5 Questions to Ask After a Premises Accident
Ask these questions to help evaluate the validity of your premises accident injury claim.
Property owners can be held liable for many types of injuries that another individual may experience while on their property. The most common types of injuries include things like broken bones, sprains, and neck and back injuries that result from trip and fall or slip and fall accidents. However, fires, electrocution accidents, falling objects, and structural collapses can also provide the grounds for a premises liability case.
If you have been injured in one of these types of accidents while on someone else’s property, your ability to seek compensation hinges on proving that person or entity’s liability. There are several important factors that can affect the determination of liability and potentially destroy your case. Ask yourself these 5 questions after your accident to help figure out if you may have a strong claim for compensation.
Were you trespassing? Property owners are expected to keep their property in reasonably safe condition, especially if they know—or should know—that others will be visiting the property. This means invited guests are always protected by the law, but trespassers may not be.
Who owns the property? Private individuals, corporations, and government entities may be held liable for injuries suffered on properties they own via a premises liability claim. However, in the case of government properties there are often special requirements in place. For example, The California Tort Claims Act requires individuals injured on government property to present their claim within 6 months of their injury, rather than within 2 years as would be normal for most other injury claims.
Was your injury caused by a known hazard? Property owners are not expected to be omniscient. In other words, they cannot possibly know of a hazard like a dropped pickle jar in a supermarket aisle immediately after it happens. However, they are expected to inspect their property for hazards regularly and correct or warn of any hazards promptly. If you can prove that they knew about a hazard and yet did nothing to protect you, and this inaction led to your injury, you should have a good chance of recovering compensation.
Were any laws violated? If a property owner violates a law or ordinance, and this directly causes the situation that led to your injury, your premises accident injury claim may be greatly strengthened. For example, if a landlord violated a city code for electrical wiring and a fire resulted, the code violation would make it easier to prove that the landlord was negligent.
Were you at fault in any way? Property owners are only liable for injuries that the average person would not have been reasonably able to avoid. So, if for example you fell down some stairs because you were texting, the property owner would not be at fault.
To learn more about the specific strengths and weaknesses of your premises accident injury claim, please contact The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas for a free consultation.