Were You Involved In A Fall Accident in San Diego?
When many people hear the term “slip and fall,” they imagine minor accidents that generally don’t result in any severe injuries. However, slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of personal injury claims in San Diego, CA, and throughout the US. These incidents can occur when property owners fail to take appropriate care of their properties or when they fail to address known safety issues in a timely and effective manner. While some slip and fall incidents result in little more than minor cuts and scrapes, others can cause life-changing or even fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a fall accident in San Diego and you are unsure of what to do next, look no further. Speaking with our San Diego slip and fall lawyer can help guide you in the right direction and inform you of your legal rights and possibilities for compensation.
Our award-winning injury attorneys and professional staff are available to help you in your time of need and are here to discuss your case at your convenience. We are available to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Why Should I Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall?
You might assume that if fault for your recent slip and fall accident injuries is readily apparent that you can manage to secure compensation for your damages on your own. However, it’s vital to realize that any slip and fall accident claim is likely to become more complex than it appears to be at first. Determining fault for your slip and fall and establishing a property owner’s liability for your damages is a more complicated process than many people expect.
A slip and fall injury claim is a personal injury claim that falls within the purview of premises liability law. Therefore, even if you were to successfully meet the court’s strict filing requirements and complete the preliminary stages of your case on your own, there is no guarantee that you will be able to manage all of your procedural requirements while simultaneously managing the aftermath of your accident. Additionally, you may overlook available channels of compensation and end up settling for much less than you deserve and much less than an experienced San Diego slip and fall attorney could have obtained on your behalf.
Hiring the right attorney makes a tremendous difference in any personal injury claim. Your legal team will assist you in meeting all your court filing requirements and guide you through the preliminary stages of your case, such as filing necessary pretrial motions and obtaining evidence and statements you will need throughout your proceedings. Your San Diego slip and fall attorney will also assist you in gathering the information you will need to establish the full scope of your claimable damages, helping you maximize your overall recovery once you succeed with your claim.
If you are concerned about the potential cost of your legal fees, Chris and Frank attorneys make it easy for you to secure the legal representation you need when you need it most. You will pay nothing up front for your legal counsel from our firm and will only pay legal fees once we win your case. Our contingency fee will be a percentage of your final case award, ensuring you receive the legal representation you need without losing the recovery you deserve.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents are civil claims that pertain to California’s premises liability laws. Every private property owner has specific responsibilities for maintaining their properties and preventing injuries to lawful visitors on their properties. “Lawful” is a vital distinction; a property owner has no responsibility to ensure the physical safety of intruders or trespassers who do not have their permission to enter their properties.
Property owners must ensure the safety of invitees who have express or implied permission to visit their properties as well as licensees, such as mail carriers and delivery couriers who have implied permission to visit their properties. For example, suppose a property owner notices any safety hazard that might potentially cause an injury to a lawful invitee or licensee. In that case, the property owner must take appropriate steps to prevent injuries from happening. This could include correcting the issue immediately if possible, posting visible warnings around the area that notify visitors of the danger, or providing clear verbal warnings to everyone who legally visits the property about the safety hazard if they are likely to encounter it while on the property.
When property owners fail to meet these responsibilities and their visitors suffer injuries, they are liable for victims’ damages. One significant caveat when it comes to premises liability laws in California concerns public property. If you were to suffer a slip and fall in any public space, such as a government office building, the government typically has sovereign immunity from civil claims. You would need to prove a government employee was negligent in some way that caused your slip and fall. The process and limitations for securing compensation for your losses are very different when filing an injury claim against a government entity.
Liability Questions in Premises Liability Claims
If you experienced a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you might assume they are liable for your damages. However, there are several questions that any slip and fall accident might raise when determining liability. First, the court would assess “foreseeability” to determine whether the hazard in question was something a reasonable person should have identified as a cause for concern and has the potential to injure a lawful visitor to the property. Second, California’s pure comparative negligence law might come into play in some premises liability claims.
Comparative negligence refers to any situation in which a victim is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages. Whenever an investigation determines that a plaintiff in a personal injury claim in California is partially at fault for causing their claimed damages, the judge overseeing the case will assign the plaintiff a fault percentage based on their behavior. For example, if the plaintiff claimed $200,000 in damages, but the judge determines they are 25% at fault for causing their damages, they lose 25% of the case award or $50,000, resulting in a net award of $450,000 instead. While no threshold of fault would bar a plaintiff from recovery in California, the higher the plaintiff’s fault percentage, the more vulnerable they would be to a countersuit from the defendant.
Potential Damages You Can Include in Your Slip and Fall Injury Claim
Slip and fall accident victims can potentially suffer a wide range of injuries from these incidents. Even a slip and fall at moderate height can result in devastating injuries, and falls in certain locations can be fatal for some victims. Some of the damages you will likely have grounds to claim in your slip and fall injury lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses. You have the right to recover the cost of all medical treatment you require due to your injuries. This includes immediate medical expenses for hospital bills and long-term treatment costs for ongoing care you require after your slip and fall incident. Some slip and fall accident victims experience adverse symptoms for months or years following their injuries, while others develop permanent medical complications from their slip and fall injuries.
- Lost income. When another party has injured you, and you cannot work during your recovery, you can hold them accountable for the income lost during this time. A severe slip and fall injury could potentially interfere with your future earning potential, and you would have the right to pursue compensation for your anticipated lost future income. Your attorney can help you calculate lost future earnings based on the amount of time you would have reasonably expected to continue working had you been able to do so.
- Pain and suffering. Your slip and fall accident claim likely involves painful injuries that will require extensive treatment. Plaintiffs in California personal injury claims can recover financial compensation for physical pain and emotional suffering caused by a defendant’s negligence. The amount received hinges on the overall medical condition of the victim and the likelihood of them experiencing long-term or permanent medical complications from their injuries.
Depending on how the defendant caused the plaintiff’s slip and fall injury, a judge may also award punitive damages to the plaintiff to punish the defendant’s actions. The amount paid in punitive damages typically depends on the overall financial status of the defendant.
It’s common for slip and fall accident victims to be surprised when they learn the actual potential values of their claims after speaking with experienced attorneys about their legal options. Chris and Frank will do everything in our power to maximize your compensation to the fullest extent possible under California law when you choose us as your San Diego slip and fall lawyers.
What to Expect in a San Diego Slip and Fall Accident Case
Filing any personal injury claim in California requires several procedural steps to hold defendants accountable for their actions. If you intend to take legal action after a slip and fall accident, the first thing you must do is to consult an experienced San Diego slip and fall injury lawyer. They can help you gather the evidence and documentation you will need to file your initial complaint with the local court. Once you submit your complaint, the court issues the appropriate paperwork to the defendant and provides them an opportunity to respond. At this point, the case may either proceed to settlement negotiations if the defendant accepts liability, or the defendant may deny liability and demand a trial.
Success with your slip and fall accident claim requires proving that the property owner should have reasonably foreseen the safety hazard that caused your injury. If they failed to address it, they should have at least warned you about it before you encountered it. Once you and your attorney have established the foreseeable risk of the safety issue in a question posed, you must then prove the property owner failed to take appropriate action to address the problem. This establishes their liability for your damages, and then you must provide the court with a complete and accurate list of all the damages you intend to claim with your slip and fall injury claim.
The majority of civil claims filed in California end in settlement. This saves both parties time and money on legal expenses. As long as both parties are willing to negotiate, it’s possible to resolve a slip and fall injury claim in a fraction of the time a trial would likely require. However, if the defendant demands a trial or refuses the plaintiff’s settlement terms, the case will proceed to litigation when negotiations fail.
How Your San Diego Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help
Any personal injury claim can be daunting and stressful for an injured plaintiff. Having the right attorney on your side throughout this experience will increase your chances of success with your claim and make the process much easier to handle. Your attorney can provide valuable legal guidance through every phase of your case, helping you make informed decisions about your legal options. Your legal team will assist you in uncovering every channel of compensation that might be available in your slip and fall accident claim, likely securing much more compensation than you could have managed to obtain on your own.
The team at Chris and Frank has years of experience representing clients in some of the most brutal personal injury and premises liability claims in the San Diego, CA, area. We understand that every client has unique needs and expectations, so we take time to get to know each client personally to provide the most individualized representation possible. We know you have many questions about your legal options following a slip and fall accident in San Diego. If you are ready to get the answers you need and determine your best legal options for a slip and fall injury case in San Diego, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a consultation with an experienced San Diego slip and fall attorney.
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“They take a very sincere and purposeful interest in their clients. I am glad I hired them. Having an accident shakes up your whole world. You may think you can handle it by yourself. You could be making a big mistake. Don’t make that mistake. These folks have high standards in professionalism and their ethics are exceptional. You can’t bs them so be straight up. These are very competent attorneys. They don’t blue sky you and they will work hard to make you whole again.” Shawn S.
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