San Jose Slip & Fall – Premise Liability Attorney
Residents of San Jose are not capable of fully controlling the safety of their environment when they leave their homes. While we might have the freedom and the responsibility to ensure that our own residences are free from potential hazards, we must put our safety in the hands of other property owners when we move around in public. Although many property owners take safety just as seriously as you do, others do not. When property owners fail to provide innocent people with the proper care and attention, serious accidents can occur.
Fortunately, Californian law provides you with a considerable degree of protection if you ever become injured on someone else’s premises. With the help of a qualified personal injury attorney in San Jose, you can file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owners who were responsible for your injuries. The threat of these lawsuits keeps property owners from acting in negligent ways, and it is an important aspect of our legal system that ensures a high level of public safety.
If you have suffered injuries on someone else’s property, it is important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be dealing with significant financial pressures, such as mounting medical expenses. Perhaps your injuries have forced you to take long periods of time off work, and you may be struggling to pay the bills with your income suddenly frozen. A personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses. Ideally, you should team up with a law firm that specializes in premise liability cases, such as Mary Alexander & Associates.
Examples of Property Owner Negligence
There are many possible examples of property owner negligence. Think about all the potential hazards that might arise on someone else’s property, and you begin to understand the widespread potential for negligence. Here are a few key examples: Spills on the floor; Toxic chemicals; Falling objects; Out-of-control vehicles on the property (forklifts, excavators, tc.); Debris on walking paths or uneven flooring; Failure to clear away ice and snow; Excessive mold; Collapsing tunnels; Dog bites; Poorly lit stairwells; Broken stairs; Malfunctioning elevators; Malfunctioning escalators; Malfunctioning equipment of any kind and lack of fencing and handrails around certain areas.
Slips and Falls
While you may experience a number of different accidents due to a negligent property owner, one of the most common injuries is a slip and fall. This is generally caused by unsafe walking conditions. Walking paths may be especially dangerous if spills, debris, improper lighting, and other hazards are present.
Those who slip and fall may find themselves flying backward or forward. Head injuries are common after slips and falls, and some head injuries can be life-altering. Older individuals may also suffer from life-threatening complications from injuring their hips during slips and falls. Other possible injuries associated with a slip and fall include wrist and finger injuries, which are generally the result of people stretching out their arms in an effort to cushion their landing.
How to Define and Establish Negligence
Although a property owner’s negligence may seem obvious to you, you must go through several steps in order to prove their negligence in a court of law. In California, there are four main elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: The first step is to establish that the property owner owed you a duty of care. This means that they had a duty to provide you with a safe environment, and they were responsible for maintaining their property in a safe, responsible manner. In order to determine whether an individual owed someone a duty of care, courts usually compared them to a hypothetical “reasonable individual.” In other words, a “reasonable person” should have acted with more care than the defendant did.
- Breach of Duty: After establishing that the property owner owed you a duty of care, you must then show that they failed in this duty. For example, you might show that the property owner was aware of debris or spills on walkways, and they did nothing to address the issue. Proving that the property owner was “aware” of the potential hazards is an important aspect of a premise liability lawsuit.
- Causation: You must also show that there is a direct link between your damages and the property owner’s failure to provide you with a duty of care. In other words, the property owner’s behavior must lead directly to your injury. If a property owner failed to clean up a spill in a grocery store aisle but you actually fell outside in the parking lot, there would be no causation.
- Injury: One of the most important elements of negligence is proving that you actually sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident. You can do this by presenting medical documentation, such as doctor’s notes and medical imaging. If you cannot prove that an injury actually occurred, you will be unable to recover compensation.
How Does a Premise Liability Lawyer Help?
A premise liability lawyer can help in a number of ways. First of all, you will book a consultation. Your attorney will sit down and listen to the details of your accident, and they will provide you with advice on how to proceed. If you would like to move forward, your attorney can then start collecting evidence on your behalf and begin the negotiation process with any insurance companies that might be involved. If you cannot come to a favorable settlement with the insurance companies, you can choose to pursue the matter in court. Your attorney can then help you present your evidence and your central argument to a judge and jury.
What Kind of Evidence Might You Need?
A number of different forms of evidence may be helpful as you pursue justice. First of all, you will want to take photos of the scene of your accident. Clear photographic evidence of spills and debris across the floor can definitely help your case in a slip and fall lawsuit. Medical evidence is also useful, so make sure to save any receipts for medical treatment and request copies of your medical records. Your attorney can also gather evidence on your behalf. Expert witnesses can also help you pursue a favorable outcome.
The Statute of Limitations
Remember, the statute of limitations in California means that you only have two years to file your claim after the injury. While this might seem like a lot of time, you need to take into account the time it will take to find the right attorney. You may also be reluctant to take legal action because you do not think your injuries are severe enough. Injuries can become much worse over time, so it is best to act in a quick, decisive manner.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Personal Injury 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. Thanks to a wealth of experience with premise liability cases, we have the skills and knowledge to help you pursue meaningful compensation. No one in San Jose should have to worry about their personal safety while in public, and negligent property owners must experience consequences for their irresponsible behavior.
Not only can you receive considerable compensation for your damages, but you can also dissuade property owners from hurting more people in the future by holding them accountable in a court of law. Reach out today, and we can start developing an effective action plan together.