In California and elsewhere, business owners and other property owners must keep their premises safe for visitors. This means keeping a location free of hazards that could potentially cause a slip-and-fall accident, a trip-and-fall accident or some other serious injury to a visitor. When business managers and property owners fail to keep their premises safe, those injured on the property may have legal recourse to pursue recovery of monetary damages incurred through a civil claim. Since many of these claims are settled outside of court, a lot of people may have questions about what a fair settlement amount is and how to get it.
Slip-and-fall accident lawsuits and settlements
Those seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident usually face a long road to recovery, which can include extensive medical treatment, physical therapy and more. What’s more, seriously injured individuals likely cannot work during recovery, which may lead to lost income. To help make ends meet and cover their expenses associated with the accident, many pursue compensation directly from the property owner and his or her insurance company.
Moreover, if a plaintiff can prove the accident was the result of willful wrongdoing or gross negligence on the part of the property owner, the plaintiff can also pursue punitive damages, which are often much higher than economic-related damages. However, insurance companies are notorious for stalling settlement negotiations or offering lowball settlement offers. As such, most plaintiffs find it difficult to obtain what they consider a fair settlement offer.
Seek legal counsel
Since the insurance company will have at least one, if not a team of attorneys, on the case, a plaintiff in California will want to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney in the state. A lawyer will gather all information, data and evidence associated with the accident and resulting injuries and work to determine a fair settlement. The lawyer will then fight to obtain the best possible settlement offer possible from the insurance company and, if necessary, pursue the case through trial.