Even as you are having a meal at a restaurant, shopping, running errands, or otherwise enjoying life around the San Francisco Bay area, there can be dangers lurking. Negligent property owners may shirk their duty to keep the premises safe for others, leading to dangerous conditions. When slip and fall accidents happen, they have devastating consequences for injured victims. San Francisco slip and fall lawyers can help.
California law does allow you to recover compensation for your losses when a property owner fails to comply with the legal duty to properly maintain, inspect, and remedy hazards. If you are a victim, please contact the San Francisco slip and fall lawyers at Wakeford Gelini right away to schedule a consultation regarding your claim. You may also find it useful to review the answers to some of the more common questions people ask about slip and fall cases and general premises liability concepts.
Example Slip and Fall Case Results
SLIP AND FALL ON STAIRS
Our client slipped and fell down stairs that lacked a code-compliant handrail, causing a leg fracture that required surgery. Case resulted in pre-trial settlement of $578,000.
SLIP AND FALL AT INDUSTRIAL PARK
Our client slipped and fell on a concealed oily substance and suffered a significant back injury that resulted in a mediated settlement of $350,000.
SLIP AND FALL IN DEFECTIVE APARTMENT BATHROOM
Our client slipped and fell injuring his eye on a dangerous condition in the bathroom of an apartment he had recently rented. The case settled for $275,000 after mediation.
FALL DISEMBARKING AIRPLANE CAUSES KNEE INJURY
Our elderly client settled with a slip and fall injury suit with major airline after falling down a flight of stairs while disembarking in the rain. Our client obviously needed help which was not given and forced to carry her own baggage down a slippery flight of stairs. She fell at the bottom due to an uneven step and broker her kneecap. We settled with the airline for $150,000.
What Should I Do if I Was Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Your first priority should be seeking proper medical care for your injuries. If possible, you should take images of the location where your accident occurred; in any event, make sure to jot down notes about the incident. In the days after the accident, set up a consultation with an attorney who has specific experience in slip and fall cases. Your slip and fall lawyers will take things from there, starting with initiating a claim with the property owner’s insurance company.
Can I Recover Compensation from a Negligent Property Owner?
You can seek monetary damages for your slip and fall injuries under the theory of premises liability, which is a type of negligence claim. California’s Civil Code provides that property owners are legally liable when their failure to exercise proper care in securing the premises causes injuries to someone. If you can provide evidence that a breach of this duty was the cause of your slip and fall accident, and you suffered losses as a result, you can recover compensation.
How Can Slip and Fall Lawyers Help?
A skilled attorney can represent you in connection with all aspects of your claim, from start to finish. The first task will be to gather all physical evidence related to the hazardous condition that led to your accident, and to review your medical records. This evidence will be useful as support of your claim for compensation against the property owner’s insurer.
When you file a claim, it triggers settlement negotiations regarding your request for compensation. Your slip and fall lawyers will represent your interests and may suggest accepting a fair and reasonable offer. If you are unable to reach a settlement, your lawyer will file a lawsuit to fight for your rights in court.
What Types of Injuries Are Common in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Victims who are hurt due to property hazards may suffer various injuries, ranging from mild to severe. Depending on the circumstances, slip and fall incident may lead to:
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other head injuries;
- Broken bones, contusions, and lacerations;
- Injuries to the neck, back, and spine;
- Dislocated joints;
- Whiplash and soft tissue injuries;
- Sprains, stretching, or tearing of ligaments;
- Shoulder and hip injuries;
- Muscle strains;
- Burn injuries; and,
- Many other types of bodily harm.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Premises liability accidents happen when negligent property owners allow dangerous conditions to exist, whether because they do not properly maintain the space, fail to inspect, do not remedy a hazard, or fail to warn others of an issue. Common causes for injuries on property include:
- Spills, drips, or other sources of accumulating moisture;
- Cracks, dips, or uneven surfaces;
- Unsecured carpeting or floor mats;
- Falling debris, mirrors, or fixtures;
- Blocking of entryways, exits, aisles, or sidewalks;
- Stray wires around electrical outlets and computer equipment;
- Failure to post signage around hazards; and,
- Many other circumstances.
Is There a Time Limit to Bring A Claim?
Yes, California law provides a time restriction known as a statute of limitations which requires you to file a personal injury lawsuit within two years after the cause of action accrues. In a claim based upon premises liability, this clock starts to run the day you were hurt in a slip and fall accident. If you fail to initiate litigation in court within this time frame, your claim is forever barred and the negligent property owner can raise the statute of limitations as a defense. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, so it is critical to act quickly after a slip and fall incident.
What Other Factors May Limit My Compensation?
If you contributed in some way to your own injuries, California law on comparative negligence may apply. Under this legal concept, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you. For instance, if you ignored a sign marking a slippery spot on the floor and walked in the affected area, you could be held accountable for your slip and fall injuries. Regardless of whether the property owner’s duty extended to cleaning instead of merely putting up a warning sign, your conduct was a factor. You can be sure the insurance company for the property owner will raise comparative negligence to further its own interests.
Call Experienced San Francisco Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is critical to retain skilled slip and fall lawyers to represent your interests. Time is of the essence because of the statute of limitations, and your case will suffer if evidence is lost due to delays in pursuing your rights. Plus, without a legal background, you are at a disadvantage in pursuing a premises liability claim against the property owner’s insurance company. These businesses will do all they can to justify a denial of your claim or reduction of your compensation amount, including putting the blame on you.
Please contact the San Francisco and Marin County slip and fall lawyers at Wakeford Gelini for more information on premises liability claims. You can reach us at 415-578-3510 or submit our simple contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.