If you or a loved one has been injured by slipping, or tripping and falling, or by falling debris or merchandise, or by toxic fumes or poisonous food, being assaulted, or suffocating in a dense crowd, you may need to ask if somebody was negligent. Should your accident have been avoided?
Answering these three questions may help you determine if you have a case:
When is the owner responsible for your injuries?
To answer that question is to find out if the owner or possessor of the premises (or his employees):
- has caused the dangerous situation resulting in your injuries, or
- knew about the dangerous situation but didn’t correct it, or
- should have known about the dangerous situation under a reasonable management.
The first two situations are clear, but the third one is the most common, and more difficult to prove because of the words “should have known” and “reasonable“. A careful analysis of how the property is maintained and how often or for how long this type of dangerous situation occurs will point either towards the “negligence” or towards the “bad luck” angle of the accident.
What is “Reasonable”?
If a regular inspection and maintenance plan is required to keep the premises safe, a reasonable time should also be granted for the dangerous situation to be detected and repaired. Can the owner show such a maintenance plan, and prove its execution? Are the employees trained to correct the temporary unsafe situations? Were the facilities built to code, are there quality and safety plans, were unsafe zones attracting children properly fenced, is there adequate lighting? As you can see we ask many questions in these cases, questions that must be addressed to determine if you have a case.
Weren’t you a bit careless too?
Maybe your child was hurt while you were not paying attention. Or you took a shortcut normally not open to the public. You need to think about what a defendant might come up with to put the responsibility squarely back on your shoulders. If you were careless to some degree, it may be held against you to reduce your compensation, but it does not mean that the owner shouldn’t pay his part under the “comparative negligence” rule.
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San Diego-based slip and fall accident Keith J. Stone has successfully fought for the right to compensation of hundreds of Southern California people injured on unsafe premises.
Call Keith Stone now at 619 531 2022 for a FREE, NO COMMITMENT evaluation of your case, or send us an email with your questions.
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