Slip and Fall Injuries
Handling Slip and Fall Injuries in Greater Los Angeles
Have you been injured in a painful slip and fall accident? These accidents are easily avoidable, and they often result from the inexcusable negligence of a property owner or occupier. A typical slip and fall accident involves slipping on a wet surface and breaking a hip or injuring your spinal cord.
If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, Los Angeles slip and fall injury attorney Michael Ghozland of the Ghozland Law Firm stands ready to roll up his sleeves and fight for your rights so that you can receive the full compensation you deserve.
Slip And Fall Claims And Premises Liability Under California Law
An open storefront is an implied invitation for anyone to come in and shop. Once you enter the property you are considered a guest, and the owner or occupier is legally responsible for making reasonable efforts to ensure your safety. This might mean:
- repairing a weak stairway railing
- assigning an employee to immediately mop up spilled liquids
- erecting a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign after mopping or spills
- repairing potholes in a parking lot; or
- ensuring that elevators are properly maintained
But I Can’t Afford to Hire a Slip and Fall Accident Attorney!
Actually, you can — at least at my firm you can. I am so confident that I can win slip and fall compensation for you, that you will not receive any legal bills from me until I win your case and you are paid. In the unlikely event that you don’t receive any compensation, you will never receive a legal bill from me – my services will be free. Feel free to contact me even if you haven’t a dollar in the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I win a slip, trip and fall claim if the property owner didn’t know about the dangerous condition but “should have known” about it?
Yes, it is possible. Suppose, for example, that you trip and fall on a stone that was obscured by tall grass that the property owner neglected to mow. Even if the property owner claims that he didn’t know of the existence of the stone because he didn’t see it, it might still be possible to win a slip & fall claim by asserting that the owner should have mowed the grass sooner and therefore “should have known” about the stone.
Can I win a claim against a shop owner if I slip and fall on a wet floor because an employee disobeyed the shop owner’s instruction to clean it up?
It is certainly possible. The shop owner probably cannot be relieved of liability simply because his employee violated his instructions – generally speaking, an employer is considered liable for slip and fall accidents caused by his employee even if the owner was not personally at fault.
Can the IRS tax my slip and fall compensation?
Probably not. The IRS will not tax any amount intended to compensate you for personal injury, unless you have previously taken a deduction on that amount. You can be taxed on any judgment interest paid to you, however, and on any punitive damages you receive (punitive damages are not normally awarded in slip & fall cases).
I slipped down some recently mopped stairs while I was intoxicated. Do I have a slip and fall claim?
Perhaps. Even if you were partly at fault for the slip & fall accident, under California’s “pure comparative negligence” scheme, the owner or occupier of the premises would still owe you at least some slip and fall compensation if the was partly at fault (even one percent at fault. Your damages would be reduced, however, in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you've been involved in a California slip and fall accident, this may be the first time you are dealing with filing a claim. You may be wondering if it is an easy process, but without experienced legal counsel, it’s generally not. Although certain insurance companies and property owners treat injured victims equally, others will do all they can to limit or dismiss a claim and will almost certainly lift some common defenses to provide a low payout sum.
Common Defenses against victims in California Slip and fall cases
Property owners and managers have a responsibility to keep visitors safe and to take appropriate precautions to keep them safe from hazards. If they are unable to eliminate the danger immediately, they should post warnings about the danger.
Property owners will be held liable for damages incurred by their negligence if the following conditions are met:
• The owner owes a duty to a third party, and the owner fails to fulfill the duty.
• The breach of the owner is the immediate and proximate cause of an accident.
• As a result of the accident, a third-party experiences economic losses and injuries.
Here are some of the most common defenses used by businesses, insurance agencies, and property owners to contend that their negligence was not the cause of the incident.
One common defense used to defeat a slip and fall injury claim is that the victim was partly to blame for his accident. California adheres to the pure comparative negligence rule. It specifies that an injured victim is entitled to compensation regardless of how much he contributed to the accident. The amount he gets, however, is limited by his percentage of fault. E.g., if the compensation due was $100,000 but the victim was 30% at fault, he would receive $170,000.
The victim had to avoid the dangerous situation
It is generally argued that the victim should have spotted the dangerous situation and avoided it.
The owner did not get the opportunity
A business or property owner is liable under California law for unsafe conditions that they knew or should have reasonably known about. In certain cases, the insurance provider can contend that the owner or business is not liable because they were not given adequate notice of and an opportunity to correct a dangerous condition. For example, if someone is injured as a result of another customer's spill in a fast-food restaurant, this point may be raised.
Why you need a California Slip and Fall Lawyer to handle your case
The insurance firm does not want you to consult with an attorney. The insurance adjuster can try to talk you out of working with an experienced slip and fall attorney. He will tell you that if you don't have to pay legal fees, you'll get more cash in your settlement. If they do not have a lawyer to discuss their settlements, many slip and fall injury victims receive even less than they deserve.
A slip and fall lawyer knows how to counter these defenses and will evaluate and explain all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. This can include showing proof of the slip and fall accident, such as pictures of the accident scene, eliciting eyewitness testimony, explaining that the injured party bore no blame and that no intervening events caused the accident.
If you slip and fall or are injured on someone else's property, the expert California slip and fall attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm will assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. They will facilitate you in obtaining sufficient compensation to cover medical costs, lost income, and all other injury-related costs.