Slip and fall accidents are becoming one of the most common personal injury claims in California. In tort law, a slip and fall injury is a type of personal injury based on the case of a person falling and suffering potentially dangerous injury. If involved in this injury, a person can file a lawsuit for negligence. Though this injury is very disheartening and may lead to worry that it will go unnoticed, there are ways to prevent injury and ensure that you win your lawsuit. Here are some things you can do to ensure that you get a fair settlement.
1. Create Documentation of the Injury
When injured in this type of predicament, the first thing you should do is start to gather your documentation. First, note where the accident happened. Depending on the location of the accident, it can be difficult to prove liability. If you experience injury at a commercial location, you must prove that the owner caused an unsafe condition or knew that the area was unsafe but did not take action. Just as important as this step is noting any flaws in the area, or any warning signs that you notice. These can include cracks in flooring, wet spots or poor lighting. Take photos and videos to provide evidence of the conditions leading up to the injury. Finally, document the clothes you were wearing and interview any witnesses to the incident. Without this documentation, you may forget and can lose out on your claim because the owner can refute the accident as your responsibility.
“Depending on the location of the accident, it can be difficult to prove liability.”
2. Hire A Skilled and Aggressive Lawyer
Start by making a list of attorneys in your area. Include all of their information so it is easy to find if needed. Also, look for recommendations. Reading online reviews and asking colleagues for suggestions can help you make a more informed decision. You can find recommendations on the American Bar Association website. When you finally secure a lawyer, be sure to go over possible outcomes of the lawsuit and discuss fee arrangements. Most lawyers will work on a contingency fee, meaning that you only owe your lawyer a fee if you earn money in the case. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, in or around the Oakland, Pleasanton or Fremont area the lawyers at Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm are here for you.
3. Be Well-Prepared to Defend Your Claim
As an injured person, there are five very certain things you have to prove in order to make your case seem legitimate. First, the defendant has to have assumed ownership of the premises. They also had a duty to protect those at the premises from risk, and in this case that duty was not performed. The defendant knew that there was risk, or a condition that caused the person to be injured. The condition that caused the fall needs to have been dangerous, and the person should be injured as a result of the fall. It is important to remember that the timing of the fall can significantly impact liability (i.e. lighting at night). Also, remember some common defenses of slip and fall injuries, including “open danger” and carelessness of the injured, so by all means be prepared to refute these charges.
4. Remember the Idea of Negligence
Negligence is the failure to act safely in doing something, and as a result carelessly imposing injury on another. For a party to be found negligent, they must have owed another the duty to act responsibly and failed to do so, leading to injury. Remember that negligence can be defended as contributory negligence or assumption of risk, and for this reason the defendant cannot always be held liable. On the other hand, the injury being partly your fault does not automatically take away the claim of negligence. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are plenty ways to refute a claim, but if you can present the evidence properly you will have a strong argument.
Skilled, Aggressive Representation that Gets Results
If you are injured due to the negligence of a business or other property owner, our lawyers will take all necessary steps to ensure that the responsible party compensates you for your injuries. Contact us at Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm for a free initial consultation to learn more about whether you can obtain a settlement from a slip and fall.
Our Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys Are Here for You!