Difficult Aspects Of Premises Liability Cases In The State Of California
Interviewer: What would you say the most difficult thing for people to understand about slip and fall cases?
Richard Sailer: The most difficult things sometimes for people at times is sometimes there are just simple accidents that nobody’s responsible for. There are no means of compensating, some accidents. Sometimes we’ve had situations where somebody won’t have a slip and fall, they’ll have a significant injury and file a lawsuit. We’ll subpoena the surveillance video of the store, and well see that something got spilled a few seconds before the client comes around the corner and steps in it. In which case it’s just a simple accident, the store had no ability to clean it up. They had no notification of the dangerous condition, they had no knowledge of the spill and there is nothing that they could have done.
The Difficult Aspects of a Premises Liability Case From an Attorney’s Perspective
Interviewer: What would you say for an attorney is one of the most typical aspects to deal with? In a slip and fall case?
Richard Sailer: well I think, I think it goes back to, the initial investigation and securing the evidence necessary, to prove the negligent act, often times we got significant injuries, but were just not able to document or prove or have a factual basis for the negligence, on the part of the property owner.
Slip and Fall Cases Can be Potentially Worth Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
Interviewer: In a slip and falls, what are the chances that someone can win, is it worth pursuing?
Richard Sailer: It’s definitely worth talking to an attorney about because I’ve had cases that are worth 100’s of thousands of dollars. I’ve had cases which are worth nothing. It’s a real fact intensive case if we compare it to an automotive mobile accident and if you’re sitting at a red light and somebody rear end you. It’s clearly their fault. There’s a lot of grey areas in dealing in premises cases, because of the nature of the law. For instance a trip and fall case, when you’re dealing with an elevated surface, a crack in a side walk or an elevation deviation.
In Trip and Fall Cases , it Can be Argued that the Deviation that Caused the Accident is Either Too Trivial or Too Obvious
There are 2 defenses that the property owners can use, one is that its a trivial defect, and they’ll make the argument that the world cannot be flat. It would be impossible for every sidewalk to be perfectly flat and this defect is so small that it its trivial and it shouldn’t have caused an injury. Now on the other hand, if the deviation is so great, there’s a defense that it’s open and obvious, and that anybody who has the skills to walk down the street, should have seen it, and should have been able to avoid it. You’ve got grey areas on both ends of the spectrum. You’ve got to prove that its not open and obvious and its therefore a hazard, and it’s a dangerous condition. It’s really a factual determination that needs to be made in each individual case.
Notable Case Studies of Premises Liability Cases In California
Interviewer: Are there any particular premises liability cases that you can recall that were maybe a personal victory or something that was a unique case?
Richard Sailer: In terms of unique, I had a case that settled a couple of years ago. I got a phone call from a lady that said she was out shopping, and she had slipped and fell on some grapes and just sustained a knee injury and that it required surgery. She said that there was a store report and everything, so there was no problem. I brought her down and got her signed up and everything. We didn’t realize until after the fact what was going on.
The Negligence of the Store’s Employee was the Cause Behind the Accident
I’ll letter it out but it was at a Sears and she was shopping for a washing machine. I just assumed the case was a grocery store shopping case, but it turned out that it was in an appliance store. We ascertained that there was the employer break room adjacent to the area where she fell. Somebody was coming back from lunch and then going on some grapes and dropped a couple of them on the floor and my client had the unfortunate circumstances of walking through that aisle. In that case we could show that it came from the employer break room. Therefore it was an employee of the store that created the dangerous condition and therefore we had them on the hook for the negligent act.