Walking down Hollywood Blvd. on a warm Southern California day, over the slick marble stars that make up the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it’s easy to overlook a thin layer of water, left over from a cleanup crew hosing off graffiti, especially if the cleanup crew neglected to post a warning sign.
Should you slip and fall because of such negligence, and incur an injury on public property, you may be entitled to damages just as if you had been injured on private property. In local liability cases like these, the help of a knowledgeable slip-and-fall attorney well versed in state and local laws is vital.
If you are involved in such an accident in a public space, and are looking for legal advice, you should immediately contact the Conexión Legal team by calling 1800 201 1220, or write us through WhatsApp, so that you can receive the best legal advice — free of charge — as soon as possible, and connect with a slip and fall lawyer.
In what cases can I file a personal injury lawsuit?
Accidents, of course, do happen, but a personal injury lawsuit cannot be filed just because you trip over your own feet on someone else’s property — whether that someone else is a neighbor or a city. It is necessary to prove that unsafe conditions — or negligence — are the root cause in order to recover damages.
Examples of unsafe conditions include:
- Faulty stairs
- Flower pots or other objects in pathways of travel
- Wet or slippery floors
- Uneven pavement
- Sidewalks in poor condition
- Poorly hidden extension cords
- Large cracks in the floor
It is important to note that public spaces do not have to be completely safe. The state, city or county has only to show that they made reasonable efforts to ensure a reasonable level of safety, such as regular maintenance and responding to calls for repair. If a city has a record of multiple complaints about a pothole, for instance, but has not fixed it, and that pothole causes an auto accident, the city has not made reasonable efforts to ensure a reasonable level of safety, and has in fact shown negligence. An experienced attorney will be able to request those city records.
Should you slip and fall on public property, you should document and record as much as possible, as soon as possible, so that when you contact a slip and fall attorney through Conexión Legal, they have everything they need to help you recover the most compensation possible. Here are some things to remember in the aftermath of a public slip and fall:
- File reports
Be sure that you submit a detailed report to the proper municipal department — if your injury is caused by a poorly-maintained sidewalk, make a report with the local government or the department managing the sidewalk. A knowledgable lawyer in your city will be able to guide you to the proper channel.
Seek medical attention immediately from either your general practitioner or an emergency room doctor, and ensure detailed records are kept regarding all of your injuries. Lack of medical evidence can hurt your injury compensation claim.
- Record witness statements
You or whoever you are with should canvas the immediate area to see if anyone else saw your accident, and make sure to get their contact information.
- Take photos
A municipality — like a private company — could take steps to remedy the problem soon after your accident, especially if you file a report. Take photographs of the scene, your injuries, your clothing and the surrounding area as soon as possible. If a municipality has failed to prune a branch that broke and fell on you, take photographs of the branch and where it broke off. If you slipped on a slick or wet sidewalk and there were no warning signs erected, take photos of the lack of signage. If you tripped over an exposed extension cord, tripped on broken concrete or twisted your ankle in an unmarked open trench, take photographs. These will help your attorney prove negligence.
- Surveillance video
Your slip and fall attorney may need to request surveillance video showing how the accident occurred, so note if there are any ATMs, local business security cameras or traffic cameras in the area.
- Document expenses
When filing a liability claim for a slip and fall in public spaces, you can file for a loss of income and other expenses, so keep track of every expense incurred as a result of your injury. Keep receipts for prescriptions, taxi or ride share costs, medical care and psychological care. If you cannot work due to your injuries, you can also claim lost income.
In short: Document everything, and do not wait. Pedestrians injured on public sidewalks have only six months to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact the Conexión Legal team as soon as possible by calling 1800 201 1220, or write us through WhatsApp, to receive the best free advice, to learn about other common accidents that cause personal injuries and to connect with an expert slip and fall attorney who knows the laws in your city and state.