If you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim against the property owner or manager. California’s premises liability laws help protect those injured by dangerous conditions on someone else’s property, whether that property was a business, a private home, or a public place.

Taking specific steps after an injury in such a case is essential to aid in your physical recovery and give your legal claim the best chances of success.

1. Seek Medical Attention

One of the first things you should do after any injury is to seek medical attention. Even if the injury seems minor, it could be worse than you realize. By seeking medical treatment, you benefit your health and create an official record of your injuries.

Later on in your claim, your medical records will be vital in proving the veracity and extent of the injuries you suffered.

2. Report the Injury

You should notify the property owner or manager after an injury on their property. You can notify them either verbally or in writing. You should also request that they document the accident in a report and provide you with a copy.

This report will serve as another official accident record and will be important later in your case.

3. Gather and Preserve Evidence

Gathering evidence about the scene of the injury can help prove that the property was dangerous. There’s no such thing as too much evidence, so you should document as much as possible. Remember not to alter or dispose of any of the evidence you collect.

Some types of evidence you can gather are:

  • Photographs – Use your phone to take pictures of the property, focusing on the dangerous conditions that led to your injury. These pictures can be helpful if someone alters the property after the fact. Also, take pictures of your injuries before and after beginning treatment.
  • Witness Testimony – Get statements and contact information from anyone who witnessed your injury. You may also get statements from those who didn’t directly witness your injury if they can still back up your claim that the property was hazardous.
  • Written Details – Writing down the time, date, location, and other details about the accident can help. Did you fall because a handrail was unstable? Was there a wet spot on the floor? How large was the wet spot? Was the lighting adequate to see potential hazards?

4. Avoid Making Statements

The property owner, manager, or insurer may ask you for a statement. You should avoid making any detailed statements before consulting with an attorney. The opposing party may use your statement against you in your legal claim.

5. Notify Your Insurance Company

You should only give a detailed statement to your insurance company after consulting with an attorney. However, you should inform them about the incident in case you ultimately need to file a claim with them.

6. Continue Treatment and Keep Records

Keeping ongoing records of your recovery, medical bills, and other relevant paperwork can help support your case. These records are a paper trail of everything that’s happened since your injury and can eliminate doubt about your claim.

You should also follow through with any prescribed treatments for your injury. Continuing treatment shows that you’re taking your recovery seriously and that the treatment is necessary for your healing.

7. Consider the Statute of Limitations

California’s statute of limitations for most premises liability claims is two years. This means you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit.

However, if you were injured on government property, there will be additional hoops to jump through. If your case involves the government, it is even more vital that you start your claim as early as possible to preserve your right to seek compensation.

8. Contact Our Premises Liability Lawyers in Walnut Creek

An experienced premises liability lawyer can help make your claims process go more smoothly. At Casper, Meadows, Schwartz, & Cook, we can help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance providers, file your claim, and represent your case if it goes to court. Contact our Walnut Creek law office today for a free consultation.