What Is Duty of Care in Slip & Fall Injuries?
Slip and fall accidents can be very dangerous and cause serious injuries. No matter how these injuries occur, those who suffer them may need to seek compensation to offset medical debt and other damages caused by the accident.
Fortunately, California provides a means of seeking compensation for these damages, allowing plaintiffs to file what are commonly referred to as premises liability lawsuits.
Duty of Care & Premises Liability Law
Duty of care is an important factor in slip and fall injuries that helps to determine if a property owner is liable for someone’s injuries. It refers to a property owner’s legal obligation to keep their land free from any known hazards that could cause anyone serious injury or death.
Common property hazards that cause slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Wet or icy paths or stairs
- Muddy terrain
- Loose handrailing
- Poor lighting
- Insufficient warning of dangerous conditions
- Patchy carpet
- Unlevel ground
Until 1968, property owners could owe more or less duty of care to certain people on their property. In states that still observe this traditional view of premises liability law, landowners owe the greatest amount of care to people they invite on their property, a lesser amount to those who happen to cross their property line (such as delivery personnel), and sometimes there is no duty of care owed to trespassers.
This paradigm shifted in California more than 50 years ago. Now, all property owners must exercise reasonable care to ensure their properties are reasonably safe for anyone who might be on their land. “Anyone” is meant to include, quite literally, anyone from an expected house guest to a trespasser.
When a property owner owes a duty of care, it means that they must take initiative to discover and repair hazards or provide obvious warning of dangerous conditions. They also must certainly not purposely create dangerous conditions intended to harm people (particularly trespassers) who come onto their land.
If You Were Injured, You Can Pursue Damages
If you were injured from a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else’s property, you may be able to hold them liable in a premises liability lawsuit. Ultimately, the success of this kind of lawsuit depends on the severity of the injuries and whether or not the property owner was negligent in maintaining the condition of their property.
It can be difficult to assess the viability of your claim on your own, which is why you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to seek compensation, but you shouldn’t wait to get in touch with someone who can help.
We at the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser can assess your claim and offer our legal support if we believe you can win. We understand it’s important for accident victims to recover compensation for their medical debt, lost wages, and other damages, so rest assured that we can help you fight for the maximum possible settlement or jury award.
If you’d like to learn more, schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser today. Don’t hesitate to call (661) 441-3446">(661) 441-3446 or contact us online now to get started.