If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else's property, you may have a claim against the owner if his or her negligence caused your accident. For example, if the owner failed to clean up the spill you slipped on, he or she could potentially be held liable.
There are four basic elements of any slip and fall claim that you need to prove to have a chance of obtaining compensation. The Baton Rouge slip and fall lawyers at Simien & Simien have detailed knowledge of these four elements and how to build a strong case that establishes the owner's liability for your damages.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation right now to discuss your situation. We do not charge legal fees unless you are compensated at the end of the legal process.
Property Owner Had a Duty of Care
The owner of a property owes a duty of care to those who enter, including guests, customers and even trespassers. The specific duty of care depends on the visitor's legal status when he or she enters the property.
Generally, property owners have the duty to warn guests of hazards and, in some cases, to take measures to correct or remove these hazards. However, property owners have much less of an obligation to trespassers. They do not have to warn trespassers about hazards. Property owners' only duty to trespassers is to avoid creating hazards that could harm them.
Breach of Duty of Care
You will also need to establish that the property owner breached the duty of care that applied to your situation. A breach involves a failure to repair a hazard, failure to warn guests about the hazard or intentionally creating a hazard meant to harm a trespasser.
Juries and insurance companies will review several factors to determine if the property owner took appropriate action to deal with the hazard or obstacle linked to your injury:
- The length of time the hazard existed before the owner took action
- The owner's policies for dealing with hazards on the property
- Whether there were warning signs notifying guests of the danger
- Steps taken by the owner to protect guests from the hazard, including roping off the area to keep guests away
Property Owner's Actions Caused Your Injury
In other words, you need to prove that the hazard and the property owner's actions related to the hazard led to your injury. This means you need to show a direct link between the hazard and the owner's actions and your injury. Seeking medical attention right away can help link your injuries to the accident and the hazard.
The at-fault party and his or her insurance company or lawyers may try to argue that you purposely slipped and fell or that you should have taken action to avoid the hazard. In other words, they may try to say your actions were the cause of the injury, and not the actions of the property owner.
Even if you contributed to your injury, you may still be able to recover compensation. Louisiana's comparative fault law says you can recover compensation as long as the at-fault party has some amount of responsibility. However, your total compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
You Suffered Damages
You cannot file a slip and fall claim unless you suffered damages from your injury. This can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and various other types of damages.
Unless you suffered damages, there is no basis for a personal injury claim. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to try to put you in the position you were in before the accident. This means providing compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of your injury.
Contact Simien & Simien Today
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the capable legal team at Simien & Simien. We will discuss legal options available and how to initiate the claim. We can discuss what you will need to show in order to be successful with your claim. We can also gather information about the harm that you suffered and estimate the potential value of your claim.
Schedule your free, no obligation legal consultation today. There is no risk to contact us to discuss your situation.
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