Say you’re visiting someone and you happen to trip and fall. You’re seriously injured and have to seek medical attention. Or you’re walking down the sidewalk and construction materials from another property hit you. What happens? Who is responsible for your injuries and taking care of your medical bills?

The truth is, there are a number of things that can happen when you’re just out and walking around. And while you may think that you’re the one who is responsible for being aware, the owner of a property is actually responsible for making sure that you are reasonably safe on their property. This includes taking reasonable precautions against:

  • Wet floors
  • Icy sidewalks and other walkways
  • Construction materials
  • Uneven ground
  • Unstable or broken seating
  • Unstable or broken objects that are capable of falling
  • Broken branches or bushes that could fall
  • Dangerous or unrestrained animals

Keep in mind that there are plenty of different types of hazards that you face when you’re walking or driving around. And while you may have a duty to act with reasonable care, the owner of the property does as well. So, we’re going to take a look at what happens when you’re injured on someone else’s property.

When You’re Injured After a Fall on Someone’s Property

If you are injured you want to make sure that you’re getting as much information as quickly as possible. That means taking down a record of everything that you experienced, including your injury, how it occurred, and who was present. If you know what caused your injury (i.e. you were attacked by a dog, you stepped on a nail, you slipped on a broken piece of sidewalk) you’ll want to record that. But you may not actually know exactly what caused the injury.

If you fell and were knocked unconscious, for example, you may not know exactly what knocked you down. If you were burned by a substance you may not know exactly what the substance was. But the more information you can take down the better it will be.

You also want to make sure that you take down the names and contact information of every person who saw the accident occur. That way your insurance company can contact those people to get more information and to make sure that they get an accurate description of the event.

If you are capable you should try to take photos of the area, the injury that you incurred, and anything else that you can.

Always remember that the most important thing is to be safe. If you are in a situation where you are still in danger then get out of that situation first. If you are in need of immediate, emergency medical care, make sure that you get that medical care first before you worry about any of the other aspects of information gathering.

You will also need to report the incident, along with any information that you may have, to your insurance company.

What You May Be Entitled To

What happens after you’ve had an injury? Well, that’s for the insurance company to decide. They will do an investigation to determine whether the property owner is at fault or not.

While California does have what’s considered the ‘Open and Obvious Doctrine’ that doesn’t mean you are going to be ‘out of luck.’ In fact, there is very rarely a case for this as it requires the cause of the injury to be so obvious that they are not actual dangerous because any reasonable person would know and be able to avoid them.

There is also the ‘Comparative Fault’ statute, which says that the court must look at the situation and who is most at fault for what happened. They will consider whether your actions in any way contributed to your injury or whether the other party and their negligence is wholly or more at fault. The jury for your case and a judge will determine the responsibility and will assign a dollar amount to the damages that you are entitled to.

Damages could include but are not limited to:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Decreased income capacity
  • Medical bills/assisted care (including ongoing expenses)

If you have any kind of expenses as a result of an injury the party who is determined to be at fault for the injury could be held liable for those damages. So make sure you’re keeping a record of everything that has happened as a result of your injury. You want to present this information to your legal representative, and you definitely want to find a legal representative.

Taking Care of You After Your Injury

If you find yourself injured on someone else’s property or as a result of someone else’s actions it’s important that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Do not wait. In fact, make sure that you’re not falling into any of these traps:

  • It’s not that bad
  • It’ll get better on its own
  • I’ll be fine
  • They’re a friend I don’t want them to get in trouble
  • I should have done/not done ‘x’

If you are injured in any way on someone else’s property or as a result of someone else’s negligence it’s important that you do whatever you can to get better. And that means taking the time you need for your physical, mental, and emotional recovery.

Working with a professional can help you to get the compensation that you’re entitled to as a result of your accident, and it’s important. Don’t let any of the traps above (or any others that you might find yourself thinking) get in the way of getting what you deserve.

If you don’t know who is at fault if I am injured on someone else’s property, the answer is usually going to be the property owner. In California, there are limited instances where this is not the case. So make sure you’re doing everything you can to take care of you.

Reach out to our law firm today for a free consultation to get started. We have offices in Riverside and Costa Mesa, but are also able to help clients in other cities across California.