Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyer
Each year, thousands of people visit hospitals around the country after being injured in a slip and fall accident. While many people assume that these accidents are minor, that is rarely the case. Sprained wrists, hip fractures, and traumatic brain injuries are just a few ways in which people become hurt during a slip and fall. Sometimes, slip and falls can even be fatal for victims.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to hold the negligent party who caused your injuries liable for paying damages. Slip and fall claims always have the potential to become complex, though. Determining liability is not always easy, and without certain legal knowledge, it is also not easy to accurately value a claim. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can help you through the process and give you the best chance of obtaining the full and fair settlement you deserve.
How Can a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyer Assist With Your Case?
Without a lawyer’s assistance, negotiating a slip-and-fall case is very difficult. In the past, the courts had to contend with many fraudulent slip and fall cases, meaning today, they are more suspicious of accident victims in these cases. If you suffered certain injuries that are not clearly visible in medical scans, such as soft tissue injuries, you will find it even harder to obtain the full and fair damages you deserve.
A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can conduct the necessary investigation to determine how your fall occurred. During that investigation, a lawyer will also collect evidence that can prove the property owner was negligent and that unsafe conditions on the premises caused your fall. Our skilled attorneys will handle every detail of your case, from obtaining property maintenance records to negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
What are a Slip and Fall?
As its name implies, a slip and fall accident occurs when a person trips or slips and then falls, sustaining injuries as they do. From a legal standpoint, these cases fall under premises liability law because they typically occur on someone else’s property. Under state law, all property owners have a legal duty to make sure their premises are in a clean and safe condition so no one becomes hurt. When property owners fail to meet this duty, they can be held liable for paying damages to the injured party.
Although the law seems fairly straightforward, it can become quite complicated. For example, property owners do not owe all visitors to their property the same duty of care, and that can greatly impact a personal injury claim. The best way to determine if you have valid grounds to file a lawsuit is to speak to one of our attorneys at Personal Injury Legal Group.
Common Injuries Sustained in Slip and Fall Accidents
Again, slip and falls have the potential to cause very serious injuries. For certain people, such as senior citizens, these injuries can have devastating results. For example, when an elderly person breaks their hip during a slip and fall, it greatly increases their chances of fatality. Some of the most common injuries sustained during slip and falls include:
- Hip fractures
- Broken bones
- Knee injuries
- Wrist sprains and fractures
- Muscle strains
- Head injuries
- Scrapes and cuts, which always have the potential to become infected
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere. Some of the most common places for them to occur include parking lots, grocery stores, and even at home. Legal action can only be taken when a slip and fall happens on someone else’s property and was caused by negligent property conditions. A few of the most common negligent conditions that cause slip and falls are as follows:
- Negligent cleaning schedules
- Spilled liquids
- Freshly mopped or waxed floors
- Greasy floors
- Food debris
- Dangerous floor surfaces, such as broken tiles or torn rugs
- Lack of warning signs when dangerous conditions, such as a wet floor, are present
- Improper floor construction
- Inadequate lighting
- Loose electrical cords that pose a tripping hazard
The vast majority of slip and fall accidents are entirely preventable, and they only occur because home and business owners fail to keep their property in a safe condition. In these instances, accident victims can hold property owners liable for paying damages.
Classification of Visitors
As stated previously, different visitors fall under different classifications, and property owners do not owe them the same level of care. Invitees are individuals who are owed the highest level of care. These are people who have been invited onto the premises by the property owner for the benefit of the owner. Customers who visit a business are the most common example of invitees.
Licensees are another class of visitors who are legally allowed on certain premises. However, the property owner does not necessarily benefit from the person being on the property. Door-to-door salesmen and social visitors from friends are two examples of licensees. Property owners still owe licensees a certain level of care, but it does not reach the same degree that owners of premises owe invitees.
Trespassers are individuals who enter a property illegally or without the owner’s permission. Under the law, property owners do not generally owe trespassers any degree of care, and so they are not considered liable if a trespasser becomes hurt while on their property. Still, property owners are not allowed to intentionally harm trespassers on the property.
Proving Liability After a Slip and Fall
When filing a personal injury claim after a slip and fall accident, your word is unfortunately not enough. You must also prove the facts of your case. The four elements you must prove are as follows:
- Duty of care: Duty of care simply means that a property owner had a duty to make sure their premises were in a safe condition so no one became hurt. This is generally fairly easy in other personal injury cases, but it can become complex in a slip and fall case. For example, a property owner may argue that the injured individual was trespassing at the time of injury, and they did not owe the visitor a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: Proving a breach of duty is always challenging in any personal injury case, and that remains true with slip and fall claims, as well. You must establish the negligent act that caused your injury, such as a broken staircase or spilled liquid. Still, the presence of a dangerous condition is not always enough to constitute a breach of duty. The property owner must have known, or must have reasonably known, about the dangerous condition, which is sometimes difficult to prove.
- Causation: A negligent condition on a property is not enough to file a claim if no one became hurt as a result. Proving causation means you must establish the direct link between the negligent property condition and your accident.
- Damages: The purpose of a slip and fall claim is to restore you as wholly as possible to the physical and mental condition you were in before the accident. If you did not suffer any injuries or other losses, you cannot claimdamages and cannot file a slip and fall claim.
How Long Does a Slip and Fall Case Take?
There is no way to determine how long any slip and fall case could take, as it always depends on the specific facts of a case. A slip and fall case may be delayed if the following factors are true:
- You suffered severe injuries: The more severe your injuries, the longer your case may take. You must reach maximum medical improvement before filing your claim so you can have a full understanding of the medical expenses you will incur now and in the future. The more severe your injuries are, the more likely the insurance company will refute your claim, which will also cause unnecessary delays.
- Complex case factors: If your case involves certain complex factors, it will almost definitely take longer to resolve. Some complex factors that can impact slip and fall cases include multiple defendants and disputes about liability.
- Settlement vs. going to trial: Going to trial will always mean that your case will take longer to resolve. Still, sometimes it is the only way to obtain the full and fair compensation you need. It is important to also remember that the vast majority of slip and fall cases are settled outside of the courtroom through negotiations with your lawyer and the insurance company.
Why Hire an Attorney After a Slip & Fall Accident?
If you are reluctant to hire an attorney after experiencing a slip or trip and fall accident, Personal Injury Legal Group does not charge any legal fees unless we successfully secure a financial award on your behalf. This is important because, as an accident victim we want you to focus on getting well instead of worrying about medical or legal costs during this stressful time.
An experienced attorney can play an instrumental role in handling your case, most particularly, when interacting with insurance companies. Insurance providers notoriously attempt to pay the least amount of compensation possible for the injuries, emotional stress, and economic hardship that a slip and fall accident victim face. A qualified attorney knows how to protect your interests and fight for the compensation that you both need and deserve.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our California attorneys will ensure:
- An extensive investigation of your accident to build a strong, formidable case
- Identification of the responsible parties who are liable for your accident and the medical care needed to help you recover from your injuries.
- Timely submission of your claim(s)
- Aggressive pursuit of a settlement that ensures you are compensated for your losses – including challenging your case in court if necessary.
- A financial award that safeguards your future medical care and ongoing expenses.
Kosnett Personal Injury is dedicated to securing outcomes that truly help improve the lives of our clients across the state of California.
What Must Be Proved in a California Slip & Fall Claim?
Slip and fall accidents are considered a “premises liability” case. Claims may be brought against any property owner such as a homeowner, store owner, any business or city, state, or federal government entity.
In California, to recover damages from a slip and fall case, you generally must prove that a property posed a substantial hazard that could result in a slip and fall accident including:
- Uneven, cracked, or broken pavement
- Wet, snowy, or icy floors, stairways, or walkways
- Uneven, torn, or loose carpets or area rugs
- Spilled liquids on floors or steps
- Uneven, unsteady or broken stairs
- Inadequate lighting in walkways, stairwells, or hallways
- Objects sticking up or holes sinking down into the ground
- Unsecured or missing banisters or handrails
- Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
- Property owner negligence resulting from the existence of a “should have known” hazard or “actual notice” by seeing the slip and fall risk, or by having the risk existing long enough for the owner or caretaker to have seen and not corrected the risk.
- Property owner’s reasonable expectation that you would not have noticed a potential risk and therefore would not take cautionary measures such as walking across a recently mopped floor that does not have wet floor signage.
- Property owner failed to take responsible action to protect you and others by failing to provide adequate warnings about the hazard or by not correcting the hazard.
- Because of the property owner’s negligence, you sustained an injury or injuries.
As you consider the option of filing a slip and fall injury claim, you will need to consider the following:
- Had the cause of your slip or trip been present long enough so the property owner should have known about the hazard?
- If an object was placed in a location for a good reason that was no longer necessary, could it have been moved to a safer place or relocated without great inconvenience or expense to the owner?
- Would the placement of a simple protective barrier or caution notice have prevented you from sustaining your accident?
- Was inadequate lighting or a nonworking light fixture a contributing factor in your accident case?
Slip and fall accidents can result in extensive and severe injuries such as soft-tissue damage, fractures, a spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is best to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney in the state of California to understand what the maximum compensation options are for your accident including:
- Prior, current, and future medical expenses
- Salary/wage income losses and diminished future earnings
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Losses in quality of life and a diminished sense of joy
Often, the property owner’s insurance company will attempt to blame you for a slip-and-fall accident, possibly alleging that your injury resulted from an “open and obvious” situation that you should have noticed or that you otherwise exercised personal negligence.
In the state of California, if you are found to be more than 50 percent at-fault for your injury your claim could be denied or your damages would be reduced in the proportionate amount of fault assigned to you. A Kosnett Personal Injury attorney will aggressively refute unfounded assertions made against you and your actions and we will be diligent about protecting your legal rights and interests.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
California Statute of Limitations on “Premises Liability” Claims
It is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury, slip, and fall attorney as expediently as possible after you sustain your accident. That is because a qualified attorney will take immediate steps to preserve evidence about your case and initiate the process of filing your Premises Liability claim.
Similar to other California personal injury claims, a slip and fall claim must be filed within a two-year timeframe following your accident. This two-year restriction is referred to as “the statute of limitations.” If you do not file your claim before that legal deadline, you will forfeit your right to seek damages for your injuries. Personal Injury Legal Group attorneys will ensure that your case is filed correctly and timely so that you can pursue fair and just compensation for your losses.
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
Call Our Slip and Fall Lawyers in Los Angeles Today
If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, our Los Angeles slip and fall lawyers at Personal Injury Legal Group can help you obtain the full and fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Slip & Fall Accidents
Who can be held liable for a slip and fall accident in California?
Property owners, tenants, and businesses can be held liable for a slip and fall accident on their property.
What are some common causes of slip and fall accidents?
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include wet floors, uneven or damaged surfaces, inadequate lighting, and cluttered walkways.
What types of injuries can result from a slip and fall accident?
Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents can range from minor bruises and cuts to severe fractures, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
What should I do if I am involved in a slip and fall accident?
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, seek medical attention for your injuries and document the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Take pictures of the area, gather contact information from any witnesses, and report the incident to the property owner or manager.
How long do I have to file a slip and fall claim in California?
In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a slip and fall claim. However, this deadline may vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the slip and fall accident?
Yes, California follows a comparative fault system, meaning you can still get some compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident.
What types of damages can I recover in a slip and fall case?
You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Will my case go to trial?
Not all slip and fall cases go to trial. Many cases are settled out of court through negotiations between your attorney and the defendant’s insurance company.
How much is my slip and fall case worth?
The value of your slip and fall case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of your medical expenses, and the impact of the accident on your daily life.
Do I need an attorney for my slip and fall case?
It is generally recommended that you consult with an experienced slip and fall attorney who can evaluate your case and help you navigate the legal process.
Personal Injury Legal Group
11601 Wilshire Blvd 5th Floor, West Los Angeles, CA 90025