Sacramento Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are almost always preventable and occur as the result of a hazardous situation or reparable dangerous circumstance. Happening at work, in retail stores, in parking lots, on public property, some of the most common causes of a slip and fall accident include, but are not limited to:
Slip and Fall injury Types
While, as mentioned above, some slip and falls are relatively minor and may result in nothing more than a bruised bottom, a slip and fall can sometimes result in severe injuries; in fact, it’s not uncommon for a plaintiff to have a slip and fall lawsuit with surgery case. Some of the most common types of slip and fall injuries include:
Traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can occur if the victim of the slip and fall accidents hits their head during their fall, either on the ground or on an object along the way to the ground. The most common type of traumatic brain injury in a slip and fall case is a concussion which, if severe, could disrupt thinking, memory, language, learning, speech, emotion, and sensation. Call our Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer for immediate help with your case
Soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Common types of soft tissue injuries include sprains and strains, including whiplash, ACL/MCL knee injuries, and more. A soft tissue injury can occur any time that a part of the body is forced into an unnatural or awkward position.
Bone fractures. Bone fractures are incredibly common in a slip and fall accident. Injuries to the wrist, elbow, and collar bone are especially likely, as the victim may attempt to break their fall by extending their arm, resulting in the arm absorbing much of the force of the fall. Bone fractures are not confined to this area alone, though; fractures to the face, neck or back, ribs, and even the legs are possible. Call our Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer for immediate help with your case
Spinal cord injuries. One of the most devastating injury types is a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord runs the length of the spine, is protected by the vertebrae that make up the spinal column, and is responsible for communicating messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is damaged, so too is that ability to communicate. The result may be permanent partial or complete paralysis from the site of the injury downwards. Spinal cord injuries are most common in falls from heights, but they are possible in lower-to-the-ground slip and fall injury cases, too.
Bodily injury due to slip and falls is unfortunately common. If you have been injured in a slip and fall and you think that someone else may be to blame, you might have a personal injury case. Call a Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer directly to learn more.
Liability for a Slip and Fall
For those who experience a slip and fall exclusively as a result of their own negligence--for example, because they ignored a known hazard by moving aside cautionary warning signs to go where they wanted there is usually no source of remedy other than one’s own health insurance policy. When a slip and fall is caused by the negligence of another party, however, the injured person may bring a claim for damages against the at-fault party.
Many slip and fall accidents are the fault of the property owner where the slip and fall accident occurred. This is because a property owner has a responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, and to repair any known hazards within a reasonable amount of time. This responsibility is referred to as a “duty” or “duty of care.”If a person is injured on the property of another due to a correctable hazard, then the property owner could be held liable.
California Slip and Fall Laws: What You’ll Need to Prove
In order to hold a property owner liable for one’s injuries, the plaintiff in a slip and fall claim must be able to prove the four following elements:
1. The property owner owed them a duty of care. In most states, the duty of care that a property owner owes someone on their property depends on whether the person is on the property lawfully or is trespassing. California slip and fall laws, or California premises liability laws, hold that there is no distinction in the duty of care that a property owner owes to those on their property based solely on the “rigid classifications of trespasser, licensee, and invitee.” That being said, these classifications may help a judge or jury determine whether or not a property owner’s actions were reasonable. In most cases, the property owner has a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition.
2. The property owner breached the duty of care. The second element is the crux of a slip and fall claim, and can be further broken down into smaller elements:
a. A hazard existed on the property;
b. The property owner knew or should have known of the hazard;
c. The property owner failed to remedy the hazard within a reasonable amount of time.
However long it may take a property owner to repair a hazard, they must exercise reasonable care in maintaining their property so they identify unsafe conditions, and take reasonable steps to safeguard against those unsafe conditions until they can be permanently remedied. In the broken stairs example, it would be unreasonable for a property owner who knows their stairs are broken to take no action to prevent people from being injured by the broken stairs after the dangerous condition is identified but before it can be repaired by a contractor.
3. The breach of duty of care was the proximate cause of harm. The plaintiff in a slip and fall injury claim will also need to be able to prove that their injuries would not have happened but for the dangerous condition. This does not mean that as someone injured by a dangerous condition you must have acted perfectly. It does mean that the dangerous condition must be a non-trivial factor in causing your injury. The jury will then weigh how much fault is yours versus the property owner.
4. Damages. Finally, the fourth part of liability is proving that the plaintiff has suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, pain, etc.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
A person who has experienced a slip and fall injury, whether a slip and fall injury at the workplace, a sip and fall injury at the grocery store, a slip and fall injury at Walmart, or a slip and fall injury somewhere else has a right to hold the at-fault party liable and to seek damages for the full value of their losses. (As a note, if a person is injured at work, compensation may come in the form of a workers’ compensation claim, which does not allow for the recovery of pain and suffering damages. If an injured worker files a third-party liability claim, though, damages will not be capped.) Contact our Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer for immediate help with your case.
Types of compensation for a slip and fall injury claim include:
Economic damages. Economic damages are damages that are paid to compensate a plaintiff for their actual economic losses, such as costs for medical bills, lost wages, future medical costs, loss of earning capacity and benefits, etc.
Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are paid to compensate a plaintiff for their noneconomic, intangible losses, such as the value of their pain, suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, etc.
If you can hold the responsible party liable for your injuries, you can seek compensation for 100 percent of your losses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Injury Cases
If you have questions about the slip and fall lawsuit process and how a Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer can help you, we have answers. Consider these responses to some of the most common slip and fall accident questions we get--
How long do I have to file a slip and fall lawsuit?
California slip and fall laws give an injured party two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages against the responsible party. This two-year limit is known as the statute of limitations and is inflexible in most cases. It’s important to take action quickly after a slip and fall to protect your right to damages.
How much does a Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer charge for a slip and fall case?
All good Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer/personal injury attorneys will work on your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will not get paid unless you do. If your case is successful and you do recover a settlement, then the lawyer will be paid based on a percentage of your winnings. Trustworthy Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer will also always offer a free consultation for new clients.
What is the slip and fall lawsuit timeline?
The slip and fall lawsuit timeline can vary dramatically depending on the details of the case. Some slip and fall accident claims are straightforward--fault is clear and undisputed; causation and damages are obvious. In other situations, fault may be disputed or damages may be so severe that an insurance adjuster fights tooth and nail to avoid paying a settlement. With this in mind, a claim could settle within a few months, or could take longer than a year in some cases.
What if I was injured on public property?
If you were injured on public property, you maintain the right to bring forth a claim against the government. However, the statute of limitations for claims against the government is reduced from two years to a mere six months. You must file a claim against the appropriate agency within six months of your injury. Sometimes, identifying the appropriate government entity to notify of your injury can be a complicated and frustrating experience- but it must be done properly, or else you could lose all of your rights to recover for your losses.
Do I really need representation from a slip and fall law firm?
Many slip and fall accident victims question whether or not they really need representation from a slip and fall law firm. If you have experienced a slip, trip, and fall in Sacramento, working with a Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer may greatly improve the outcome of your case. A lawyer does not cost you anything out of pocket, and an attorney will understand the law, what steps you need to take after your slip and fall, can investigate your case and gather evidence, will know how to file your claim and negotiate your settlement, and our Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer can represent you in court if your case ends in a trial.
Call Our Sacramento Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today
At the office of the Cutter Law P.C., our Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer understands what you’re going through and how frustrating being the victim of a slip and fall injury case is, as well as how devastating when you’ve suffered serious losses. When you call our Sacramento slip and fall accident lawyer, we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. We have years of experience and a reputation for excellence, and always put our clients first.
Our process begins with a free case consultation. During your case consultation, you can ask us any questions that you have about the process or our slip and fall law firm. Please come to your consultation with as many details about your slip and fall accident and injury as possible so that we can better serve you.
To schedule your free consultation with our Sacramento slip and fall law firm, please call us directly or send us a message at your convenience. We can meet with you at a time that works with your schedule, and offer after-hours and weekend appointments.