Slip and fall accidents are among the leading reasons behind personal injury claims. When such incidents happen on public or private property in Norwalk, victims might have grounds to seek compensation for injuries they suffered. However, the legal process is not as straightforward as you might think and could challenge you to navigate yourself.
If you decide to pursue an injury claim, you might want to consult a Norwalk slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to understand your legal options. Reach out to our team today at (800) 223-5115 to schedule a free consultation.
Most Slip and Fall Accidents Involve Insurance Companies
Most personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents at businesses and homes, involve insurance companies. Property owners and managers often have premises liability coverage included in their homeowners’ policies. Injury victims can file a claim with the liable party’s insurer instead of immediately proceeding with litigation.
It is not uncommon for slip and fall cases to settle out of court, primarily because it prevents the matter from dragging out in an already stressed court system. However, many insurers try to take advantage of this fact and cut their financial losses with lowball settlement offers, especially to victims unaware of their rights.
If you opt to settle, you might ask a personal injury lawyer to review any settlement offers you receive and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Using their experience and knowledge of the law, they can estimate the compensation you should receive for your losses. Monetary payouts can come in a lump sum or structured arrangement.
However, if settlement talks fall through, a Norwalk slip and fall lawyer could represent you in court.
Establishing Liability in Slips and Falls
California Civil Code (CIV) §1714 establishes that those who own, possess, or control properties have the inherent responsibility to keep their premises safe for lawful guests. If accidents do happen, they must pay for the resulting injuries and other damages. Premises liability is the legal theory that makes them liable for preventable incidents that occur on their property.
Simply because you slipped, tripped, stumbled, or fell while on the premises does not mean you have an actionable injury claim. The court will only award compensatory damages if you can prove that your injury occurred due to the “want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property.” You must show the property owner or manager’s negligence in their responsibility.
Negligence is the typical basis for establishing liability in personal injury cases, such as slip and fall accidents. A party that acted negligently may not intend to cause harm. Instead, they have liability because they behaved in a manner that a reasonably prudent person would not, given the same circumstances. For instance, they should eliminate unsafe conditions or hazards on the premises or warn others of dangers if they already knew of their presence.
Proving negligence requires demonstrating all four core elements—duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages—with sufficient evidence. Proof that could bolster your claim for financial recovery might include:
- Photos, videos, or surveillance footage
- Business records
- Incident reports
- Email correspondence
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
Moreover, showing a breach of duty and causation is fact-specific. A Norwalk slip and fall lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can investigate your accident and determine whether the property owner or manager’s conduct was unreasonable given the situation, resulting in the accident. Get in touch with our team today to begin discussions on your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer serving Norwalk, call (800) 794-0444
How Your Negligence May Impact Damages
Sometimes, accidents happen because of more than one party’s negligence. Insurance companies and lawyers will raise the issue of comparative fault by asking if you acted unreasonably or knew of the existence of unsafe conditions. If you did, you may have contributed to your accident and must pay for the consequences.
Comparative negligence is the legal framework that reduces one’s compensation according to their degree of fault in the accident. Suppose your contribution to the incident was 20 percent. In that case, you can only recover 80 percent of your estimated damages.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, allowing parties to recoup losses, regardless of their percentage of fault. A Norwalk slip and fall lawyer can gather evidence that proves liability lies solely with the other party. If you think you share part of the blame for the accident, a legal professional could fight to ensure you can still recover an award.
Norwalk Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Three Common Mistakes to Avoid
Many injury victims cannot recover damages because they commit one of the following mistakes while pursuing their claim.
Delaying Medical Care
You should get medical attention immediately after a slip and fall accident. Not all injuries manifest themselves at the onset; some take longer for their symptoms to show. This delay could make it more difficult to link your injuries with the accident without a medical professional documenting causation.
Speaking Freely About the Incident
Refrain from discussing your accident with anyone, even on social media. An insurance adjuster or defense lawyer could use what you tell others or post online to discredit your injury claim. Err on the side of caution by keeping mum about what happened.
Failing to Seek Legal Assistance
A common misconception about injury claims is that you should only hire a lawyer if you go to court. However, waiting until then could cause you to lose your rights to compensation due to an ill-advised action early in the legal process. An attorney can also help you file your suit before the two-year statute of limitations set by California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 runs out.
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Work with a Norwalk Slip and Fall Lawyer
Whatever legal recourse you take, you might find it beneficial to retain a Norwalk slip and fall lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to handle your claim. They have experience handling personal injury claims, ensuring you take all the necessary steps to get compensation.
Call (800) 223-5115 today for a free initial consultation with a team member.