Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents
“What Should I Do If I'm Filing A Lawsuit Because Of A Slip And Fall Accident?”
Slipping and falling can produce serious injuries, including sprains, broken bones and fractures. These accidents are so common, in fact, that they've earned their own nickname: “slip and falls.” The cause of slip and falls is often careless maintenance of conditions by the responsible persons.
In California, the law establishes that: 1) property owners; 2) are under a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain conditions on their property; 3) in order to prevent foreseeable harms to persons who encounter that property. The failure to do so can make a property owner liable for injuries generated by those conditions. This is known as “premises liability.” Dangerous conditions on premises frequently include: Loose/frayed carpeting; broken/unrepaired furniture; damaged/missing stairway railings; uncovered/unsecured cables and cords; and the failure to warn of known hazards. Thus, negligent maintenance of conditions can lead to slip and fall accidents, which, in turn, often produces lawsuits.
The Kann California Law Group now offers slip and fall accident lawsuit representation. Unlike criminal law, which is concerned primarily with incarceration, slip and fall accident lawsuits focus on compensating you for your injuries and remunerating you for your lost earnings. Below you'll find information on determining slip and fall accident liability, proving liability in a slip and fall accident, proving negligence in a slip and fall accident, available damage awards, the statute of limitations, and the role of the lawyer in slip and fall accident lawsuits. Please feel free to contact the Kann California Law Group in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County with further questions. Your call will go directly to one of our lawyers. It's guaranteed.
Determining Liability in California Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents
As mentioned previously, California law requires that property owners exercise reasonable care to protect those who enter their property from foreseeable harm. The law imputes this duty to all persons and entities owning, leasing, occupying or controlling property in this state irrespective of whether they know of, or agree to, being under the duty.
Example: Defendant Danny throws a birthday party and invites dozens of friends to the house that he owns. The night before the party, he notices that the railing is loose in his staircase. He decides not to fix it because he expects his guests to remain downstairs. The night of the festivities, Plaintiff Patsy goes to use the restroom and finds the one in the hallway downstairs (which is also the only one) occupied. She slips upstairs and uses the bathroom. Then, returning to the party, Patsy leans on the railing as she descends. She falls over the railing and breaks her arm. Patsy later sues Danny for negligence in failing to mention the condition of the railing to his guests. Danny defends himself by saying that he did not give Patsy permission to go upstairs; thus, Danny says, he owed no duty of care to Patsy. Should Danny be made to pay for Patsy's injuries?
Conclusion: Danny knew of a dangerous condition on property he owned. A foreseeable harm occurred to Patsy when she engaged with the condition. The continued existence of the condition was obviously a substantial factor in Patsy's injury. Finally, as the condition could foreseeably hurt persons at the party, Danny owed a duty of care to his guests that included the very reasonable and simple act of warning them about the loose railing. It doesn't matter, therefore, that Danny didn't give Patsy permission to go upstairs. In fact, a guest going upstairs became foreseeable when dozens of persons were downstairs at a party while sharing a single bathroom. Danny, thus, is liable for Patsy's injury and should pay for it.
Proving Liability in Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents
Suing successfully in a slip and fall lawsuit requires proving that:
- Defendant…/Property: The defendant owned, leased, occupied or controlled the property at issue; AND,
- Negligence: The defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property; AND,
- Harm: You were harmed; AND,
- Substantial Factor: The defendant's negligence was a substantial factor in causing your harm.
Proving Negligence in Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents
Proving negligence in a slip and fall lawsuit requires demonstrating the existence of the basic elements of negligence in maintenance of property. These are:
Condition…/Unreasonable Risk:A condition on the property created an unreasonable risk of
Knowledge:The defendant knew or, through the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about the condition; AND,
Failure of Duty:The defendant failed to repair the condition, protect against harm from the condition, or to give adequate warning of the condition.
Damages Available in Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents
The following are awards available to compensate you for injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident originating with negligent maintenance of conditions.
- Medical Costs: The award may include the cost of long-term hospital care, the expenses associated with physical or occupational therapy, and prescription/drug costs, among other provisions.
- Loss of Earnings: An award creating compensation for lost wages because a slip and fall accident caused you to miss work.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: An award compensating you for the loss of the ability to earn money because of injury suffered in a slip and fall accident.
- Pain and Suffering Compensation: Amounts meant to compensate you for “[p]ast and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation and/or emotional distress” suffered after a slip and fall accident.
- Wrongful Death: Money compensating for financial support, if any, the decedent would've contributed; funeral and burial expenses; the reasonable value of household services; loss of love, companionship, and comfort; the loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations; and more.
- Punitive Damages: Damages (over and above basic compensation awards) assessed to punish egregious behavior and/or extreme indifference.
Note: This list is not exhaustive. If it isn't included here, contact the Kann California Law Group with your specific concern. We're certain we can fashion an award that'll adequately compensate you for injuries that you suffered in a slip and fall accident.
How Much Time Does California Give You to File Lawsuits in Slip and Fall Accidents?
California's Statute of Limitations ordinarily provides two years to file suit, beginning with the date of the injury that forms the basis of a slip and fall lawsuit. There are, however, different time frames established under state law, which can apply differently, depending on the what you could've known and exactly when you could've filed your suit as a result. You have one year to sue beginning with the date of discovering you've been the victim of medical malpractice, for example, but you can sue more than three years after the malpractice injury date if the injury was intentionally concealed from you.
However, the Statute of Limitations might be “tolled” (i.e., suspended) for some persons. For example, the statute may be tolled for a plaintiff if that person is under the age of eighteen at the time she or he is injured. The same may apply for a plaintiff who couldn't learn of an injury, or of a right to sue, because she or he was incapacitated or because that person was out of state for a substantial period. If you have questions about the time you have to file a slip and fall lawsuit, contact us here at the Kann California Law Group.
What Does A Lawyer Do in Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents?
Although lawyers are usually thought of as courtroom advocates, the role of a good personal injury attorney is actually a great deal broader. When you retain an attorney from the Kann California Law Group, you'll retain a professional who's prepared to help you with: getting medical care; investigating your claim; gathering needed evidence; writing a demand letter to the opposing party; negotiating with insurance companies; and, if necessary, representing you in court.
Let's examine briefly each of these aspects of the lawyer's role in slip and fall accident lawsuits.
1. Getting Medical Care
Your attorney should help you to get a proper medical diagnosis and treatment in the fastest possible manner from a doctor who'll work with you in paying your medical costs. You shouldn't have to pay for damage caused to you owing to another's negligence. The first step in making the responsible party pay is seeking the right treatment. Remember, some injuries can take a significant amount of time to materialize. Our attorneys here at the Kann California Law Group will take the necessary steps to help you get medical care that you need.
2. Investigating Your Claim
Our attorneys will investigate the facts surrounding your injury on your behalf. We will: evaluate insurance company reports; conduct interviews; obtain expert record review (including medical record analysis); subpoena video and audio recordings; and investigate the backgrounds of relevant persons or parties. Clearly, one of the most important reasons you should retain a lawyer from the Kann California Law Group is to investigate your claim.
3. Gathering Needed Evidence
Our team of attorneys here at the Kann California Law Group will go beyond making photographic records, conducting interviews, and securing medical facts. We will also ensure that all relevant evidence is produced by the other party. Sadly, in the absence of a thorough attorney, an opposing party can tamper with or withhold its records of an accident – or do even worse. As soon as hired, your attorney will begin gathering needed evidence so that it is found, preserved, and presented in your case.
4. Writing A Demand Letter to The Opposing Party
A key obligation of Kann California Law Group attorneys working on slip and fall accident lawsuits is writing demand letters. In a demand letter, your claim and the basis of the other party's liability is stated in brief. You should expect a demand letter to include facts like the names and circumstances necessary to your injury, as well the damages suffered, any sort of losses or costs, and a concluding demand for compensation. Thereafter it becomes possible to negotiate with the opposing party and the insurance adjuster, or even to go to trial. When you retain a Kann California Law Group slip and fall lawyer, you can rest easy knowing that we will handle writing a demand letter to the opposing party.
5. Negotiating With Insurance Companies
One of the most important responsibilities of a Kann California Group slip and fall lawyer is negotiating with insurance companies to get damage payments. Negotiating with insurance companies isn't for the faint of heart. If you don't have a lawyer, you shouldn't be surprised to find that the company – which certainly has legal representation – tries to induce you to admit liability, directly or indirectly, in the interest of lessening (or denying) your claim. Your attorney should be prepared for this strategy and to deal with the insurance company on your behalf. You make the decisions; we'll handle the rest. Having a Kann California Law Group attorney means that your lawyer will handle negotiating vigorously with insurance companies to achieve the highest possible settlement for your case.
6. Representing You In Court
If you need an attorney to represent you in court, contact the Kann California Law Group. It's a little-known fact that most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. But not all. If pretrial settlement talks don't result in an adequate resolution of your claim, we will file a slip and fall lawsuit in California civil court on your behalf. If it's necessary to go to trial, furthermore, our attorneys will fight your case by examining witnesses, presenting evidence, and making winning legal arguments. You make a wise choice by having a Kann California Law Group attorney representing you in court.
Contact the Kann California Law Group
The State of California regards slip and fall accident lawsuits as serious concerns. If you're involved in a slip and fall accident, it is essential that you retain a skilled, dedicated attorney as soon as possible. Your rights, livelihood, and quality of life may be at stake.
Remember, a professional slip and fall injury attorney may be able to:
- Negotiate an award;
- Win your case at trial;
- Or obtain any other legal relief that you are entitled to.
The attorneys here at the Kann California Law Group have an excellent understanding of the local courts and an extensive knowledge of California's personal injury justice system. We can represent you in Ventura, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Encino, Pasadena, Orange, Santa Barbara, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino Counties and many other parts Southern California.
If you or someone you know is suing for a slip and fall accident, our attorneys will evaluate the facts of your case and plan a strategy that will obtain the best possible outcome for you.
Contact us here at the Kann California Law Group today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 888-744-7730 to speak with one of our attorneys today.
 The Basic Duty of Care states that a “person who owns, leases, occupies, [or] controls property is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. A person who owns, leases, occupies [or] controls property must use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could be reasonably expected to harm others.” See California Civil Jury Instructions 1001 (CACI) (2017).
 “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” See California Civil Code (CIV) §1714 (a).
 “In determining whether the defendant should have known of the condition that created the risk of harm, [jurors] must decide whether, under all the circumstances, the condition was of such a nature and existed long enough that the defendant had sufficient time to discover it and, using reasonable care: [¶] 1. Repair the condition; or [¶] 2. Protect against harm from the condition; or [¶] 3. Adequately warn of the condition.” See California Civil Jury Instructions 1011 (CACI) (2017).
 Compensation is available separately for the loss of minor children. See California Civil Jury Instructions 3922 (CACI) (2017).