A slip and fall case is a type of personal injury civil case. All personal injury cases are based on negligence. They occur when one party’s negligence leads to someone else’s injuries and losses, and the victim files an insurance claim or lawsuit in response.
The goal of a slip and fall case is to successfully recover compensation for the expenses and losses the victim suffered and to hold the at-fault party responsible. This is possible through reaching a just settlement agreement with the liable party’s insurer or receiving a financial award following a court trial.
Premises Liability Is a Specific Area of Law
Not only are slip and fall cases a type of personal injury, but they are also a very specific area of California personal injury law known as premises liability. In California, the state’s premises liability statute is California Civil Code (CIV) §1714. This statute establishes a duty of care for property owners. This means they must protect visitors’ well-being from hazards on their property when possible.
When a visitor who is legally on the property suffers an injury, it might be because the property owner acted negligently in their maintenance or “reasonable care” of the property or failed to repair or warn of a known hazard.
Proving a premises liability case requires proving several factors:
- Establishing who is liable in the accident, which is usually the property owner, or a lessee tasked with maintaining the property
- Identifying the hazard on the property and how it led to your fall
- Proving whether the liable party was either aware of the hazard or should have been
- Listing the injuries suffered and any related losses from the slip and fall accident
In many cases, gathering evidence and knowing how to prove these factors is frustrating and stressful for fall injury victims. Working with a personal injury lawyer who knows how to collect evidence and call in experts can help document your losses could make things easier for you to handle. You could focus more on recovering from your injuries while they handle your premises liability case.
Civil Cases Versus Criminal Law
A slip and fall case, like all personal injury claims, is a civil claim. Civil claims are the method by which two parties resolve a dispute, usually over money or property. In the case of a premises liability claim, the fall victim is seeking to recover compensation for the losses they incurred because of their accident, including both economic and non-economic damages. When a personal injury claim goes to trial, it is heard in a civil court.
Civil courts are separate from criminal courts, which are the type of court most people are more familiar with. Criminal courts handle cases involving a crime, or when a government brings charges against an individual. The laws that apply in criminal courts are different from those that govern civil courts. A guilty verdict in a criminal case means moving forward to sentencing and facing criminal penalties.
While this is not common in slip and fall accidents, some cases can involve both criminal and civil cases. Drunk driving car accidents are a common example. However, the outcome of one case does not directly affect the other.
You Can Seek Financial Recovery Based on Your Losses
In a slip and fall claim, injured parties can seek compensation for the expenses and losses they incurred as a result of their fall if they can prove the property owner could have prevented their injuries but did not. The recoverable compensation could include:
- Ambulance transportation, if required
- Medical expenses from treatment and rehabilitation
- Future treatment or ongoing care costs
- Missed wages and benefits
- Diminished ability to work
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Other economic and non-economic damages
While many slip and fall cases settle without going to court, victims may have up to two years from the date of their injuries to begin a civil lawsuit under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. When we handle these claims, we will not back down from even the toughest cases. Our goal is to ensure our clients do not suffer further losses because of their injuries. Their falls occurred because of no fault of their own, so they should not have to pay for them.
Speak with Our Slip and Fall Team in Los Angeles Today
At the Los Angeles office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team will evaluate your slip and fall case and determine if you have legal standing to seek a payout. We pursue compensation for our clients based on contingency.
You will not need to pay anything out of pocket. Our team only receives our payment from the settlement or financial award we recover in your claim or suit. Call (800) 223-5115 today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.