The circumstances surrounding personal injury cases vary greatly. However, one of the most common circumstances is a slip and fall. Whether the incidents occur at work, at a retailer, or in someone’s home, slip and fall accidents could result in serious injury.
When you visit an area or property that is maintained by someone else, you are completely within your right to expect that the environment will be safe for you to access and that you will be able to visit without fear of injury due to hazards. In some cases, though, this does not turn out to be the case. If you are on someone else’s property and you are injured due to a hazard, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation from them or their insurance company in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. In this specific instance, this type of injury is known as a slip and fall, in reference to one of the more common types of premise liabilities that are handled in the California courts.
Read below to learn more about what a premise liability is, when someone else is liable for your injuries on their property, and how you can seek financial compensation that you need and deserve for your injuries. When you are working with the Grossman Law Offices, you can be confident that your case is being handled by a qualified, experienced, and aggressive attorney who is taking every step to maximize your damages and get you back onto your feet with the financial support that you need in order to get your life back on track after this situation.
Contact us now for a free consultation, where you will be able to discuss your injuries, the circumstances, and the situation that caused the accident, and learn more about how we can start working together as soon as possible.
What Is a Premise Liability?
As the name suggests, a premise liability case is one that seeks compensation from a party who is liable for the conditions of their property that caused injuries to another. As with all forms of personal injury lawsuits, the injury must be a result of negligence, or in some cases malice, and must be proveable to a court.
Some common examples of premise liabilities are things like broken stairs, wet floors, missing handrails, and in colder areas can include icy walkways or improperly shoveled paths through snow. Simply being injured in a hazardous situation is not sufficient to prove that the party responsible for managing the property is liable for the injuries, though, and there are additional steps that must be taken in order to build a comprehensive and clear case.
Slip and Fall Injury Attorney Fresno
In many cases, slip and falls are caused by negligence. The victims could file personal injury claims to seek compensation. If you are a victim, you should contact a Fresno slip and fall lawyer. Here at Grossman Law Offices, we want to discuss your options. With our help, you could recover damages for your accident.
CONSEQUENCES OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Slip and fall accidents aren’t usually minor incidents. Typically, there is some type of personal harm. In one small slip and fall, a victim could find themselves with a concussion, broken bone, or spinal cord injury. The potential for serious injury is high.
No matter where your slip and fall occurs, you’re at risk of injury. However, some locations increase your risk of serious injury. For example, construction falls are the leading cause of death in construction workers. In 2017, two Fresno construction workers died in separate incidents.
The injuries that come from a slip and fall impact your life in more than one way. Here are a few common consequences:
1. MEDICAL BILLS
For one, your medical care could leave you with piles of medical bills. Even if you have insurance, your copayments could be high enough to cause debt.
2. MISSED WAGES
You also might miss time from work. In many professions, a broken arm or leg will keep you out of work for weeks. Serious injuries like spinal cord and brain injuries could keep you from your profession for months or years.
Regardless of your amount of time away from work, you lose your income. With the median per capita income of Fresno residents at $23,670 in 2017, many people live paycheck to paycheck. Two weeks of missed wages could leave someone in debt.
3. LONG-TERM EFFECTS
Finally, there are long-term effects. Your injury could leave you permanently disabled or disfigured. For the rest of your life, you’ll need to cope with the consequences of someone else’s negligence.
If someone died as a result of the accident, their family must live with the consequences. They could lose the primary breadwinner and valuable family member.
Fortunately, the burden isn’t only on your shoulders. By taking legal action, you can seek compensation. Your case could get you money for all of the damages listed above and possibly more.
COMMON TYPES OF SLIP AND FALL CLAIMS
Some slip and fall accidents are unpreventable. If this is the case, then you can’t seek legal action. The only slip and falls that qualify as personal injury or wrongful death claims are the ones that involve negligence.
That negligence can be on behalf of a homeowner, business owner, employer, or government entity. If you can prove that their negligence caused your accident and injuries, then you could have a claim.
To better comprehend what situations qualify for slip and fall claims, you should consider some examples. All of the following are examples of negligence that could result in an accident:
- Curbs that are uneven or broken
- Sidewalks with cracks and other damage
- Potholes and ditches
- Ice in parking lots or on sidewalks
- Obstacles in the middle of a pathway
- Loose cords that are tripping hazards
- Floors that are wet, oily, or greasy
- Uneven carpeting or flooring
- Broken handrails or stairs
- Insufficient lighting
The above situations can happen almost anywhere. Common scenes of slip and falls include playgrounds, offices, private homes, and stores. Usually, accidents occur because property owners don’t act with due care. They neglect to make repairs or use proper signage to warn guests of the hazards.
UNDERSTANDING PREMISES LIABILITY
Before you seek compensation, you should understand the basics of premises liability. Most slip and fall accidents involve premises liability laws; the laws can impact the outcome of your case.
Proving Liability In a Slip and Fall
In order to move forward with a lawsuit or a settlement after a slip and fall injury, there are a few steps that must be taken first. As mentioned above, it must be shown that the injury was a result of negligence, or an otherwise failure of duty, on behalf of the managing party. For instance, allowing visitors to use a broken escalator at a shopping mall is likely negligent, and an injury that results from this use may be the fault of the property managers.
However, it must also be shown that the responsible party was either aware of, or had a reasonable expectation to be aware of, the hazard that created the injuries, and that they failed to take the appropriate steps to fix the hazard. Once we have established that the responsible party either knew or should have known about the issue and still failed to remedy it, we will be able to move forward with determining the amount that you are rightfully owed for your suffering.
Determining Damage Amounts in a Slip and Fall
Like any type of personal injury settlement or lawsuit, you will need to have a clear understanding of the financial impacts that the injury has had in order to know what to seek during negotiations or in court. The team at the Grossman Law Offices has years of experience in calculating the amounts that victims are rightfully owed following personal injuries, and we will be happy to apply this experience to your own situation in order to get you the money that you deserve.
Compensatory damages are typically divided into two different types, economic and non-economic. In some cases, a victim may be awarded additional punitive damages, but this is entirely up to the judge and jury, so we will never factor the possibility of these types of damages into what we are seeking.
Economic damages are the measurable financial impacts that a victim will go through after a personal injury. They include things like the actual medical expenses such as surgeries, ambulances, doctors visits, prescriptions, assistive devices like crutches or wheelchairs, and more. In addition to medical expenses, economic damages also take into account the impacts to your income that the injury has had, such as reduced or lost wages, paid time off that you have used to cover lost time at work, as well as any short-term or long-term disability.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate than economic damages since they are seeking compensation for injuries that do not have measurable economic values. They include things like the actual suffering you endured as a result of your injuries, the pain that they caused, the anxiety and depression that comes with serious injuries, and other similar emotional and physiological impacts. There are a variety of methods to calculate the dollar value for these damages, and our team will work to identify the maximum amounts that you are owed for each different factor in this category.
Punitive damages are entirely separate from compensatory damages and are awarded to victims in certain cases where the judge or jury believes that the responsible party has acted recklessly or in a way that deserves to be punished. If and when a jury does decide to award a victim with punitive damages, it is up to them to determine the amount owed, which often takes into account the financial abilities of the responsible party as well as the severity of the actions that led to the injuries.
If the responsible party is convicted of criminal actions in addition to a civil lawsuit, this still does not indicate whether or not the victim will be awarded punitive damages. Since there is no way to determine with any degree of certainty whether you will be awarded punitive damages, and if so, how much, we will never factor this possibility into the amount that we are seeking during your case.
Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Fresno
According to California laws, property owners are responsible for keeping their property safe for visitors. They must show a duty of care, which involves keeping their guests out of harm’s way. They should fix hazards, actively look for new hazards, and warn guests of present dangers.
If someone appears on your property uninvited but with good reason, they still deserve duty of care. However, the owner’s standard of care is lower. They do not need to search for hazards of which they are unaware. Typically, the guests protected under this law are salespeople and surveyors.
But premises liability law only applies to invited guests or licensees on the property. For example, customers or guests welcomed into a home are entitled to a duty of care. Therefore, trespassers on a property are not entitled to such treatment. A burglar can’t sue a homeowner for falling on a patch of ice. The exception is children who trespass; they deserve the same standard of care as uninvited individuals.
GETTING HELP FROM A FRESNO SLIP AND FALL LAWYER
The best way to receive compensation for your accident is to contact a lawyer. Many people don’t realize that they have a case until they hear it from a lawyer. By contacting a professional, you can learn more about your options.
More importantly, you can receive help with the filing process. Receiving compensation isn’t a simple process. If you don’t make a strong case, you don’t have a chance at justice. Our firm has what it takes to convince a court that you deserve compensation. If we are successful, you can get money for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
We also may be able to get you a settlement. In many situations, the other party does not want a lengthy court case. They also might not want the publicity that comes with civil litigation. Our lawyers can work with the other party to negotiate a fair settlement. If successful, the negotiations can get you money quickly.
Are you ready to seek compensation for your accident? If so, contact us at Grossman Law Offices and find out what we can do for you.