on someone else’s property can leave you facing medical bills, lost wages, and other such difficulties. Thanks to premises liability laws, if you were injured because a property owner was negligent, you may be able to recover compensation for such losses by filing a claim or lawsuit.
Just be aware that various factors can influence your chances of recovering compensation in these circumstances. They include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
Premises liability laws require property owners and managers to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents. They do not require anyone to be superhuman.
Perhaps you’re injured at a store when you trip over an item that fell to the floor. The time between when the item fell and when you tripped over it will play a critical role in your case.
To show you deserve to be compensated, you need to prove that a reasonable individual would have noticed the hazard and removed the item from the floor before you tripped over it. If your accident occurred a few short moments after the item fell, it might be determined that you are not eligible for compensation.
To some extent, you have a responsibility to keep yourself out of harm’s way when on someone else’s property. To return to the example above, perhaps the item you tripped over was in the middle of the floor and would have been easy to avoid if you were paying attention to your surroundings. However, maybe security camera footage shows that you were on your phone and therefore didn’t see the obstruction when you tripped over it. This factor could prevent you from winning a case.
There are some hazards that can’t entirely be eliminated on a property. For example, if you’re at a facility where potentially toxic materials are handled, the presence of said materials is a hazard that is an inherent element of the property.
The owner or manager of such a property does not need to eliminate this type of hazard. However, they do need to provide sufficient warning of its existence so you can avoid it.
None of this is meant to discourage you from considering legal action if you believe you may be able to recover compensation after being injured on someone else’s property. Instead, it is meant to help you better understand why reviewing your case with an attorney is essential in these circumstances.
Premises liability cases may be more complex than some realize. To know if you have grounds to seek compensation for your losses, it is wise to enlist the help of a legal expert who can advise you on the best course of action. At the Law Office of John B. Richards, a member of our team will review the details of your accident and explain whether you should file a claim. If you work with us, our Santa Barbara premises liability attorney will also provide you with the aggressive representation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at 805-683-2736.