How Can a Property Owner Escape Liability in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
If you are filing a slip and fall lawsuit against a property owner in San Jose, you should be aware of the many strategies that they might use to escape liability. Sometimes, guilty property owners can wiggle out of even the most condemning situations with help from a skilled defense attorney. The first step is to understand the various strategies that a property owner might use to escape liability. Some of these methods may be quite obvious, while others are complex and subtle.
In any case, your best bet is always to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Jose. Our legal professionals are familiar with all of the various strategies property owners might try to use when fighting personal injury lawsuits. Along with countering these strategies effectively, our personal injury attorneys can employ strategies to help you get the settlement you need and deserve.
Remember, a settlement can help you deal with a wide range of damages. Perhaps you are struggling with considerable medical expenses after a neck or head injury. Perhaps your slip and fall has left you unable to work for weeks or even months, leaving you with considerable financial concerns. In addition, head injuries may have significantly affected your mental stability and mood, causing a wide range of non-economic damages. You can receive compensation for all of these damages when you work with a qualified attorney and pursue a fair, adequate settlement.
An admittedly effective strategy for property owners is to claim that you were trespassing at the time of your injury. However, this does not work in all situations as it may be impossible to accuse you of trespassing in certain situations. For example, if you slip on a milk spill in a grocery store while walking down the dairy aisle during working hours, you obviously were not trespassing. However, this strategy becomes more effective if you injure yourself at night while cutting through an alley. Or perhaps you wander into someone else’s property before slipping on an uneven pathway.
In this situation, the property owner could realistically escape liability for a number of reasons. First, they cannot be expected to prevent injuries for those who come onto their property unannounced and without permission. The logic is if a property owner is aware that people are coming onto their property, they can take reasonable steps to maintain their safety. If not, they cannot be held accountable.
In certain circumstances, a trespasser can still sue a property owner for their injuries. For example, if a property owner is aware that people often take a shortcut through their land and does nothing to deter or address this situation, they may lose their ability to escape liability. Since the shortcut is used regularly, it becomes the owner’s responsibility to ensure the safety of these individuals.
A property owner can also claim that they cannot be held liable because they warned you of the danger before you were injured. Usually, this “warning” takes the form of a sign. The classic example is a yellow “wet floor” sign that is placed on a surface after a spill. Since the sign is basically impossible to miss, a property owner can claim that they did everything they could to warn the public of the impending danger, and those that became injured should have exercised more caution.
In order for this strategy to work, the signs must be clear, easy to spot, and specific. They must clearly tell the public exactly what they should be avoiding, and where the hazard is located. Make no mistake, a sign may not be enough to save a property owner from liability.
Statute of Limitations
You should also file your lawsuit as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations in California may prevent you from taking legal action. For most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations gives you two years to file your lawsuit. However, that number might lower dramatically if you are suing a government agency, so it is best to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the San Jose area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have become familiar with all of the various strategies that property owners may attempt as they try to escape liability. Thanks to decades of experience, we can counter virtually all of these attempts with effective, reliable methods.
We know that you may be suffering from considerable discomfort and pain as you struggle to heal with your injuries. We are committed to upholding your rights as an injured victim, and we can guide you towards a positive outcome. Once you have received your settlement, you can pay off your medical expenses and focus on healing. Book your consultation today, and we can discuss your various legal options.