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  • By: Moss Bollinger
  • Published: April 23, 2024
Man in suit slipped on wet floor - Moss Bollinger LLP

In this article, you will discover:

  • The critical information you should gather after a premises liability accident.
  • The kinds of damages you can recover from a slip & fall accident.
  • How partial fault affects your slip & fall injury claim.

What Should I Do If I Am A Victim Of A Slip-And-Fall Accident? What Information Is Critical To Gather For Premises Liability Claim?

If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident, it’s crucial to take certain steps to protect yourself and preserve evidence. Here’s what you should do…

  1. Call 911 for emergency care if you’re in pain or suspect serious injury.
  2. While waiting for emergency services, take pictures and videos of the scene and your injuries using your cell phone camera or asking for assistance. This documentation is essential for potential legal proceedings as your condition may change and your injuries are likely to heal over time.
  3. Obtain contact information from any witnesses present and ask them to provide a written account or text message detailing what they saw. Keep this information for future reference.
  4. Report your injury immediately to the property owner or manager if the accident occurred at a business or store.
    • This not only documents the incident but also signals that you’re taking the situation seriously.
    • Provide details such as the date, time, location, names of individuals involved, environmental factors contributing to the incident, and your injuries at the time of the accident.
  1. Preserve the clothes and shoes you wore during the accident as evidence.
  2. Request that any surveillance footage of the incident be saved by the property owner or manager.
  3. Keep thorough records of all medical treatment received for your injuries.
  4. Consider seeking guidance from a lawyer experienced in slip and fall cases to navigate the legal process and maximize your outcome.

Meanwhile, here are some things you might want to avoid in order to protect your rights should you need to pursue a premises liability claim later down the road…

  1. Don’t downplay your injuries or attempt to minimize their severity. Be honest about your pain and discomfort.
  2. Refrain from admitting fault or providing too much information at the scene. Stick to the facts of what happened.
  3. Avoid giving a recorded statement to anyone without a lawyer present.
  4. Don’t accept a settlement offer before consulting with an attorney.
  5. Refrain from posting about the incident or your injuries on social media, as this information could be used against you by opposing parties.

What Damages Can Be Recovered From Premise Liability Case?

Determining the damages available in a premises liability case involves considering various factors, such as available evidence and relevant laws. Generally, damages in such cases fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages encompass tangible financial losses, including…

  • Medical Expenses

Costs related to hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments.

  • Property Damage

Compensation for damaged clothing or other belongings.

  • Loss Of Income

Reimbursement for wages lost due to time off work, including both current and future earning potential if the injury results in diminished capacity to work.

  • Other Financial Losses

This may include expenses for caregivers or assisted care if the injury requires ongoing assistance.

Non-economic damages are less tangible and may include compensation for losses such as…

  • Pain And Suffering 

Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the injury.

  • Loss Of Consortium 

Compensation for the negative impact the injury has on relationships with family members or loved ones.

  • And more…

Regardless of the losses you have suffered, it’s essential to consult with a lawyer experienced in premises liability cases to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your damages. By working with an attorney, you’ll have a compassionate advocate who will help you evaluate your situation, gather evidence, and fight for your right to secure the compensation you deserve.

Can I Still Recover Damages In Premise Liability Claim In California If I Was Partially To Blame?

Yes, in California, you can still recover damages in a premises liability claim even if you were partially to blame for the accident. California follows the principle of comparative negligence, which means that your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.

Here’s how it works… If a jury determines that the total damages in your case are $10,000 and that you were 5% at fault, you can still recover $9,500. In this case, the damages are reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. Conversely, if the jury finds you were 95% at fault and your damages are $10,000, you can still recover $500 – the remaining 5% of the total claim value.

Liability is a key factor in all personal injury claims. To establish a successful premises liability claim in California, you need to prove four key factors:

  1. The defendant or property owner owed you a duty of care.
  2. The defendant or property owner breached that duty of care.
  3. The breach of duty resulted, at least in part, in your injury.
  4. You suffered damages as a result of the injury.

To this end, evidence that may support your claim includes medical records, witness statements, photographs, expert testimony, videos of the incident, and documentation of your treatment and expenses.

In any case, even if you share some responsibility for the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation. As such, it’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can assess your case and help you understand your rights and options.

What Are Some Of The Factors That Will Determine Whether Or Not The Property Owner Will Be Held Liable?

Several factors can influence whether or not a property owner will be held liable in a premises liability case. Some of these factors include…

  • Location Of The Property
  • Likelihood Of Visitors And The Potential For Injury
  • The Severity Of Potential Harm
  • A Knowledge Or Awareness Of Hazardous Conditions
  • Efforts To Address Hazards Or Provide Warnings
  • The Foreseeability Of Accidents And Injuries
  • And more…

Understandably, property owners and their insurance companies may raise defenses to shield themselves from liability. These defenses may include arguing that the visitor was trespassing or that the hazard was open and obvious. Ultimately, the determination of liability in a premises liability case hinges on whether the property owner breached their duty of care. This involves assessing whether they had a duty to maintain a safe environment, whether they breached that duty, and whether the breach directly contributed to the visitor’s injuries.

I Suffered A Serious Injury As A Result Of A Slip And Fall Accident In California At The Home Of A Friend Of Mine. What Should I Do?

If you’ve been injured at the home of a friend, it’s understandable that you may hesitate to pursue a claim against them. However, if your injuries have resulted in significant damages and your friend has homeowners insurance, making a claim may be necessary to obtain the compensation you need to recover.

Homeowners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors, and this duty extends to invited guests like yourself. If your friend’s negligence, such as failing to address hazards like an unsecured pool, led to your injury, they may be held liable for the harm you’ve suffered.

When determining liability, factors such as foreseeability of harm, moral blame attached to the owner’s actions, and the level of care owed to the visitor are considered. If your friend’s negligence contributed to your injury, their homeowners insurance may cover your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

While it may feel uncomfortable to pursue a claim against a friend, it’s essential to prioritize your own well-being and financial recovery. By involving their insurance company, you can seek the compensation you need without placing undue financial burden on your friend personally.

Of course, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and open communication. Let your friend know about your injuries and your intentions to file a claim with their insurance company. Assure them that your goal is to cover your medical expenses and losses, not to strain your relationship. Ultimately, the purpose of seeking compensation through your friend’s insurance is to help you recover from your injuries and move forward with your life – and, after all, that’s exactly what insurance coverage is there for. For more information on Handling Slip & Fall Injury Claims In California, an initial consultation is your next best step.

Moss Bollinger LLP - Sherman Oaks, CA

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