Even when the victim holds partial fault in a Los Angeles slip and fall case, they may still qualify for financial recovery. Under California premises liability law, property owners have an obligation to keep their guests safe from harm by acknowledging and removing hazards that could cause injury. If they fail to do so, the victim may pursue legal action against the at-fault party to hold them accountable for the damages they caused. In instances in which the victims hold some of the responsibility for the accident, the property owner may have to pay the victim a percentage of the total amount awarded.
Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
In order to establish that the property owner holds responsibility for an injury caused to a victim, the victim or their lawyer must first prove negligence in their case. This means that the property owner must have had a duty to protect the victim from harm within reason, that they knew of or should have known of a hazard that they failed to correct or warn the victim of, and that their failure to protect the victim led to their injuries and the accumulation of the victim’s damages.
In some cases, the property owner may have full liability for the accident. In others, victims hold some responsibility for the accident that led to their injuries, while the property owner maintains liability for the rest. The Legal Information Institute (LII) defines comparative negligence as a rule in which a jury allocates a certain percentage of the fault to each party, which affects the total award amount that the defendant will pay and the plaintiff will receive. For example, if the defendant holds 60% of the responsibility, they must pay the defendant 60% of the total damages in the case. Two types of comparative negligence exist, and their use varies on a state-by-state basis.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In states that use a modified comparative negligence method, victims may still qualify for financial awards from the property owner if they hold a certain percentage of the fault. In some states, the victim must hold less than half the fault to seek compensation, while the victim can file a claim against a party if they hold up to, but no more than, 50% of the responsibility for their injuries.
Pure Comparative Negligence
According to Kansas State University, 16 states including California use the pure comparative negligence approach. This allows victims to file a claim against a property owner who holds any level of fault in the accident that caused their injury, even if the victim holds the large majority of the responsibility. The victim may then receive a portion of the total damages based on the percentage of the property owner’s fault. Even if you hold partial fault in a Los Angeles slip and fall case, you may still qualify for compensation.
Instances in Which Property Owners Do Not Hold Responsibility
For slip and fall accident victims to hold California property holders accountable for the harm they caused, they must hold at least part of the liability for the accident. Certain circumstances restrict their option to file a claim.
For example, if a person’s own careless or reckless actions lead to the slip and fall accident that causes their injury, they hold 100% responsibility for their damages and cannot sue the property owner for financial losses. Similarly, if the victim’s injury resulted from an obviously unsafe or hazardous condition that the property owner should not have had to point out to a reasonable person, the victim likely cannot pursue awards.
Financial Awards in Slip and Fall Cases
In many instances, victims can pursue damages from the property owner based on premises liability law. While a jury may allocate a certain percentage of the total award amount to you based on comparative negligence, you may receive compensation for:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, transportation to and from appointments, and other injury-related healthcare expenses
- Lost wages for the time you had to take off work to recover from your injuries
- Loss of future wages if you cannot return to work temporarily or permanently as a result of your injuries
- Pain and suffering for your physical, emotional, and mental distress
A lawyer can evaluate your damages and seek fair compensation in your case.
How a Lawyer Can Help You with Your Slip and Fall Case
Victims can file claims against the property owner who holds at least part of the responsibility for their injuries on their own, but they often find it difficult to navigate comparative negligence without legal assistance. A lawyer can relieve some of this burden by helping you determine liability for your injuries, prove negligence, and pursue adequate financial recovery from the property owner even if you have partial fault in your Los Angeles slip and fall case.
Get Started on Your Case Today
In California, you can hold a property owner accountable for the role they played in the circumstances that led to your injury, and the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek the compensation you deserve. We do not charge any fees upfront, and you do not owe us anything unless we achieve financial awards in your favor. Contact our legal team today at (800) 223-5115 for your free case evaluation with our legal team.