Slip and fall accidents are often complex, nuanced, and detail-oriented. There are often multiple defendants represented by in-house counsel and large firms. In order to recover for injuries received after a fall, it is imperative that the victim hires counsel that has extensive experience and knowledge of slip and fall cases. At Pathway Law Firm, PC, our personal injury attorneys know how to navigate slip and fall cases and are dedicated to ensuring their clients receive the restitution they are due.
Common Causes of Slip, Trip & Fall Accidents
- Wet or uneven flooring
- Debris, trash, or food on the floor
- Poor lighting
- Lack of handrails
- Waxed, worn, or warped stairs
- Loose carpet/rug edges
- Plumbing leaks
- Broken furniture
- Uncovered cords and cables
- Improperly set-up ladder
- Inadequate or slick shoes
- Lack of proper warning signs, ex. “Wet Floor” sign
About Slip & Fall Accident Law in California
A property owner, manager, or leasor has an obligation to most individuals that are on their property to keep the property safe. When they fail to do so either through negligent or reckless behavior and that behavior is a substantial factor in causing the victim’s injuries, they can be held liable. An example of this would be when a property owner knows that the handrail on a set of stairs is loose, but does nothing to repair the condition. This would be considered negligent behavior. There are some defenses that arise in slip and fall cases, including:
- Open and Obvious: The condition that injured the victim was “open and obvious,” and the victim should have seen it and avoided it.
- Trespassing: The victim was trespassing at the time the injury occurred, therefore the owner, manager, and leasor were not under any obligation to keep the property safe for them.
- Comparative Negligence: The victim’s behavior contributed to the injury. Even if true, the victim can still recover, but the amount they recover may be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault.
Who Can I Sue If I’ve Been Injured From A Slip and Fall?
The first step in deciding who to sue after a slip and fall is to determine if the property owner, manager, or leasor was negligent in any way. If they were, you might be able to sue them for damages.
There are a few things that need to be considered to determine negligence, such as:
- Did the property owner know about the dangerous condition?
- Did they have enough time to fix it before your accident happened?
- Could the dangerous condition have been fixed with a reasonable amount of effort?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the property owner may be held liable for your injuries.
Another factor that needs to be considered is whether or not you were trespassing on the property when the accident happened. If you were, it will be much harder to prove that the property owner was negligent.
Our Bakersfield, CA, slip and fall accident attorneys can help you investigate your accident and determine who may be held liable.
Gathering Evidence in a Slip and Fall Case
You can do a few things to help your case if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall.
You should first get medical attention, even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured. This will not only help document your injuries but also ensure that you get the treatment you need.
It’s also important to collect evidence at the scene of the accident, if possible. This may include taking pictures of the hazard that caused your fall, as well as taking pictures of your injuries. You should also get the contact information of witnesses who saw your accident.
If you slipped and fell at a business, you should also get a copy of the accident report that was filed. This will help to establish what happened and who is responsible.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident in Bakersfield, California
After identifying fault, the next step is to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party in order to recover damages. This is usually done by sending a demand letter to the at-fault party or their insurance company. The demand letter will outline your injuries, how the at-fault party is responsible, and how much you are requesting in damages.
The at-fault party will then have limited time to respond to the demand letter. If they accept responsibility and agree to pay the damages you request, the matter can be settled outside of court. If they do not agree to pay, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
The Role of a Bakersfield Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer in Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, having an experienced personal injury lawyer is important. Your lawyer can help you investigate your accident, gather evidence, and file your claim. They will also negotiate with the at-fault party on your behalf and fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Some people choose to handle their personal injury claims on their own, but this is not advisable. Personal injury claims can be complex and challenging, and insurance companies will often do everything they can to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out.
How Much is a Property Liability Claim Worth in California?
The amount of money you can recover in a property liability claim will depend on the severity of your injuries and how much financial harm you have suffered. You may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical Bills: The cost of all past and future medical treatment related to your injuries. This may include doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost Wages: If you missed time from work because of your injuries, you can recover the wages you lost as well as any future lost earnings.
- Pain and Suffering: The physical and emotional suffering caused by your injuries.
- Permanent Injuries: If you suffered a permanent injury in your accident, you might be able to recover additional damages.
- Wrongful Death: If your loved one was killed in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party to cover funeral expenses and other damages.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or recklessness.
The amount of money you can recover in a slip and fall claim will depend on the specific facts of your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and give you a better idea of how much money you may be entitled to.
The Difference Between Settlement and Trial in a Bakersfield Slip and Fall Case
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, but some do go to trial. There are many benefits to settling your case out of court, including:
- Avoiding the stress and uncertainty of a trial,
- Saving time and money,
- Being able to control the outcome of your case, and
- Being able to resolve your case quickly.
However, there are also some drawbacks to settling your case out of court. The main drawback is that you may not receive as much money in a settlement as you would if you won at trial. Insurance companies will often lowball victims who try to settle their case out of court because they know that the victim may be desperate to avoid going to trial.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Bakersfield Slip and Fall Attorney?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay any upfront legal fees. Instead, your lawyer will take a percentage of your settlement or verdict as their fee. This allows victims to hire a lawyer even if they don’t have any money to pay upfront.
Statute of Limitations in California Slip & Fall Accidents
Generally speaking, a victim has two years to file a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident. Any suit filed outside of this time frame may be dismissed due to the statute of limitations has expired. There are exceptions to this rule, and your California slip and fall attorney can determine if you are still able to file a lawsuit outside of the two-year time frame.
Contact Our California Slip & Fall Accident Firm Today
If you have suffered a slip and fall accident, contact Pathway Law Firm, PC, today. We understand the pain and suffering associated with the injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents and provide the representation you need to recover the compensation you deserve. Our clients are our priority, and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And, as always, we don’t collect any money from you until your case successfully concludes in either a settlement or verdict through the courts.