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Bakersfield Slip and Fall Attorneys

Bakersfield Slip and Fall Attorneys

Falling on a commercial property can be far more than an embarrassing blunder. It is not uncommon for a serious fall to cause a hip fracture, head trauma, or soft tissue damage. These injuries are not only incredibly painful but also expensive to treat. If the accident happened due to the negligence of the property owner or occupier, our slip and fall attorneys in Bakersfield can help you pursue compensation for any economic and non-economic damages you have suffered. Premises liability cases of this nature are highly complex. It may be necessary to file subpoenas for evidence and to depose various medical and technical experts. Our lawyers can handle the logistical elements of your case so you can focus on your health. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to speak with one of our legal professionals in a free case assessment.

What Is the Difference Between “Actual Knowledge” and “Constructive Knowledge?”

Most slip and fall claims are brought by invitees who are injured on a commercial property due to the negligence of the property owner, occupier, or one of their employees. To prevail in such a claim, it must be shown that the defendant (or one of the defendant’s employees) had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard that caused the fall yet failed to take reasonable steps to remedy the hazard, or failed to warn invitees about the hazard. That means if the defendant or one of their employees did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard, you will not be able to recover monetary damages. Actual knowledge means the defendant was aware of the hazard’s existence. For example, if an employee of the business establishment mopped a floor, that employee would have had actual knowledge that the floor was wet. Constructive knowledge means the hazard should have been known to the defendant through the exercise of reasonable diligence. Commercial property owners have a duty to inspect their premises for hazards to protect invitees from injury. That way, a dangerous condition can (hopefully) be identified and remedied—or customers can be warned about it—before an accident happens. In other words, constructive knowledge can exist even if the defendant did not actually know about the hazard.

What Is the Doctrine of Respondeat Superior?

Commonly referenced in tort law, the doctrine of respondeat superior is a legal doctrine that makes an employer vicariously liable for the negligence of an employee who is acting within the scope of his or her employment. This doctrine is particularly relevant in slip and fall cases since the party who had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition is often an employee rather than the property owner. Since many businesses have sizeable insurance policies to protect their financial security, bringing a premises liability claim against the employer tends to have a higher chance of yielding a financial recovery than bringing a claim against an individual employee; however, many commercial establishments and their insurance carriers have substantial resources they can devote to challenging claims. As such, it is important that you hire a well-credentialed slip and fall lawyer in Bakersfield who can help you navigate the proceedings, avoid mistakes, and fight for the highest compensation possible.

What If the Liable Party Refuses to Relinquish Evidence?

It is often the case that the defendant in a slip and fall claim is in possession of valuable evidence such as the incident report and surveillance footage. It is not unheard-of for such defendants to withhold evidence in the hopes that the case against them will be weakened. If this happens, your Bakersfield slip and fall lawyer can file a subpoena to obtain the evidence that is being withheld.

What If I Did Not Document the Hazard That Caused My Fall?

To win a fair settlement or verdict, you must be able to prove that the dangerous condition existed, that the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition, that the dangerous condition caused your fall, and that you incurred damages as a result of the fall. If there is no evidence to prove that the dangerous condition existed, it will be difficult to secure a financial recovery. This can be a source of concern for those who are injured in a small store, required emergency care, and the only person present was the property owner. Fortunately, even if you were not able to document the scene, there may be other sources of evidence to prove negligence and liability. If emergency responders attended the scene, they may have created a report about what happened. If there was surveillance footage, your attorney may be able to obtain it by filing a subpoena, and if anyone witnessed the incident, they might provide deposition about what caused your fall. Because important evidence may be time sensitive, you should contact a Bakersfield slip and fall attorney right away so the investigation can begin immediately.

Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to Speak with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Bakersfield

Contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS or send us a message to set up a free case review. There’s no charge for the consultation, and if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe any attorney’s fees.