Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere—even in the comfort of your home. However, if one happened on public or private property, you might have the legal right to seek compensation from those liable for the incident. After all, you would not have suffered injuries if there were no present dangers or hazards like slippery floors, broken steps, dim lighting, or loose handrails.
If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, you might want to consult a Lancaster slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. They can advise you on moving forward with your case, regardless of what legal recourse you choose. Reach out to our team today at (800) 223-5115 to begin discussions.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Many accident victims unknowingly commit mistakes that affect their claim. To preserve your legal rights to compensation, below are crucial steps you must take.
Following an accident, visit your primary care physician or head to a hospital to get prompt attention. Even when you display no visible signs like pain, bruises, wounds, and broken bones, have a medical professional examine you for other possible injuries. If you delay treatment for too long, you might find it more challenging to establish the link between your injuries and the accident.
Evidence bolsters your injury claim, so collect as much as possible. Take photos of the accident scene. Ask for a copy of surveillance footage if available. Keep your medical records, incident reports, and other documents detailing out-of-pocket expenses incurred.
Never Openly Discuss the Incident
Avoid discussing the details of your accident with other people, especially if you have an ongoing claim. Sometimes, insurance companies will use what you post on social media against you—it could serve as grounds to deny compensation. Be wary of giving statements or saying anything related to the incident.
Seek Legal Assistance
You might want to hire a Lancaster slip and fall lawyer soon after your accident to avoid some of the pitfalls that could impact your injury claim. They can review documents on your behalf before signing or advise on any settlement offers.
Proving Liability for the Accident
The California Civil Code (CIV) §1714 establishes the responsibility that anyone who owns, possesses, or controls property has to keep it safe for others to use. This responsibility is called “premises liability” and covers injuries and damages arising from an accident. However, that does not mean that all slip and fall incidents give rise to an actionable claim—a victim must have legal grounds to hold the property owner or manager liable.
Most personal injury cases use negligence as the underlying legal theory for liability. Negligence is when a party acts unreasonably, resulting in harm to others. If a property manager or owner failed to clean up a spill they knew existed, they acted negligently, establishing their liability for a resulting slip and fall.
To substantiate your claim, it must have the four core negligence elements—duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Proving each aspect is fact-specific, especially breach of duty and causation.
Your case must address whether their conduct was reasonable or prudent, given the circumstances, to establish that the property owner or manager breached their duty. If they knew about present hazards or dangers, they must address these immediately or give sufficient warning to others. If the opposite happened, you could hold them liable for your resulting injuries.
Proving liability also requires substantial evidence, including:
- Photos of the scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Incident reports
- Video footage
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
You might find it beneficial to work with a Lancaster slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm on your case. Get in touch with our team today to see if you have an actionable claim.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer serving Lancaster, call (800) 223-5115
You May Share Fault for Your Slip and Fall Accident
In personal injury cases like slip and falls, liability does not solely fall on the property owner, manager, or tenant. You might share some of the blame for the accident because of your careless conduct or negligent behavior.
Most insurance adjusters and lawyers will raise the issue of comparative negligence. This principle assigns your degree of fault in the incident, which proportionally reduces awarded damages. If your damages amount to $10,000 and your contribution to the accident is 30 percent, you can only recover $7,000.
California is among the states that use pure comparative negligence, which does not bar recouping of losses, even if you are 99 percent responsible for the accident. You can consult a Lancaster slip and fall lawyer for help establishing a property owner or manager’s clear-cut liability.
Lancaster Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Near Me (800) 223-5115
Limitations to Your Claim
Every personal injury victim should know that relevant state-imposed limitations may impact their claims.
Economic damages, or those with attached monetary values, are not subject to restrictions. You can calculate medical expenses, lost earnings, repair or replacement costs for damaged property, and other miscellaneous losses with bills and invoices. However, putting a value on a victim’s pain and suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish—all known as non-economic damages—can prove more challenging.
California does not limit the amount of non-economic damages a victim can recover. However, insurance companies and courts typically use a formula that places an unofficial cap on your noneconomic award.
Every state has different time limits or statute of limitations depending on the case. Once the deadline lapses, you can no longer proceed with your legal action. California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 sets a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit from the date of your slip and fall accident.
However, this time frame shortens if the accident happened on government property. According to Government Code (GOV) §911.2, you must file a claim within six months of the accident with the government agency and wait for its reply. If it rejects your request for relief, then you can proceed with litigation.
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Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
If you have questions about how to take legal action, you can speak with the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. They can explain how a Lancaster slip and fall lawyer could help you navigate the tricky process of seeking compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (800) 223-5115 for a free case review.