Notices in Bakersfield Slip and Fall Cases

Donald Colvin, Esq

One of the most important elements of any successful slip and fall lawsuit is being able to prove that the defendant landowner you are suing over your accident had “notice” of the hazard that caused your injury. If you cannot establish through a “preponderance of evidence” that a defendant landowner had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous property condition, you have almost no chance of achieving a favorable result from your claim, even if you have lots of evidence proving that the property condition in question led to you getting hurt.

With that in mind, it can be crucial to know a little bit about notices in Bakersfield slip and fall cases well in advance of beginning the litigation process over this sort of accident. Here is a broad overview of what qualifies as “notice” in this context and what you may need to do to prove a landowner had it, each aspect of which a seasoned slip and fall attorney could go into more detail about during a private initial consultation.

Actual Notice Versus Constructive Notice

Broadly speaking, “notice” for a California property owner is the awareness that a condition existed on their property that could potentially cause a lawful property visitor to sustain an accidental injury. To get more specific, though, there are two types of “notice” a California property owner can have of a hazard: “active notice,” meaning they have direct and actual knowledge of the hazard, and “constructive” notice,” meaning that they reasonably should know about the hazard through regular inspection of their property.

All property owners have a legal “duty” to warn lawful visitors about and take prompt steps to fix hazards of which they have active notice as defined above. However, landowners are only liable for hazards of which they have constructive notice if the person injured by that hazard was an “invitee,” meaning they were someone like a retail store customer who was visiting lawfully and specifically for the property owner’s benefit.

Proving a Landowner Had Notice of a Slipping Hazard

Demonstrating during a slip and fall claim that a landowner in Bakersfield had notice of a hazard can require various forms of evidence drawn from multiple sources, especially if the claim is built around an allegation of constructive notice. Everything from surveillance camera footage to witness testimony to copies of employee inspection logs may be needed to establish that a hazard was present for long enough that a reasonable property owner should have discovered and addressed it prior to the moment a slip and fall accident occurred.

By comparison, establishing that a landowner had actual notice of a hazard can be a more straightforward process of taking statements from them under oath and referencing written records like emails or in-store intranet messages noting the hazard in question. In both scenarios, though, support from experienced legal counsel can be key both to finding and to making effective use of all available information.

A Bakersfield Attorney Could Further Explain Notices in Slip and Fall Cases

While proving that a landowner had notice of a dangerous property condition is crucial to succeeding with a slip and fall claim, it is far from the only thing you will need to do if you want to recover fairly for your damages. In fact, there is a long list of actions you will need to take—and legal knowledge you will likely need to have—that can be difficult for anyone to manage alone, let alone someone suffering from a serious injury.

Fortunately, a dedicated slip and fall lawyer is ready and available to help you understand notices in Bakersfield slip and fall cases and improve your chances of obtaining the restitution you need. Call today to learn more.