What Are “Open and Obvious” Hazards in a Slip and Fall Case in California?

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What Are “Open and Obvious” Hazards in a Slip and Fall Case in California?

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Though a slip, trip, and fall case may seem as easy as giving compensation to the injured party, this is far from the truth. In reality, many factors must be taken into consideration before compensation is awarded to the injured party. Through your case, you may discover that the negligent party is claiming that the hazard that caused your injury was “open and obvious.” If you are unfamiliar with what this means or how it can impact your compensation, you’ll want to keep reading. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and how a slip & fall lawyer in Sacramento, California can assist you.

What Makes a Hazard “Open and Obvious?”

In many instances, slips and falls occur as the result of negligent property owners failing to ensure their location is safe. For example, a hotel manager may not put up a wet floor sign after mopping or leave electrical wires on the ground without securing them down. However, in some instances, they may claim that the hazard that inflicted an injury was obvious. Essentially, this means they believe the injured party was aware of or should have been aware of the hazard to prevent the injury.

For example, if someone is walking on a sidewalk and walks into a table set up for outdoor dining, they may not be able to recover compensation because the hazard was in plain view, and they should have avoided it. However, not all cases are this simple, and many defendants use this claim to try to avoid taking responsibility for their negligence.

What Should I Do Following an Injury?

Immediately after sustaining an injury, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Unfortunately, failure to do this can be used against you, as the defendant may claim your injuries are not severe since you didn’t seek treatment.

Additionally, you should complete an incident report. In many instances, such as falling in a store or hotel, they will have a report you can fill out to document the situation. Be sure to complete this to the best of your ability, but don’t write anything that may be seen as taking responsibility for the situation. Additionally, you should request a copy of this report prior to leaving the establishment.

How Can This Impact My Ability to Pursue Compensation?

In the event a defendant is able to prove a hazard was open and obvious, it can impact whether or not you receive compensation. As such, it’s imperative to enlist the assistance of an attorney who can dispel these claims to help you recover the funds you deserve for the injuries you’ve sustained.

One way an attorney can help is by proving negligence per se. Even though the hazard may have been obvious, is the property owner violated a law designed to keep the public safe, you can still seek compensation.

At the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes, we understand the importance of seeking justice when injured at the hands of a negligent party. As such, we are dedicated to fighting for the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these difficult times.