Hazards, such as uneven steps, slippery floors, missing handrails, and dim lighting can make slip and fall accidents happen in El Monte, California. For many, these accidents result in severe injuries, like broken bones and head trauma. When they happen on public or privately-owned property, those injured have the legal right to seek compensation from liable parties.
As a victim, you may pursue a personal injury claim either through the insurance company or litigation. You can work with an El Monte slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to explore your options for legal recourse. Get in touch at (800) 223-5115 to speak with us.
Not All Injuries Amount to a Valid Claim
Suffering from injuries because of a slip and fall incident does not always merit a claim. There is a legal process that victims have to follow to recover their damages. They have to prove the legal grounds that make the other party liable for accident-related injuries.
Every actionable claim has to prove two issues—liability and damages. It must answer why the other party should be held responsible and the extent of a victim’s resulting injuries. Remember that the lack of merit in one aspect significantly impacts possible compensation.
Establishing Liability Based on Negligence
In California, the premises liability law states that building owners and managers are held liable for injuries stemming from accidents caused by hazards and dangers inside the property. It is their responsibility to maintain safety with frequent inspections and precautions. If they failed to remedy an identified unsafe condition or give others warning, they have acted negligently.
Negligence is the basis for most personal injury cases, including slips and falls. It is an oft-used legal theory in establishing liability in an accident where the other party did not intend to harm others. Instead, their responsibility for the incident comes from their careless conduct—they acted unlike what a reasonably prudent person would do.
If you decide to pursue a claim based on negligence, the burden of proof lies with you. You have to demonstrate that all four elements—duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages—exist in your case. Rather than handle it yourself, let an El Monte slip and fall lawyer prove the following:
Duty pertains to a property owner’s, manager’s, or tenant’s responsibility to keep their premises safe. They owe a duty of care to people with a lawful reason to be there, including guests and customers. As such, they have to take steps in ensuring that no dangerous or unsafe conditions exist.
Breach of Duty
Breach of duty occurred when the building owner or manager failed to act reasonably. If they knew about the existence of a hazard, they should have taken the necessary steps to fix it. Proving this element is fact-specific, sometimes dependent upon if their awareness of the issue. If yes, could they have prevented the accident or warned others about it?
Simply because you slipped, fell, and hurt yourself is not enough to show that the property owner or manager is responsible for your injuries. To establish causation, you must demonstrate the link between the harm you suffered and the other party’s reckless or careless conduct. Had the other party acted prudently, say, mopped up spills, there would have been no one hurt.
You can only recover your losses if you can prove the existence of damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, resulting from the other party’s breach of duty. When there is none, you have no legal right to seek compensation.
Proving negligence is fact-specific and requires expertise. A seasoned El Monte slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you sort through such complicated legal matters and gather enough evidence to bolster your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer serving El Monte, call (800) 223-5115
Negligence May Also Apply to You
In some slip and fall accidents, liability does not always lie with the property owner or manager only. Sometimes, the victim’s behavior also comes into question. Insurance companies and lawyers may raise the issue of comparative negligence.
Under the said principle, your degree of fault in the accident proportionally reduces your awarded damages. For instance, you ignored the warning signs and barriers and still proceeded since you were in a hurry, causing you to trip and fall.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that you can still recover losses even if your percentage of fault exceeds that of the other party’s. If total damages amounted to $10,000 and you were 60 percent responsible, you can only collect $4,000.
El Monte Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Near Me (800) 223-5115
There Is a Time Limit to Your Claim
When pursuing an injury claim, remember that every legal action has an applicable time limit or statute of limitations. In California, it differs for every case, so it is advisable to work with an El Monte slip and fall lawyer in ensuring that you meet the deadlines. Once it expires, you can no longer seek recovery from those liable, unless extraordinary circumstances may apply.
Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. However, this time frame shortens if your injury claim involves a government agency.
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Work with an Injury Lawyer
No matter what legal recourse you take, you can turn to an El Monte slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We offer legal support to injury victims, such as investigating surrounding circumstances, collecting evidence, building a strong claim, and estimating fair compensation. Moreover, we work on a contingency fee basis—we only get paid when you get compensated.
To get started, call (800) 223-5115 today.