Compensation If Injured in a Public Place
Injuries can occur in various public places, from retail stores and shopping malls to swimming pools, parks, and parking lots. If you were injured in a public place, you may pursue compensation for your injuries. However, the location and circumstances surrounding your injury may affect how you make a claim for compensation.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney at KJT Law Group can help you navigate the legalities of this process.
Establishing Fault When an Injury Occurs in a Public Place
Determining who is at fault in a public place injury is critical, as different properties require different levels of care. Let’s say you are injured while hiking in a public park. In that case, you must prove that the state or other entity responsible for the park created or allowed a condition that could cause injury beyond the risk inherent during normal and reasonable use.
Slipping in a puddle on a public trail may not be considered a dangerous condition, as a hiker could reasonably expect that puddles may exist on the trail.
If, on the other hand, you were injured by slipping in a puddle on the floor of a retail establishment, you could hold the store owner or management company responsible. As such, they must warn patrons about potential hazards and promptly address them.
Parties Who Could be Liable for Injury in a Public Place
Individuals or entities that could be liable for injuries due to negligence or dangerous conditions in a public place include:
- A business owner or manager
- A landlord or property manager
- A state, local, or other entity responsible for facility maintenance
- A company or entity responsible for sidewalk and asphalt repair and maintenance
- A workplace owner or management responsible for safety protocols
The claim process differs depending on who is at fault for your accident. Many businesses carry liability insurance for accidents and injuries that occur on the premises. Government entities and public recreational facilities have a different level of liability and may require that you file a claim directly with the local, state, or federal organization responsible for the facility.
California negligence laws and claims processes for premises liability are especially complex, so you may benefit from having one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys on your side.
Dangerous Conditions Cause Injuries in Public Places
When you go to a public place, whether it is owned by a private business or managed by a government entity, you expect the space to be free of hazards. GOV § 830 indicates that a dangerous condition presents “substantial risk” of injury to users when the property is used as intended and with due care.
When the entity responsible allows a dangerous condition to exist, they can be held liable for injuries that occur, per CIV § 1714. Examples of dangerous conditions include:
- Wet floors
- Stairs, landings, and raised platforms without guardrails or railings
- Uncovered pits, trenches, or holes without warnings, fencing, or other protective measures
- Uneven, broken, or cracked asphalt or pavement
- Potholes, debris, clutter, and other obstacles that can be tripped over
If you are injured in a public place, take photos of what caused your accident. Sometimes, the responsible party changes the scene to reduce their liability, so document evidence to support your claim.
Falls and Other Common Causes of Public Place Injuries
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls make up more hospital emergency room visits than any other cause of injury. More than 8 million people visit hospital emergency rooms each year after falls. In addition, over 1 million patients go to the emergency room for slip and fall accidents.
Whether you are a worker, customer, resident, or visitor in a public location, you should not have to pay for injuries from dangerous conditions caused by someone else’s negligence. While slips, trips, and falls are common causes of injury in public places, you can also sustain injuries from:
- Chemical exposure
- Fire and explosions
- Struck by or caught between objects
Our team can determine whether a dangerous condition caused your injury and help you proceed with your claim.
Injuries You Could Sustain in a Public Place
Depending on the location and circumstances surrounding your injury, you could experience severe and even debilitating injuries. Such injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Spinal damage and paralysis
- Burns and disfigurement
- Loss of limb
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Injured joints, tendons, and ligaments
- Muscle damage
- Crushing injuries
- Organ damage
- Injury to eyes or face
Even if you do not believe you have a severe injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible after you experience an accident in a public place. Some injuries do not initially present symptoms but can grow worse if left unchecked. In addition, your doctor’s records will establish the extent and severity of your injuries, which is a crucial factor in your public place injury claim.
Damages You Can Seek After a Public Place Injury
Severe injuries can have lasting effects on your quality of life, even beyond the initial healing process. When someone else’s actions cause your injuries, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your related losses. Damages you can include in your public place personal injury claim are:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Physical and mental therapy
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional anguish
- Lost income
- Reduced earning potential
Wrongful death damages may be available to those who have lost a loved one to a public place injury.
Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Can Assist You
At KJT Law Group, we are committed to providing Southern California injury victims with outstanding legal support and guidance. If we move forward with your case, we can obtain evidence, file a claim, conduct negotiations, and take your case to court if that’s what it takes to get a fair settlement. Call (818) 507-8525 for a free evaluation of your public place injury claim.