Can I Sue the Landlord if I Slip and Fall on Their Property?
If you are injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to sue the landlord if certain conditions are met. These kinds of lawsuits are based on premises liability, and they require proof that the landlord or another defendant was negligent. If the landlord caused your accident by not taking reasonable precautions to keep the premises safe or warn you of dangers it knew about, they may be liable.
It is not always easy to determine whether someone is legally to blame for an injury. Discuss your accident with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Injury Law for a personalized evaluation of your case.
Proving negligence in a slip and fall lawsuit
To win a personal injury lawsuit involving a slip and fall, you must be able to show negligence. What actions constitute negligence depends on the type of accident involved. In a slip and fall, it usually means that the landlord or another person or entity who had some control over or responsibility to maintain the property breached their duty by allowing a hazard to remain or failing to post a warning about it.
In addition to landlords, property managers, maintenance companies, and others responsible for repair or upkeep may be liable for a fall. Some of the ways these parties can breach a duty include:
- Creating the hazard
- Leaving the hazard in place when they did know or, reasonably, should have known, that it existed
- Failing to warn about the danger
In addition to showing that the landlord or another defendant had a duty and breached it, you must be able to show that you were injured and that the injury was reasonably related to the breach. If you do not meet each of these elements, a judge can dismiss your case. Talk to slip and fall lawyers at Ellis Injury Law to find out whether your claim is viable.
Defenses to a slip and fall
Most likely, the defendant will raise defenses against your claim. If the defendant succeeds, it can reduce or eliminate the compensation you can receive. Some of the common defenses include:
- Failure to state a claim – if you did not allege each of the elements of your premises liability claim in the pleadings, the defendant can ask the court to dismiss the case. If you allege the elements but do not, during the case, offer evidence to support each one, the defendant can ask for a judgment in its favor without a trial.
- Open and obvious – A person or business in charge of keeping property safe does not need to warn visitors of hazards that are plainly obvious to a reasonable person.
- Plaintiff’s negligence – California follows comparative fault rules, which means that the amount of compensation available to a plaintiff is reduced by the plaintiff’s own fault. It is worth noting that unlike some states that follow contributory negligence rules, an at-fault plaintiff is still allowed to pursue a lawsuit even if they are partly to blame for their injury.
To someone who has not been involved in many lawsuits, these defenses may at first appear devastating. However, your slip & fall attorney has seen them all and will formulate a response appropriate for your case.
What to do after a slip and fall in an apartment
Do not waste time when it comes to protecting your right. If you do not take action, evidence can slip away and the statute of limitations could run out. To make sure you can pursue any claim you are legally entitled to file:
- Document the scene – Take photos of what caused your fall and the surrounding area.
- Identify witnesses – If there were eyewitnesses, either to the fall itself or to the conditions that caused it, ask for their names and phone numbers.
- See a doctor – If your injury is immediately apparent, you should obtain a medical evaluation right away. If it is not obvious right away, see a doctor within a day or two.
- Be discreet – Do not talk to anyone about the fall. Avoid posting on social media as well. Anything you say to anyone except your lawyer can be used against you, even if it is taken out of context.
Discuss your fall with an attorney
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, take action by speaking with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law. We are committed to helping you fight for full compensation for your injuries. Consultations are always free.