Dealing With a Slip and Fall Case
When you go to a public venue, you expect to be safe. You are not one to take chances with your well-being and you expect the bar, bistro, restaurant, hotel, or other premises you visit to be secure from all hazards. Unfortunately, things do not always work out this way. Not everyone takes personal safety as seriously as you do. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, you should hold the premises owner accountable. You can start this process with the help of a Sherman Oaks injury lawyer. A Sherman Oaks fall injury lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
The Challenge of Being an Accident Victim
If you suffer minor injury owing to a slip and fall, you should still be seen by a doctor. The latter should be able to patch you up and send you on your way in very short order. Even on this occasion, there will be medical costs. The premises owner should pay these bills, and they should compensate you for any income you may have lost.
If your slip and fall caused severe injuries, then you may need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. This is a much greater challenge. You may need to undergo extensive medical procedures to save your life. You may also need to spend a great deal of time in recovery and rehabilitation. This will cost you more money—in both hospital bills and lost income.
You should not have to pay for this yourself. A slip and fall lawyer in Sherman Oaks can help you get the money you need to make up for all that you have lost. However, you will need to call a property accident lawyer in Sherman Oaks sooner rather than later if you are to get the money when you need it.
The Most Important Question: Who Is Responsible?
The first thing your Sherman Oaks property liability accident lawyer will try to figure out is who was actually responsible for the slip and fall. The proprietor is not automatically held responsible for such incidents. If, for example, you were in a restaurant and you slipped on liquid from a glass that someone had just dropped on the floor, there is no way that the staff could have gotten to the scene in time to clean it up. In this instance, it would have been your responsibility to avoid the spilt drink and alert a member of staff to the accident.
The same goes for an accident at a bar, hotel, or nightclub. These are busy public spaces, and things go wrong all the time in them. If any reasonable person would have simply avoided a hazard in plain sight and told someone about it, then the premises owner cannot be held responsible for what happens to someone who chose not to do this.
On the other hand, if a hazard has been long standing and is not so easily detectable, you may be able to make a case against the owner. If you can prove that they knew of the hazard and did nothing to repair it or seal the affected area off, then you may be able to claim compensation from them.
Proving the Liability of the Owner
Even if it is clear to you that the owner is liable for the accident, you must still prove it. To prove owner liability, you must demonstrate that the owner knew about the hazard on their property and failed to repair or remove it, that their failure led to your accident and injury, and that you are therefore entitled to a certain amount of money in compensation.
The owner will of course fight back. They will defend themselves by arguing that you could have reasonably avoided the affected space until they could repair or remove the hazard. Your own carelessness will be invoked as a means of their defense. You must therefore look closely at your actions before the accident. Some of the questions your trip and fall lawyer Sherman Oaks will go over with you include:
- Did you have a legitimate reason for being in the dangerous area?
- Would a more vigilant person have noticed the danger and voided it?
- Were there any signs of warning around the hazardous area?
- Were you too distracted by other things to pay attention to what was in front of you?
- Were you engaged in horseplay around the hazardous area?
Your answers to these questions can affect the solidity of your case. If you can show that you acted as a reasonable person would have, then attorneys for trip and fall lawsuits in Sherman Oaks will proceed with the case against the proprietor.
The Good Fight
One of the first things your lawyer will do is bring in a private investigation professional. The latter will go to the venue to gather any security video footage of the scene of the accident. They will also determine whether the proprietor actually took steps to repair or remove the hazards. This can be done by tracking down maintenance work orders and other kinds of documents. The investigator will also speak to people who witnessed the accident. There is a good chance that at least one of them captured the accident on their smart phone, which can go a long way toward verifying your version of the story.
Your slip and fall lawyer will also bring in an independent medical expert to assess your condition. Such an expert can make a statement about the nature and extent of your injuries and how they have affected your ability to work.
The case need not go to trial. If your attorney is able to gather enough evidence against the proprietor, they may prefer to offer you a fair settlement.
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