Whenever one person visits another person’s property, whether it is a home or business, they expect to be safe from harm. Unfortunately, people who poorly maintain their property can be responsible for any injuries that happen as a result. However, there is a very specific framework for subsequent personal injury claims.
A California slip and fall lawyer can represent individuals who have been injured while on another person’s property due to spills, poorly maintained stairs, and structural defects. An experienced injury attorney understands how California laws work in these cases and can pursue the compensation that injured individuals deserve.
California Laws Regarding Slip and Fall Cases
Personal injuries that result from a slip and fall are pursued under the tort known as premises liability. Premises liability allows people who are injured due to the negligence of property owners to recover compensation for their injuries.
Specifically, there are four parts, or elements, of a premises liability claim that a plaintiff must prove under California Civil Jury Instruction 1000. These are:
- That the defendant owned, leased, or controlled the property
- That the defendant was negligent in their use or care for the property
- That the plaintiff was injured
- That the defendant’s negligence was a significant factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury
The question of whether the defendant was negligent in their care or in their use of the property is usually the central question of a California slip and fall claim. According to California Civil Jury Instruction 1003, this is defined as when a condition created an unreasonable risk of harm that the defendant knew or should have known about, and the defendant failed to repair or warn of the condition.
Using an example of a milk spill in a grocery store, the store owner clearly is the owner of the property. A spill certainly creates an unreasonable risk of harm, as one does not expect wet spots while shopping.
Lastly, the store employs many people and also has security cameras. One would expect that the spill would be detected quickly and cleaned. All of this adds up to a strong premises liability case for the plaintiff.
Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations
People also need to be aware of the statute of limitations. Serving as a time limit, all plaintiffs must file their case in court within a legally prescribed time period.
In California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1, the plaintiff has two years from the date of injury to start a lawsuit. Time is of the essence, so individuals should contact skilled California slip and fall attorneys right away.
Contacting a California Slip and Fall Attorney
People who are injured while on another’s property may think that collecting compensation will be simple. They will only have to contact the property owner, talk with an insurance representative, and the money will be paid. This could not be further from the truth. Insurance companies have a tendency to take advantage of unrepresented plaintiffs who give inadvisable statements, file incorrect paperwork, and are easily dealt with through a token settlement.
A California slip and fall attorney represents individuals’ interests against aggressive insurance companies. The lawyer takes care of all the details and gathers the full evidence in the case including medical records, witness statements, security footage and incident reports.
By combining all of this into a firm demand package, the slip and fall lawyer will negotiate on your behalf from a position of strength. The attorney knows how much your case is worth, just like the insurance companies do. Using this knowledge, many cases settle without needing to go to court for fair compensation. In the rare event of a trial, the litigation team will stand by your side to argue your case before the jury. Take a strong stance and fight to protect your rights, contact a California slip and fall lawyer today.