When most people hear the term “slip and fall,” they imagine relatively minor mishaps that may only result in a small bruise or scrape. In the legal world, slip and fall can refer to any injury in which a person slips, falls, and suffers a traumatic injury requiring medical intervention. It might surprise many Californians to learn that slip and fall injuries can lead to significant legal claims involving thousands of dollars in damages. Everyone should understand how to take legal action when a slip and fall injury results from another party’s negligence and the value of legal representation when facing a premises liability claim.
Potential Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
If you or a loved one experiences a slip and fall due to another party’s negligence, you likely have grounds to take legal action and pursue compensation for the damages resulting from the experience. While a slip and fall may seem minor at first, the reality is that these injuries are capable of causing severe medical complications for the victim. Additionally, the medical complications they experience can have a snowball effect, causing additional financial problems for them and their family for years to come unless they take legal action against the party responsible for the incident.
When a person suffers a slip and fall, the incident may result in broken bones, internal organ damage, brain injury, or damage to the spinal cord. Some of these injuries may require emergency treatment, and the victim has the right to pursue compensation for any medical expenses resulting from the incident if another party bears liability for their slip and fall. If the victim experiences permanent or long-term damage requiring ongoing treatment, the victim can pursue compensation for their expected future medical expenses and their immediate medical expenses from the incident.
The effects of a slip and fall injury can potentially force the victim to miss work while they recover, resulting in lost wages. In this situation, the victim can pursue compensation for the value of accrued vacation and sick leave they were forced to use in recovery, as well as any pay missed due to inability to work. Serious slip and fall injuries could result in a permanent disability that leaves the victim unable to work at all in the future. In this situation, the victim can seek compensation for their lost future earning capacity.
A slip and fall injury that leaves the victim disabled and unable to work or support themselves is painful and psychologically distressful. Plaintiffs in California personal injury cases can seek compensation for their pain and suffering. The amount they receive typically depends on the severity of their injury and the extent of the long-term damages resulting from the injury.
What to Expect in a Slip and Fall Injury Claim
Most slip and fall injury claims fall under the purview of premises liability law. This section of civil law pertains to property owners’ responsibilities to maintain safe premises for lawful visitors. If you experienced your slip and fall injury in a mall, parking garage, amusement park, privately owned business, or another person’s home, you might have grounds for a premises liability claim against the property owner. Your ability to take legal action typically comes down to foreseeability. If the hazard responsible for your slip and fall injury was foreseeably dangerous and the property owner knew about it or should have known about it before your injury, you likely have a strong premises liability claim against them.
A premises liability claim will follow a framework similar to any other personal injury claim. The plaintiff and their attorney must prove that the injury occurred due to a foreseeable hazard and that the plaintiff was lawfully present at the location where the incident occurred. Property owners do not have a responsibility to prevent slip and fall injuries to intruders or trespassers.
Find Legal Representation for Slip and Fall Injury in California
Filing a personal injury claim of any kind can be much more complex than most injury victims realize. When it comes to slip and fall injuries, proving liability for your damages is just one of several obstacles you must overcome to secure the recovery you need. An experienced attorney can manage your legal affairs while you focus on recovery, helping you explore every avenue of compensation available to you while preparing you for the difficult legal proceedings you are likely to encounter.
If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury in California and you believe a negligent property owner is responsible, contact McLachlan Law, APC, today and schedule a consultation with a compassionate and skilled personal injury attorney who can help you better understand your options for legal recourse.