Slipping and falling on private, public, or state property in California may leave you with a small bruise and mild embarrassment, or it can result in broken bones and a potential claim for damages.
A slip and fall accident is one type of accident that falls under premises liability law in California. This accident occurs when a person accidentally tumbles over an object on the ground, a slippery or wet floor, or a hazardous condition that upends the person and causes injuries.
Slip and falls can happen to someone whenever they are visiting friends, relatives, businesses, stores, or public events. They can happen in locations as diverse as a big box retail store, church, library, post office, grocery store, or your local bar and grill restaurant.
If someone tumbles in their own home, they tend to their injuries and move on with their life. But if someone slips and falls on someone else’s property or a business location, there may be repercussions from the fall. If you want to obtain legal counsel to try to recover damages for costs from injuries suffered in a slip and fall, you have to prove that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, and you think you may have a case of fault against a property owner, reach out to a Hawthorne slip and fall lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115. One of our legal professionals will listen to your circumstances, ask some questions about your accident, and suggest a strategy to try to get you financial compensation for your injuries.
Examples of Property Negligence
Defective structural conditions, trip hazards, and lack of notice are some of the categories in which typical slip and fall liability cases in California fall. Some examples of negligence of property ownership include:
- Liquid spills – water, oil, other liquids, water from broken pipes
- Carpeting – ripped, bunched up, or torn carpeting that causes falls
- Uneven floors or walkways – cracked, missing, or broken
- Electrical – improper cables, wires and cords showing
- Handrails – broken, loose, or missing handrails on a stairwell
- Furniture – disturbed or broken furniture
- No warnings – failure to cordon off hazard area, no signs shown
If a property owner in Hawthorne neglects to remedy these examples of negligence on their property, they may be held liable for injuries suffered by those visiting the property.
Proving Property Owner Negligence
Proving negligence of the property owner in a slip and fall injury case depends on a number of facts that need to be proven in court. To win damages, one must show that the property owner knew or should have known about a hazardous condition on the property and that the owner knowingly did not repair, warn or protect visitors and guests about the condition.
In California, these are the four areas that must be established to recover damages for a slip and fall accident:
- That the defendant was the legitimate owner, lessee, occupier or controller of the property;
- That the defendant neglected the property and its maintenance;
- That the plaintiff became injured and harmed from a slip and fall accident on the property; and
- The harm to the plaintiff was a direct result of the defendant’s negligence
Negligence of a property because of overgrown shrubs, cracked cement areas, wet floors and more is the key to winning a slip and fall injury case. You must be able to show evidence that the property owner was negligent.
Let’s assume that your fall happened because you tripped on an uneven sidewalk, a grass-covered hole, or something similar. As the plaintiff, you will need to show that the property owner (or management company of an apartment building, for example) should have known about these defects and that they should have been repaired.
In order to show this, you may need to produce photo evidence of the hazard. You will need to produce an accident report. If you slipped and fell on hotel property for example, you would need to show documentation of your accident and any noticeable injuries stemming from that accident. It’s very important to get an accident report form or note filled out by a property manager, hotel resort manager, or someone similar.
In some cases, a property owner may try to cover up evidence of any hazardous condition as soon as you are off the property and then deny that it ever happened. That’s another important reason for pictures, videos, an accident report, and other quantifiable documentation arising from the accident.
You also have to prove that the owner’s negligence directly contributed to your injury. The owner should have reasonably foreseen that the hazardous condition would contribute to your injury. If you tripped on a property defect, suffered injuries, and needed hospitalization, then contact a Hawthorne slip and fall lawyer at your earliest convenience.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer serving Hawthorne, call (800) 223-5115
Damages from a Claim
The kinds of damages that are routinely sought by counsel in civil slip and fall injury claims on behalf of an injured plaintiff usually include damages for:
- Medical costs – This also includes any and all emergency surgeries, hospital costs, drug prescriptions, medical treatment costs, post-surgery rehabilitation, home care help, and more.
- Lost income – If you were seriously injured and could not return to work for an indefinite period of time, your case would claim for damages relating to your lost income from the date of the injury forward.
- Lost future earnings capacity – This part of the claim would account for lost future earnings as well as job promotions and potential for raises in the future, had the accident not stopped you cold.
- Pain and suffering – These damages can include financial damages for all emotional and mental pain and suffering that the accident has caused you
Do not wait to begin your case. According to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, you have a two-year time limit to file your slip and fall case. If your slip and fall happened on government property, you may have even less time, according to California Government Code (GOV) §911.2.
To discuss your accident with a Hawthorne slip and fall lawyer, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115. We can help support you in your fight for justice.