While most of us will fall numerous times over the course of a lifetime, mostly resulting in little more than some embarrassment, these seemingly minor incidents can have surprisingly severe consequences. Falling, whatever the cause, can inflict severe head injuries, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and even wrongful death on victims, and can happen in any location. Owners of properties in Inglewood and elsewhere in California are required to ensure that their premises are kept free of any potentially hazardous or dangerous conditions, which may potentially lead to an accident. Any hazards arising must be remedied promptly.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, an Inglewood slip and fall attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg will work tirelessly to recover the full extent of compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Inglewood Slip and Fall Accident
If a hazardous or dangerous condition on somebody else’s residential or commercial property led to you sustaining injuries in a slip and fall accident, the property owner could be guilty of negligence and, therefore, liable to pay you compensation in respect of your injuries, medical expenses, loss of earnings and other associated costs. There is no reason why you should be left out of pocket through no fault of your own while laws exist to protect you.
A slip and fall accident can happen in many ways, with some of the most common scenarios encountered by our personal injury attorneys including:
- Injuries caused by any dangerous conditions on the property
- Slip and fall on a floor that is wet from a roof leak
- Falling accidents involving tripping over uneven sidewalks in front of strip malls
- Trip and fall over pipes sticking out of the floor in a grocery store
- Slip and fall on surfaces that were freshly waxed or washed and no warning signs were posted
- Slip and fall on ice or snow which was not cleared promptly
- Trip and fall on a poorly maintained staircase
- Trip and fall due to loosened or otherwise damaged carpeting or other floorings
There are many more potential causes that are not mentioned above, so you are advised to contact our Inglewood slip and fall attorneys as soon as possible if you feel you may be entitled to claim compensation. Remember that there is a strict legal deadline imposed on personal injury claims and, once this has expired, you will no longer be able to pursue the responsible party.
COMPENSATION IN SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Determining the approximate value of a slip and fall accident can be difficult since all accidents have unique circumstances, from the cause of the accident to the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Two main factors go into determining the worth of a slip and fall claim: the severity of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff and who is determined to be liable for those injuries.
For obvious reasons, plaintiffs with serious and life-changing injuries typically win larger settlements or verdicts in their personal injury claims than those with less severe injuries. Claims where the plaintiff is left with a lifelong disability or deficit may yield a higher payout than those where injuries are temporary.
California also recognizes the comparative negligence doctrine. This legal doctrine considers any negligence on the plaintiff’s part that resulted in the injuries. For example, if the plaintiff was distracted by his cell phone when he fell, or if the plaintiff ignored warning signs that were posted in an obvious and conspicuous manner, then the plaintiff can be found to be comparatively negligent.
The percentage of any awards received in the slip and fall case is reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s negligence. For instance, if the plaintiff’s losses total $100K, but the plaintiff is found to be 20 percent responsible for the slip and fall accident, then that award is reduced to $80K.
TYPE OF COMPENSATION IN SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
In California, a settlement or verdict in a slip and fall accident case can be made up of three types of damages: economic, noneconomic, and punitive. A rundown on these damages can help you better understand your slip and fall claim.
Economic losses form the basis for most slip and fall claims. These damages are easy to assess since they can be assigned a dollar figure. Medical costs and lost wages due to the accident are the two most common types of economic damages, although some cases may also involve property damage losses.
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate because they are subjective and more difficult to measure. There are no compensatory limits placed by the state of California on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded to a slip and fall victim. Typical non-economic losses may include:
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities
- Lifelong impairments
- Permanent disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
Schedule Your Free Consultation to Learn How an Attorney Could Help You
The most important task your lawyer will have is proving liability for your slip and fall accident. Although you may be certain that a hazard has caused your injuries, we must prove definitively that:
- The property owner created a dangerous condition
- The owner knew the hazard existed and did not correct it
- Ample time passed in which the possessor could have fixed the problem before the incident occurred
The defendant in most slip and fall accident claims is the owner of the property, a landlord, or the occupier of the property, such as a business owner renting a storefront from another party. Sometimes property owners rely on employees to keep their premises safe for shoppers, vendors, and other visitors, taking a hands-off approach to running their businesses. However, under the theory of vicarious liability, property owners are usually found to be at least jointly responsible for accidents that occur on their properties, even if an employee was entrusted with keeping the premises safe.