Slip and fall accidents fall under the area of premises liability law. Not every fall leads to liability in a slip and fall case. In order for someone who slips and falls to recover damages for their injuries, somebody else’s negligence must have caused the slip and fall.
Someone in California is negligent for a slip and fall accident when they:
- Know or should know about a dangerous condition on the property they control or own
- Fail to adequately warn about, protect against or repair the condition
Common causes of liability in Sacramento slip and fall accidents include:
- Plumbing leaks
- Uneven flooring
- Loose carpets
- Missing or broken railings
- Uncovered cords and cables
- Failure to rope off construction sites
- Broken furniture
- Failure to put signs up warning about known dangerous conditions
Call us today at (916) 443-5486 for a free consultation or text us from this page if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Sacramento. Our Sacramento slip and fall lawyers won’t charge a fee to represent you until and unless we obtain financial compensation for you.
Do I Have A Valid Slip And Fall Lawsuit?
You must prove liability, or legal responsibility, if you want to file a valid slip and fall lawsuit. If a property controller, lessee or owner knew or should have known there was a hazardous condition on their property and didn’t warn about, protect against or fix it, they can be held liable for your injuries if the condition caused your injuries. They can also be held liable if they caused the hazardous condition and didn’t warn about, protect against or fix it.
Hazardous condition examples include:
- Construction sites that aren’t properly roped off
- Grocery store spills
- Uneven or broken flooring
- Cords running across paths that customers travel through
- Missing or broken stairwell railings
- Broken stairs
In the State of California, property controllers are responsible for keeping properties safe for anyone who enters them.
Who Is Liable For Sacramento Slip And Fall Accidents?
People in California have a duty of care to protect those on their properties from being harmed. This duty applies to those who control, occupy, lease or own property.
There might also be insurers or parent companies who are responsible for paying damages to Sacramento slip and fall accident victims.
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Example: While attending an event at a hotel bar, Bob slips on a spilled drink and suffers multiple injuries including a broken elbow. The bar was rented out to a third party for the night. Parties who may be held liable for this slip and fall accident include the third party, the owner of the bar, the hotel’s parent company, the hotel itself, the insurers of all of the above parties and maybe even some of the employees of the third party or the bar.
What Needs To Be Proven To Make A Recovery?
Plaintiffs in California must establish the following to recover slip and fall accident damages:
- A defendant controlled, occupied, leased or owned a property
- The defendant negligently maintained or used the property
- The plaintiff was hurt by slipping and falling on the property
- The negligence of the defendant substantially caused the plaintiff to be hurt
When Are Property Owners Or Controllers Negligent?
Plaintiffs must prove that defendants are negligent in order to make a recovery in a slip and fall case.
Defendants in California negligently maintain or use their property when:
- A condition on the property creates an unreasonable risk of harming someone
- The defendant knows or should know through exercising reasonable care about the condition
- The defendant fails to warn about, protect against or fix the condition
An example of negligence in a slip and fall case is a restaurant failing to put out a sign warning about a wet floor after they clean the bathroom floor and make it wet because wet floors are dangerous conditions.
How Do I Prove My Slip And Fall Was Someone Else’s Fault?
The most vital thing one needs to do to win a slip and fall case in California is to prove that a defendant’s negligence caused the fall. You need evidence to prove this, evidence such as:
- Doctor’s notes
- Accident reconstruction expert testimony
- Statements from witnesses
Our Sacramento slip and fall attorneys know how to find evidence that might be overlooked by others, and this can help you obtain every penny of financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Are Slip And Fall Cases Difficult To Prove?
Slip and fall cases can be difficult to prove. While those who control properties must keep them safe, those who hurt themselves when they slip and fall are also expected to always be cognizant of their surroundings.
Property owners and insurance companies commonly argue that injury victims are partially or totally to blame for their slip and fall accidents. Defense attorneys in slip and fall cases tend to use many common arguments, including:
- The plaintiff entered an area which the public was not allowed to go into
- The plaintiff was distracted, such as by a child or a cell phone, when they fell and hurt themselves
- The plaintiff was wearing footwear which caused them to fall, such as flip flops or high heels
- In spill cases, defendants can claim the spill just happened and hadn’t been there long enough for anyone to see it and clean it
These common defenses have been successfully used in the past by defense lawyers. This is why it is critical for victims of slip and fall accidents to get the contact information of any witnesses as well as seek out any video of the accident. They should also call experienced Sacramento slip and fall lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen for a free consultation. Proving that your injuries were the fault of a property owner or controller can be very difficult. At Nadrich & Cohen, we have been obtaining financial compensation for slip and fall victims since 1990 and know exactly what needs to be done to prove that the owner or controller of a property is liable for your injuries.
What Compensation Is Available In A Slip And Fall Case?
The victim’s losses will determine what compensation is available after a slip and fall accident. The purpose of financial compensation is to compensate them for their injuries and any losses related to their injuries, not to make them significantly richer than they were before their injuries.
However, the extent of a slip and fall accident victim’s losses aren’t limited to just their medical bills. Financial compensation will cover a slip and fall victim’s:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and income
- Cost of reasonably estimated future medical bills
- Reduction in earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Other losses, such as the cost of home improvements or a wheelchair ramp necessitated by disability caused by the accident
In rare cases, slip and fall accident victims may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages aren’t intended to compensate a victim. Rather, they punish defendants for bad behavior, like purposefully destroying evidence that proved they were at fault for an accident, and discourage others from behaving similarly.
What Is The California Slip And Fall Statute Of Limitations?
One of the most important California laws to know regarding slip and fall cases is the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit regarding the ability for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit. Courts strictly enforce statutes of limitations, so they won’t hear cases that are filed past the deadline.
The slip and fall statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of the accident in almost every case. The deadline can be extended in some cases, like when victims are minors. The deadline may be shorter if the defendant in a slip and fall case is a government agency, such as if you slip and fall on public property. Discuss your slip and fall case with a lawyer at Nadrich & Cohen for more information on the slip and fall laws in California.
How Long Do Slip And Fall Lawsuits Take?
No two cases are identical so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A slip and fall lawsuit we file will take as long as necessary to obtain the largest recovery possible for our client. The time a case will take will depend on:
- How complex the case is
- How the defendant responds to the lawsuit
- The injuries you suffered
Slip and fall cases that involve minor injuries will usually settle out of court. Both parties’ lawyers agree on a settlement size and the courts never get involved.
However, sometimes the insurance company representing the defendant makes a settlement offer that is unreasonably small or attempts to blame the plaintiff for the accident, denying any settlement. The case will probably go to trial when this occurs.
A battle-tested Sacramento slip and fall attorney will not be afraid to take their client’s case to trial if it means obtaining a just and fair recovery, especially if their client has been seriously injured and the defense refuses to admit it. At Nadrich & Cohen, we’ve been fighting against the largest insurance companies for over 30 years. We have the resources to battle with them and win. This means we will see each and every case of ours through to the end until we obtain the largest possible financial recovery for our slip and fall accident clients.
What Is The Average Slip And Fall Settlement?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question since every case is unique.
California is a pure comparative negligence state. Any damages that a victim recovers in a slip and fall lawsuit can be reduced by whatever percentage the court feels the victim was at fault for the slip and fall.
For example, if someone falls in a fast food restaurant because of a spill, the damages they recover may be reduced if it can be proven that they were distracted by their cell phone when the fall occurred. Their settlement will be reduced by whatever percentage the court decides they were at fault for the accident.
Thus, if you are found 30 percent at fault for an accident, the recovery you obtain will be reduced by 30 percent.
Every slip and fall accident is unique. Multiple factors need to be considered when determining the size of a settlement:
- The age and health status of the victim before the fall happened
- The extent of the injuries
- The impact on the victim’s ability to earn a living
- To what extent the victim’s quality of life has been impacted by their injuries
Some damages in slip and fall accidents are very easy to quantify, such as medical bills, lost wages and lost income.
Subjective losses like pain and suffering are more difficult to quantify. Lawyers who can prove their clients have been permanently injured will request larger settlement amounts.
The experienced slip and fall lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen can compare the circumstances of your case to the dozens or even hundreds of similar cases they’ve handled to estimate what a just and fair settlement is for you.
Do I Need A Slip And Fall Lawyer?
You need a slip and fall lawyer if you want to recover every penny you are entitled to under California law for your injuries.
Insurance companies end up paying most slip and fall victims for their injuries. Insurance companies don’t want to pay slip and fall victims for their injuries. Insurance companies will not fully compensate slip and fall victims for their injuries if they don’t have to. Insurance companies do not have to fully compensate slip and fall victims for their injuries if the victims don’t have lawyers, because they can instead offer a tiny settlement, knowing the victims’ only choices in that case are to accept the settlement or sue them in court over it. The insurance companies know the victims won’t win in court without a lawyer, so they will dare them to take them to court.
The mere act of hiring a lawyer, however, often convinces insurance companies to offer a fair settlement. This is especially true when you hire experienced lawyers with a long track record of success like Nadrich & Cohen. Almost all of our cases settle out of court because the insurance companies know we’ll beat them in court. They offer fair settlements out of court to avoid paying expensive legal fees in futile battles against us in court.
Call us today at (916) 443-5486 or text us from this page for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Sacramento. You may be entitled to financial compensation.