Pasadena Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slips and falls are some of the most common types of premises liability claims filed in California. These accidents may sound minor to some people, but they can result in very serious injuries.
After a slip and fall a person may suffer from broken bones, head injuries, and more. Those who have been injured can seek compensation for their injuries. However, it’s important accident victims understand what to do after the incident to give them the best chance of receiving that compensation.
A Pasadena slip and fall lawyer can be a great help after a slip and fall accident. At the Law Offices of Pius Joseph, we can provide more information on the steps accident victims should take, and can help them every step of the way throughout the process.
Contact us now for a free consultation about your slip and fall claim and how our attorney can help you.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Slip and Fall Claim?
To recover compensation in a slip and fall case, an injured individual must prove four elements of the case. These include:
- The defendant owned, occupied, or was otherwise responsible for the property.
- The defendant was negligent in failing to keep the property in a safe condition.
- The plaintiff was injured by slipping or falling while on the property.
- The defendant’s negligence was the direct cause of the accident that led to injury.
Some elements of proof, such as proving the defendant controlled the property, are relatively easy to prove in a slip and fall case. Other elements however, such as proving that the defendant was negligent, can be much more difficult to prove. In order to prove this aspect of a case, injured victims should speak to our slip and fall attorney in Pasadena.
How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney Help?
Proving liability in a slip and fall case can be a very complex undertaking that requires the skill and experience of a knowledgeable lawyer. An attorney may start by talking to the victim about the case. These accidents happen very quickly and often people don’t understand how they went from walking across a floor to lying on the floor with an injury.
An attorney will go over all the facts of the case with you. This is not only to establish negligence, but also to gain an understanding of the important facts of the case. An attorney will understand what facts are important to the insurance company, and the defendant, and how they will use the same facts throughout the case to refute your testimony.
A lawyer is also a valuable resource when trying to prove the extent of your losses. It’s not enough to simply say that you were hurt. You must prove the how badly you were injured, and all the damages you’ve incurred as a result. Perhaps you’ve been unable to work, or you now have a stack of medical bills as a result of the injury.
An attorney can help properly document all losses, including gathering medical records and employer’s pay records to prove you haven’t been working. An attorney may also consult with experts about medical, financial, safety and other issues that could play an important role in your case.
Throughout the case, your lawyer can handle all the communications with insurers and defendants and take care of all legal filings and other matters related to the case.
Your attorney can build a solid case on your behalf and then go to the negotiating table to fight for a fair settlement from a position of strength. If an acceptable settlement proves to be impossible, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to court.
A lawyer can help with all of this, so injured individuals can focus on what’s most important — their own physical and mental recovery.
Compensation Available After a Slip and Fall Accident in Pasadena, California
After a slip and fall accident, it’s natural for people hurt to wonder how much compensation they could recover for the accident. They are likely not only experiencing physical pain and suffering, but financial and emotional hurt, as well.
When determining what type of compensation you could receive from a slip and fall injury case, it’s a good idea to start by reviewing your medical bills. These expenses often make up the bulk of compensation awarded in personal injury cases. Other types of compensation awarded by the courts may include:
- Lost wages, for time you missed from work
- Loss of earning capacity, if you cannot perform the same type of work you did before the accident and will suffer financially for it
- Physical therapy costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Incidental expenses, such as the gas money spent to attend doctor’s visits every month
After reviewing your case, an attorney will determine all types of compensation possible in the case. They will also calculate the full extent of your losses. This involves more than merely adding up expenses. For example, pain and suffering can also make up a significant portion of the compensation awarded, but is difficult to put into terms of a dollar value for those unfamiliar with personal injury law.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Southern California
Just about any obstruction or substance on a walking surface can cause a slip and fall. However, some causes are more commonly seen in slip and fall cases than others. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents are:
- Plumbing leaks
- Loose carpeting
- Uneven floors
- Cables and cords left out haphazardly
- Stairway railings that are missing or broken
- Broken furniture
- Failing to rope off dangerous areas, such as construction sites
- Failing to warn about known hazards, such as a wet floor that has recently been mopped
In many cases, a person does not immediately know what caused the accident. Slip and fall accidents happen very quickly and out of the blue. When a person is severely injured from them, they are generally more focused on getting treatment for their injuries than they are with finding the cause of the fall.
This is another way in which a slip and fall lawyer can help. They will find the cause of the fall, determine if someone else’s negligence contributed to that cause and if it did, help those injured pursue a lawsuit to claim compensation.
Common Places Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
While there are many different causes of slip and fall accidents, there are also many different places these accidents can occur. Some of the most common places for a slip and fall to occur include:
- Grocery stores
- Large discount stores and home improvement stores
- Shopping malls
- Hotels and resorts
- Amusement parks
- Small businesses, such as a local restaurant or corner store
- Private homes
- Office buildings
- Rental homes and apartments
- Public spaces
In some of these scenarios, it’s not difficult for an injured individual to want to file a lawsuit. When the accident occurred in a large chain grocery store for example, it’s easier for those hurt to file a lawsuit than if it was at the home of their friend.
Accident victims need to understand though, that when the accident occurred at a private residence, it’s usually the homeowner’s insurance company that will pay the compensation. Knowing this can make it easier to file these types of lawsuits.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Fall
The moments after an accident are confusing. Accident victims often don’t understand how the accident happened, or how injured they are. Knowing the proper steps to take can help secure evidence needed for a successful claim and get those hurt back on their feet as soon as possible.
The first step to take after a slip and fall is to get medical help and report the accident to the property owner or someone responsible on the premises. For example, if the fall happened in a grocery store, you should report the accident to the manager. If the accident happened in a public park, you should contact the city or town the same day, if possible. Accidents that are not reported the same day, or within 24 hours, are often seen as weaker by juries and insurance companies. This does not mean you cannot file a lawsuit, but it does mean it will make it more difficult to win.
Eyewitness testimony is important in any personal injury case, but can be even more important in the event of a slip and fall. Often there is little resulting property damage to indicate how the accident happened, as there often is in car accident cases. Sometimes the only evidence available may be the word of someone that witnessed the accident.
Pictures can also help prove the cause of the accident, which is why accident victims should take photos of the scene as soon as possible. Often the cause of the accident, such as a spill in a store that wasn’t cleaned up, is corrected after an accident. Property owners don’t want to leave evidence lying around, and they don’t want anyone else to get hurt, leaving them open to possibly even more lawsuits. It’s important that if you have a phone that you use it to take as many pictures as possible, from many different angles.
If you did not get emergency medical treat on scene and transport by ambulance, it’s important to get medical treatment right away. This is important even if you don’t think at first that you were very injured. A doctor should perform a full exam and may find injuries that weren’t apparent at first.
For example, if you hit your head during the fall, your doctor will notice any signs of a concussion. Getting this treatment as soon as possible is critical for your health and for any personal injury claim. Juries and insurance companies may assume that if you did not need medical treatment right away, your injuries were not very severe and you may not need compensation.
While talking to the doctor or other medical staff, it’s very important that you explain how and where you got hurt. This can help a future slip and fall claim. If you tell your doctor that you slipped and fell in a grocery store and your back has been hurting ever since, they will document that in your medical records. This can greatly help a case.
If the slip and fall happened on commercial property, often the owner or controller of that property will ask you to fill out forms. It’s important to understand that you are under no obligation to do this. If you feel hesitant about it all, such as you’re more concerned about your injuries and seeking medical treatment, don’t fill them out. If you do decide to fill them out, proceed with caution. Do not accept any blame, and make sure you accurately depict how the accident happened and what caused it.
Talk to a Pasadena Slip and Fall Attorney Now
People who are injured in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property often have a valid personal injury claim that can help them claim compensation. However, it’s easy to see just how complex these cases become. A slip and fall lawyer in Pasadena can help ensure the claims of accident victims are successful.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Offices of Pius Joseph today. We’ll help prove liability and damages and collect all the evidence needed to support your claim. We take care of the legwork, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Call us now or fill out our online form and we’ll begin reviewing your case for free.