CALIFORNIA TRIAL ATTORNEYS Slip and Fall Lawyers
Slip and fall injuries can result in debilitating changes to your life. If you have suffered such an injury and believe another party’s negligence may be the cause, contact a Southern California slip and fall lawyer today.
Slip and fall victims have rights under California law that can help them get their life back in order after suffering an injury. The Attorneys at Kalfayan Merjanian law firm represent their slip and fall victims and stand beside them every step of the way.
California Slip and Fall Liability
In California, a slip and fall injury may be categorized as a premises liability accident. In order to successfully pursue a slip and fall claim, you must legally demonstrate that your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence. Generally, this negligence is demonstrated by proving a property owner knew or should have known of a hazardous condition and failed to repair it or give sufficient warning about it. There are many causes of a slip and fall injury. Some of the most common include:
- Changes in floor height or uneven floors
- Loose carpeting or missing tile
- Liquids spilled on the floor
- Exposed cords or cables
- Broken or missing railings
- Broken or unstable furniture
In addition, if responsible parties have failed to adequately block off construction sites or put up warning signs about any known hazards, these actions can constitute slip and fall liability. California slip and fall attorneys can assess your situation to help determine if you have a potential case.
Part of pursuing your case is determining who is liable for your accident. This can be more complicated than it first appears. For example, if you have an injury resulting from a fall at a concert held at a hotel nightclub, there could be several possible liable parties. The concert promoter, the club owner, the hotel owner, the parent company, and possibly the club’s manager or employees could all share in the liability.
California Slip and Fall Damages
Generally, attorneys will need to establish four basic legal elements to establish a basis for damages:
- The defendant controlled the property as an owner, leaser, or occupier;
- The defendant demonstrated negligence in the way they maintained or used the property;
- The slip or fall on the property caused the victim’s injury;
- The defendant’s negligence was a major component in causing the injury.
The question remains, what damages can be recovered? Under California law, victims may be eligible for compensatory damages from the defendant. These damages fall into two categories; economic and non-economic. Economic damages may include expenses or losses that are a direct result of the slip and fall accident, such as:
- Medical Expenses: If the victim needs physical therapy, x-rays, doctor appointments, or even surgery as a direct result of the accident, these expenses may be covered by a lawsuit settlement. One may also be entitled to receive money for future medical bills associated with the slip and fall injury that is anticipated down the road.
- Caregivers: In some cases, injuries may be so severe that in-home care is required following your accident. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help determine if these types of expenses can potentially be covered by a case.
Lost wages: It is not uncommon for a slip and fall injury to result in time off work for recovery or rehabilitation. One can sue for the wages lost from time off work, whether it be for past lost wages or anticipated future wage loss.
Transportation: If the accident rendered one unable to drive, hired rides to and from doctors’ appointments may be considered another type of economic damage.
Non-economic damages are less tangible but still very real expenses. These damages can cover things like pain and suffering, disfigurement, and emotional distress. It takes an experienced lawyer to navigate the intricacies of non-economic damages. The lawyers at KM law understand the nuances well and pursue their clients’ cases appropriately.
In rare cases, a slip and fall lawsuit may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when there is particularly egregious behavior on part of the defendant that caused the accident, typically in instances involving intentional harm or extreme recklessness. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for that behavior and are awarded on top of any compensatory damages. Punitive damages may be awarded when a defendant:
- willfully and intentionally destroys evidence of their liability;
- acts with malice, oppression, or fraud.
If either of these two elements appears to be present, an attorney should look at the possibility of punitive damages.
Slip and Fall California Statute of Limitations
In California, a slip and fall claim is controlled by a statute of limitations, the time in which one must settle a claim or file a lawsuit. Because the statute of limitations acts as a bar to recovery, it’s always a good idea to contact a lawyer immediately if one is interested in pursuing a claim. This is especially imperative in potential cases that involve city property as the Statute of Limitations in some instances can be as little as 6 months from the date of the accident. It is equally imperative to consult with an attorney for cases that require evidence collection/preservation. Photos of the accident site, video footage, and statements from witnesses will all help an attorney successfully pursue a case.
No Fees Unless You Win
Legal fees when considering an attorney for your personal injury can be daunting. Our highly-rated lawyers at CA Trial Attorneys powered by Kalfayan Merjanian never charge a fee unless we reach a settlement on behalf of our client.
Our clients do not owe anything until we obtain a settlement on a case. We want our clients to focus on recovering instead of worrying about financial costs and payments. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.