For over 30 years at Freeman & Freeman, LLP, we have represented individuals who have been victims of slip and fall accidents throughout Los Angeles. A Woodland Hills slip & fall accident lawyer can help those who have suffered from these accidents get the compensation they need.
Most commonly, these injuries result from the negligence of landowners, whether private or commercial, and the dangerous conditions which may exist on public or private property. Landowners and property managers are responsible for making conditions safe. If they have not, we can help you obtain compensation.
We have done so for countless clients over the years and have helped them recover hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for their serious injuries. Slip and fall injuries often include:
These incidents can happen inside or outside of a building and be caused by such conditions as bad flooring, wet floors, poorly lighted steps and slippery stairs.
In the case of outdoor accidents, weather-related or hidden hazards can also be a factor. An icy patch outside a door or a crack in the sidewalk can be the cause of an injury in a store or parking lot, for instance.
Many people believe that only elderly or infirm people suffer slip and fall injuries but anyone can be a victim of such an incident. We have represented people in such cases from all walks of life and of nearly all ages. We can represent you.
Property owners have a duty of care to see that their property is safe for every customer, tenant, visitor or passerby. This includes ensuring that the building has no structural defects that could cause a slip and fall, trip injury, or other accident, both inside and out. A plaintiff or claimant also has a duty to exercise reasonable care, so if any action of yours contributed to the accident, you may share in the negligence.
However, even if you were partially at fault, our lawyers may be able to get you the justice and compensation that you deserve but it is crucial in these types of cases that you call us as soon as possible.
Oftentimes, a landowner will change the condition which caused the fall and claim that it did not exist. This makes a speedy investigation extremely important. Your attorney will also need to find out whether other people have had falls at this location which would prove that the landowner had notice of the condition.
The information that’s gathered in our investigation can be used to prove that the party at fault for your injuries is liable. The process of proving this liability is largely the same as we might find in any personal injury claim.
There must be some action on the part of the defendant that was an error or mistake. In this case, it was not providing safe conditions for a visitor to the property. That can be shown to be the direct cause of the injuries that were suffered. To win an award or settlement, your attorney must prove that the failure to maintain the property was the cause of your slip and fall and then that fall was the cause of your injuries.
In the course of proving liability, negligence must be proven. The first step in that process is demonstrating a duty to care. This means showing that the defendant had a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect others from injury.
In a slip and fall, this means taking measures to ensure that visitors would be able to move around on the property safely. Establishing this may require demonstrating that you were a lawful visitor and that you were invited or had a legitimate reason to be on the property.
Once the duty is shown, it must then be demonstrated that the duty was breached. In this case, it means showing that something about the property was not maintained correctly, creating dangerous conditions for visitors. This could be a failure to:
Proving this is where the findings from an investigation are critically important.
Lastly, a connection between that breach, or the failure to do what they should have, and the injuries you suffered can establish liability. Firstly, this means showing that the breach is what led to your fall.
This may not always be the case, which is why proof of the connection is required. For instance, if someone has an icy spot in a parking lot, that could be a breach, but it’s not the cause of you tripping on your own shoelace inside the building.
Once the connection between the breach and the fall is established, the connection between the fall and the injuries must be shown. Some people have tried to pass off pre-existing conditions or injuries suffered well after the fall as being related to the fall, so a clear connection must be shown.
In other cases, people have attempted to exaggerate the nature of their injuries, so a clear description of your injuries must also be demonstrated.
Once this full causal chain has been established, it then becomes possible to collect compensation for the injuries.
The compensation for a slip and fall will only cover those costs that are a direct result of the injuries that you suffered because of the fall. Your attorney must demonstrate that these costs are a direct result of the injury by using doctor’s notes and medical bills. The compensation for these costs is paid out in damages. The damages awarded in a slip and fall will typically come in two forms:
These are damages that will address those costs which have a clear financial component. In a slip and fall case, this will primarily mean medical bills, so any doctor’s visits, treatment, medication, and other medical costs are covered.
If the injuries were serious enough that it was necessary to miss work, then the lost wages from that will be covered. If the injury leads to ongoing consequences, such as those from a brain injury, then future costs will be covered as well. Any future medical bills or lost earning capacity can be addressed through economic damages.
There are intangible costs that come with an injury as well. These tend to be more psychological or emotional, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. While money doesn’t solve these concerns, it can reduce your burdens elsewhere in life, freeing you to manage them. Therefore, a value is placed on these intangibles, and they are compensated through non-economic damages.
When considering the damages you could be awarded, it’s important to recognize that California operates on a system of pure comparative negligence. This means that if the defendant’s lawyers can demonstrate any level of fault on the part of the plaintiff, then they will have their damages reduced proportionately to their share of fault. For instance, if the plaintiff is shown to be 25% responsible, and they were initially awarded $40,000, then they will be paid $30,000.
The question of whether to settle a claim or take it to court will depend heavily on the specifics of your case. There are potential benefits to both sides.
The benefit of taking a claim to court is that it maximizes the potential revenue that you may be able to make. However, it does carry with it a greater risk. There is always the possibility that the court may rule that you receive much less than you might get in a settlement or that your award is severely impacted by comparative negligence.
The benefit of a settlement is that there is an assured amount that you’ll be paid. You don’t need to worry about the risks that are inherent to a court case, as you’ll get the amount that was agreed upon.
Another potential benefit is the timetable of a settlement. You will likely receive the funds you agree to within weeks or even days of settling. A court case, on the other hand, has the potential to drag on for months or even years. So, a settlement can get the funds into your account much sooner.
We know how to obtain this information and identify the truth. If you or a family member has been injured on another person’s property, contact our Woodland Hills slip and fall injury lawyers at 818-574-5865 for a free consultation.
If you are unable to visit our office, we can come to you wherever you are in Southern California. Wherever you are and whatever your legal challenges, we are on your side.