According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of death and injuries among Americans 65 and older in America. Millions of falls occur among the elderly population every year, with most leading to serious and fatal injuries. Senior citizens aren’t the only ones at risk of bad slip and fall accidents – they can happen to anyone in the wrong circumstances. A spilled drink at the grocery store, a parking lot with uneven sidewalks, a staircase with a faulty railing… opportunities for premises liability accidents are unfortunately quite common.
After sustaining an injury on someone else’s property, reach out to our Riverside slip & fall accident attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP. We can help you understand your rights.
Premises Liability Laws in Riverside County
Contrary to what most people believe, a property owner is not automatically liable for injuries that occur on his or her property. To bring a case against the property owner, the injured party must have evidence that he/she knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous property feature and did nothing to repair the issue. Proving that someone “reasonably should have known” about something takes looking at what another reasonable and prudent person would have done in the same circumstances. Examples of dangerous property defects include:
- Elevator/escalator failures
- Sidewalk cracks or defects
- Wet, oily, or greasy floors
- Exposed cords
- Obstacles in the walkway
- Loose carpeting
- Poor lighting
- Faulty staircases
- Holes or ditches on the property
- Unsafe swimming pools
- Lack of security
These are common reasons for premises liability claims, but the “defect” in question can be anything that caused preventable harm to property visitors. Slip and fall accidents are the most common grounds for premises liability claims in California. In these cases, a common defense is to state that the plaintiff contributed to his or her own injuries by failing to pay attention (if, for example, the person was looking down at a cell phone and walked straight into a puddle on the floor).
In California, the injured party can still recover a portion of damages even if the courts find him or her partially responsible for the incident. A good attorney can help you maximize recovery even in the event of a comparative negligence defense.
What to Do if You Sustain a Slip and Fall Injury in Riverside
If you have a slip and fall injury, you need to take several steps to ensure the success of your liability claim. These include:
- See a doctor – Even if you think your injuries are minor, you may have sustained latent injuries that will become apparent later. You need to get medical attention immediately following a slip and fall accident, to rule out and/or document head, back, neck, and internal injuries. You may also need to start treatment and/or to ascertain the potential costs of such treatment.
- Collect evidence – Ideally, while you’re still at the scene of the accident, take a photo of whatever caused you to slip and fall. Some evidence, such as a wet spot or a freshly polished floor, may disappear if you wait until later to document it. And owners of damaged property that caused the accident will have time to fix it if you postpone collecting evidence. Also, if anyone witnessed your accident, ask for their name and phone number.
- Report the Slip and Fall Accident – Report the incident to whoever is in charge of the property. Be sure that they create a report, which may prove invaluable if the responsible parties later try to claim the slip and fall incident never occurred.
When to Talk to an Riverside Injury Lawyer
If you recently suffered an injury while on someone else’s property, seek medical care right away. You’ll need official medical records of your injuries and prognosis for recovery. Once you’re on the mend, consider speaking to a lawyer about what happened. Unsafe premises are common in Riverside, and they deserve legal attention when they cause injuries.
Free Consultations from our Experienced Premises Liability Lawyers
At Estey & Bomberger, LLP our accident attorneys offer free, no obligation consultations so that injured parties always feel comfortable talking to our attorneys. You can hear our professional advice without paying a dime or retaining our firm. Our team will listen to your story, decide if your accident has merit as a personal injury claim, and help you decide what to do from there.
After a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, don’t hesitate to contact up. Our Riverside firm has an impressive 99% success rate, and we want to help you pursue compensation from a negligent property owner.
Call us today for a complimentary consultation about your case ! (951) 543-9020