What To Do After Suffering Injuries Due to Unsafe PremisesAugust 29, 2016 | Category: Premises Liability
With some exceptions, Section 1714 of the California Civil Code essentially holds property owners and others responsible for visitor injuries caused by reasonably-preventable dangerous conditions. Still, proving conditions that qualify as premises liability can be challenging, especially when victims fail to protect their interests at the time of the accident.
As a general rule, individuals who suffer injuries caused by dangerous premises have more responsibilities toward themselves than they do toward property owners. To protect their rights to compensation, they should know the differences and act accordingly.
After an Accident, Certain Actions Can Limit Injury Victims' Claims
Whether a premises liability claim against a property owner's insurance policy, or even if the claim goes to court, the victim bears the burden of proof when seeking compensation. In essence, they need to prove that they suffered injuries, and that the property owner knew about a dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable action to correct it.
Public property owners generally know how to best protect their interests after an accident, but few injury victims have a clear understanding of how their statements and other actions at the time of an accident can affect their claims. Observing the following four simple tips can go a long way toward protecting their rights:
- Seek immediate medical attention. There is no need to see a doctor requested by the property owner. Go to a trusted family doctor, or at least a provider that can make a neutral opinion.
- Provide contact information only. It is not unusual for property owners to have their own accident report forms. Do not comply with requests to complete these forms or respond to questions after the accident. Provide contact information only, and refrain from making even informal statements pertaining to the accident.
- Try to collect evidence. When injuries permit, try to observe or take pictures of the unsafe condition that caused the accident.
- Seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced Los Angeles slip and fall attorney can explain all legal options and set the wheels in motion to initiate a claim.
Time is of The Essence to Preserve Evidence
Keep in mind that when accident victims leave the premises, property owners may try to take immediate action to eradicate as much evidence as possible. If the accident involved a slip in an unmarked puddle caused by a ceiling leak, the leak may be fixed post haste, or at least a warning sign will be placed nearby. If a victim sustains a head injury caused by cans stacked too high on a shelf, expect a single layer of cans on the shelves very quickly.
When lawyers are engaged quickly after an accident, they have the best chance of identifying hazards and capturing evidence before repairs are underway. They may also initiate investigations to uncover witnesses, along with any past hazard reports against the property owner.
For the best opportunities to develop a compelling case against an insurance company or in court, call us at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969.