Experienced California Slip & Fall Attorneys
A slip and fall accident is the most common type of premises liability accident, occurring when a guest or resident falls on a slippery surface. A fall attributed to a break or inconsistency in flooring is generally referred to as a “trip and fall.”
Signs of unreasonable maintenance that can lead to injury may include obstacles on walkways, slippery surfaces, broken concrete, tears in the carpet, loose rocks or gravel, wet areas, low lighting, broken stairs, loose handrails, unsafe porch or balcony areas, broken glass, etc. The presence of dangerous conditions such as these may indicate that a property owner did not inspect his property on a regular basis to ensure safety.
Homeowners, owners of rental properties, parking lot owners, business owners, and any owners or management personnel who control private properties may be held accountable for injuries resulting from unsafe premises..
After an injury on another’s property, you should examine your behavior to identify where liability may lie. The property owner’s insurance company will undoubtedly ask you questions in an attempt to identify if fault lies with you. We advise that you refrain from talking to the property owner’s attorney until you are fully aware of your rights. It is a good idea to consult an attorney because in many cases, injured parties may incorrectly blame themselves or think that they could have been more careful when, in fact, the property owner may be solely at fault.
After you decide to pursue a trip and fall or related claim, your attorney will investigate your incident in hopes of finding evidence that shows how long the dangerous condition existed. Interviewing others may yield important information and reveal a previous complaint or show that the owner in fact had knowledge of the potentially dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it.
Steps to Take after a Slip and Fall Accident
Learn about the right steps to take after being involved in a slip and fall accident in California.
Report the Fall
Report the accident to the appropriate authorities. If the fall occurred in a commercial setting like a shopping mall, or restaurant, report it to the property owner, supervisors, manager or other personnel.
Get Medical Help
A fall typically results in fractures, back injuries, and other possibly serious injuries. Get medical care, even if your injuries do not seem serious at the time. Remember, failing to get medical help after an accident could actually weaken your claim.
If you are able to, or if you have a friend with you, take pictures of the scene. If there was a defective condition like a broken staircase, or loose guardrail, take photographs of these. Pictures can provide powerful evidence when it is time for you to file a claim against the premises owner.
Talk to Witnesses
If your fall has occurred in a public place or in a commercial setting, it is very likely that there are witnesses at the scene who have witnessed your accident. It is also very likely that they have seen the dangerous condition that caused your fall, like the slippery floor, loose floor mats, or ice on your doorsteps steps. Take down contact information of all witnesses.
Do Not Speak
Do not talk about your injury, your accident, or any other details of the case with any insurance company representative who comes to meet you. You are under no legal obligation to do so, and doing so without the presence of an attorney could actually jeopardize your claim.
Call an Attorney
Contact an experienced California slip and fall lawyer to determine your legal options for compensation after an accident.
The slip and fall accident lawyers at the Law Ledger Law Firm are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in falls in California.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?
The first person to be named in any slip and fall accident claim is the owner of the property whose negligence caused the injury.
In the state of California you must prove the following conditions have been met to file a successful claim for damages against the owner after a fall:
- The property owner was the owner of the premises where the accident occurred.
- The property owner had the duty to take reasonable care to avoid an injury to visitors like you on the property.
- The property owner breached this duty.
- The breach resulted in your injury.
- The injuries caused you damages, including medical expenses.
That seems fairly straightforward, but the property owner can mount several defenses to your claim. Talk to a slip and fall accident lawyer to understand what kind of defenses the owner may use to avoid paying you compensation.
Other parties may also be named in your claim to recover compensation. Besides the property owner, the property manager, supervisor, and other parties can also be held liable.
California law also allows for contributory negligence. Under these laws, a visitor to a property may be held partially at fault for his injuries if certain conditions are met. For instance if you, as a result of your own carelessness were injured on the property, the court may find you partially responsible for your accident. The compensation that you’re eligible for may be reduced by the amount that the court deems you are negligent. For instance, if you are found 30% at fault in your own injuries, the court may reduce your compensation amount by 30%.
If you were injured in a fall, get in touch with an attorney at our firm. The slip and fall accident attorneys at The Ledger Law Firm are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in falls from their office in California.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident in California, get in touch with an attorney immediately. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the legal process, identify all liable parties, and accurately account for all the damages that you suffered as a result of the fall.
You may be eligible for the following types of compensation after a fall on another’s premises.
These will cover the medical bills that have incurred after the accident. They must cover your doctor fees, hospitalization costs, cost of diagnostic tests and x-rays, and other expenses.
Future Medical Expenses
If the fall was a serious one, and resulted in a spinal, neck or head injury, you may be looking at continued medical expenses in the future. Surgeries, medications, therapies-all of these must be accounted for. Your attorney will include your future medical expenses in your claim to cover these costs.
Loss of Earnings
The damages must cover the loss of income as a result of the fall and the subsequent period of recuperation.
Loss of Future Earnings
If the injury is expected to leave you unable to return to your former job, and earn the same income that you were earning earlier, you must also account for this diminished earning capacity. Speak to a slip and fall attorney about how you can include these losses in your claim.
Pain and Suffering
The physical pain of an accident is only compounded by the mental trauma and anguish. Your claim must include pain and suffering damages as well.
If a court has reason to believe that the property owner or any other liable party was extremely negligent causing your injuries, it may decide to award punitive damages. Talk to an attorney to learn if you qualify for these damages.
The slip and fall accident lawyers at The Ledger Law Firm are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered falls on other’s premises, from their offices in California.