How Do I File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in California
Filing a slip and fall lawsuit in California involves establishing a property owner was negligent in the maintenance of the premises. This negligence resulted in the fall causing your injury.
Slip and fall accidents are complicated. In some cases, the plaintiff is partly responsible for their injuries. That does not mean they cannot recover compensation. Obtain legal advice promptly to see if you have a claim and to preserve as much evidence as possible.
A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Injury Law can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our clients have received more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements through the efforts of our dedicated attorneys.
In California, the plaintiff must show that a condition on the premises caused an unreasonable risk of harm. For example, if a shopping center’s parking lot contains holes, or cracked or uneven pavement, and the area is not well-lit at night, that may result in an unreasonable risk of harm.
The plaintiff must also establish that the defendant knew about this condition and did not mitigate it. If you slipped on a wet supermarket floor because a container just broke and spilled, the owner or manager may not prove liable because there was not sufficient time for notification and cleanup. On the other hand, the owner or manager of the deteriorating parking lot should have known about its poor and dangerous state and repaired it.
The third point is that the defendant did not repair the condition or warn or protect visitors with signage or safety measures. Even if they did make some effort to warn people away from the site, it is still possible to file a lawsuit if the investigation reveals the warning sign was illegible or obstructed.
Slip and fall lawyers will investigate the circumstances of the case thoroughly to determine whether the defendant was negligent, leading to their client’s accident and injury. They will also determine which parties may hold responsibility.
Every case is unique. Potential liability may fall among more than one entity. A fall in a store might involve the store owners, the store’s parent company, and perhaps store managers and employees.
Statute of limitations
California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. If the slip and fall occurred on public property, the deadline for filing a claim is just six months. Some victims may not realize the property they fell on is public, as is the situation with some hospitals. There are other exceptions to the statute of limitations, such as when the accident victim is under age 18.
A slip & fall attorney will ascertain the deadline for the claim, but it is crucial to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid inadvertently missing the filing timeframe.
Expect the defendant to allege you were partly responsible for the accident. Perhaps your footwear was not appropriate for the location, or you were engrossed in your phone and not looking where you were going. The defendant may argue the dangerous condition should have been obvious, or that adequate warnings were in place.
As noted, even if partly at fault, you may still receive compensation. Any compensation awarded is reduced by the percentage of fault found by the jury. If the jury finds the plaintiff 20 percent at fault for the accident and the defendant 80 percent at fault, the award is reduced by that amount. In such a situation, a $100,000 award is reduced to $80,000.
Slip and fall damages
Compensation, also known as damages, in a premises liability case may include:
- Medical expenses, current, and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Contact a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer
If you suffered a serious injury due to a property owner’s failure to maintain their premises, you need the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law. Arrange a free consultation by submitting our online form or calling or texting 24/7.
After evaluating your claim, we will let you know whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. All of our attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you pay no fee unless compensation is received.