Slipping, tripping and falling: Making a claim

Winter is a particularly difficult time for people in icy places. Slip-and-fall accidents become more common. However, in California, that's not usually the problem. Instead, rainy weather and wet docks make for potential slip-and-fall hazards.

If you slip and fall while you're exploring the city or hanging out on the beach, you might have a case against the property owner. Premises liability law protects people who get hurt as a result of a property owner's negligence or intentional misconduct.

How do you prove that negligence resulted in your injuries?

The first thing you can do is look at what actually happened. Did you walk into a business and slip on wet tiles where no signs were posted? Did you trip on a rug that had bunched up? Was something damaged that caused you to trip or get caught and fall? You'll want to show what it was that caused your accident and how the owner should be responsible for that hazard and your injuries.

Whom do you file the lawsuit against?

It depends on the situation. If you're hurt in a public place, you might pursue a claim against the local government. If you hurt yourself at someone's home, it's likely you'll file against the homeowner. If you get hurt at a business, you may pursue a claim against the business owner or the corporate entity. Sometimes, you may need to pursue a claim against a tenant or individual other than the homeowner or property owner, but that's something your attorney can help you decide.

After you're hurt, make sure to keep all documentation associated with the accident. Keep medical records, records of lost wages or income and other important information. You can give this to your attorney to help file your claim, so you can focus on your recovery.

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