Dangerous Conditions and Your Legal Rights

Laurence Mandell discusses dangerous conditions and your legal rights.

Being injured on someone else’s property can involve a wide range of circumstances, such as being introduced to dangerous conditions or situations, a slip and fall, or even an animal attack. It’s important to understand your rights under the law should one of these incidents arise.

What constitutes a dangerous condition or situation? Dog bites, slippery floors, objects falling on you, defective handrails, poorly lit walkways, or any number of other possibilities. In any case, you need to be aware that the owner of the property is usually responsible in the event that something happens to you as a result of one or more of these dangerous conditions. Filing suit, however, is not always a clean-cut issue.

Your “Legal Status” is a Factor

First, the legal status of the injured party must be taken into account. If you were trespassing, for instance, then the owner might not be liable because the injury was due to an illegal act. This will be up to a court to decide.

Liability for injuries is also determined by the specified use of the property. If a property is only designated for a certain use, and an injury occurs due to a non-specified use, a court will again have to determine if the owner should be held liable.

In the event that an injury is due to the fault of an owner, it is the responsibility of the victim to prove whether or not the owner knew about the condition that led to the injury. Then, it has to be proven whether or not the owner knew about the condition and willingly did nothing to correct it. It also may have to be demonstrated that the property owner created the situation that led to the incident.

If it is established that the property owner, or an agent responsible for the property on the owner’s behalf, knew of the condition in advance of the injury, then it may be reasonably deduced that the injury could have been averted had the responsible party taken some action to correct the issue.

Prior Knowledge is Not Always Required by Law

In instances where prior knowledge cannot be proven, the plaintiff will need to prove that the condition which caused the injury had been present for a significant period of time, meaning that there was ample opportunity for it’s presence to be discovered and rectified. If this can be established, and the responsible party did nothing to correct the situation, then they may be held liable.

While you might not feel that it is in your nature to bring suit against another party in these instances, you have to remember that it is your right to be protected if you become injured under such circumstances. Consulting an experienced attorney who can help you sort out the details is the best way to determine if your claim is justified.

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Laurence Mandell is an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Laurence Mandell is the managing partner of The Mandell Law Firm, an aggressive personal injury and wrongful death law firm in Woodland Hills, California serving clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area and Southern California. Experienced and reputable, our attorneys provide hands-on care and sincere commitment to victims of personal injury of all kinds, including accidents and third party negligence. If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, contact Laurence Mandell for a free consultation at 818.886.6600.

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