Do I Have to Go to Court in a Slip and Fall Case?
The overwhelming majority of slip and fall claims do not end up in court. However, if your case does end up in court because the insurance company or defendant would not agree to a reasonable settlement, you should expect to testify.
When a slip and fall case does go to trial, it is often because the plaintiff and defendant’s version of events is in sharp contrast. When appearing in court, you must answer questions posed by your lawyer and the defendant’s attorney. Your attorney will also discuss the nature of your injuries and long-term impairment.
A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will work tirelessly to hold the negligent party accountable so you may receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What you must prove
Slip and fall cases are also known as premises liability claims. In a slip and fall case, you must prove that the defendant owned, leased, or otherwise controlled the premises on which the fall occurred. You must prove the defendant was negligent in maintaining the property. The standard for such maintenance is what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation.
Evidence is required that you were hurt by a slip and fall on the property and that the defendant’s negligence substantially contributed to your injuries.
If surveillance video or other photographic evidence of the slip and fall is available, or there are eyewitness accounts, it is easier to prove a slip and fall case. If there is no such evidence available, and it comes down to your account versus that of the defendant, proving your case is difficult. If you did not receive prompt medical attention for the injury, it becomes even harder to prove.
In California, you may receive compensation even if you were partly to blame for the accident. Any damages awarded at trial are reduced by the percentage of which the jury found you at fault. For example, if you were found 20 percent at fault, a $100,000 award is reduced to $80,000.
The defendant is likely to argue that are partly or entirely to blame for various reasons, depending on the circumstances. This may include distracted walking, such as texting and not paying attention; lack of proper footwear; you were not in an area accessible to visitors, or the condition causing the fall should have been obvious.
Slip and fall accident compensation
In California, damages, or compensation, for a slip and fall accident may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Slip and fall lawyers know the amount of a fair settlement based on their client’s injuries, prognosis, and how their work and personal lives have been affected. If the insurance company refuses to agree to a fair settlement, a slip & fall attorney can prepare for a trial. This includes preparing interrogatories, or questions that are answered under oath and in writing, and requests for production of documents and other items relating to the case. This is all part of the lawsuit’s discovery phase.
Trials are expensive, and insurance companies want to avoid them. Even if a trial commences, keep in mind a settlement can still occur up to the trial’s conclusion.
Your lawyer will instruct you on being a good witness. That includes always telling the truth, answering only questions asked and not volunteering information, and not guessing at an answer. If you do not understand a question, tell the attorney and ask them to clarify or repeat it.
Contact a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury due to property owner negligence, you need the services of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Ellis Injury Law. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or submitting our online form.
Over the past 25 years, our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for clients injured because of another entity’s negligence. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay no fee unless we win.