Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
Slip and fall accident cases are one type of premises liability lawsuits. These are cases where negligence on the part of a property owner causes the plaintiff to suffer an injury.
Slip and fall accident cases specifically tend to involve the plaintiff slipping or tripping and falling on premises (property) owned by someone else and suffering an injury as a result.
Slip and fall lawsuits are civil actions, meaning that the plaintiff (injured party) is seeking monetary compensation from the defendant (party at fault – in this case, the property owner).
If you were injured as a result of slipping or tripping and falling on someone else's property, then you may be entitled to compensation. Our highly skilled, experienced team of lawyers, The Ryan Law Group, can help you seek justice and win the monetary compensation you deserve for your slip and fall accident injury.
The attorneys at The Ryan Law Group specialize in slip and fall accident cases. We have helped many of your neighbors in Los Angeles recover high-value settlement awards for their slip and fall accident cases, and we can help you, too.
Examples of Slip and Fall Accident Scenarios
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by many different kinds of negligent practices and actions on the part of the property owner and/or their employees. They can also lead to a wide variety of injuries.
Some examples of causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Failure to adequately address or warn of slippery surfaces after rainfall, cleaning, spills, etc.
- Failure to keep walkways clear of unexpected objects or debris
- Failure to adequately address or warn of a hazardous hole, crack, or bump in the street, on the sidewalk, etc.
- Failure to adequately light the property
- Failure to adequately fix or warn of an unexpected drop-off, ledge, or change in flooring
- Failure to adequately fix or warn of uneven stairs and/or steps
- Failure to clean thoroughly or promptly after spills, etc.
- Failure to use appropriate cleaning supplies
Whether your slip and fall accident occurred on public or private property, do not delay – call the attorneys at The Ryan Law Group today. It is best to retain a top-notch law firm and make sure your statute of limitations is protected as soon as possible.
You should also be aware that in California, the judicial system allows the defendant in a slip and fall or other personal injury case to claim comparative negligence as an attempt to reduce their liability for the plaintiff's injury. The idea is that each party pays a percentage of the damages in proportion with the percentage of their fault; for example, if the plaintiff was 30% responsible for their own injury due to negligence, then the defendant only pays 70% of the damages in the case.
The principle of comparative negligence can also work in your favor as a plaintiff, because it means that you are still eligible to receive compensation for injuries that were primarily your fault (so long as the defendant's negligence can also be established).
Who Can Be Sued in a Slip and Fall Case?
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident and file suit, you will be suing the property owner. This is true regardless of whether the owner of the property is an individual, a business, a management company, or a public agency or entity.
The property owner is the defendant in slip and fall cases even when there is an individual employee or representative more directly involved in the accident. Take, for example, the case of a shopper in a grocery store who was injured after tripping and falling over a stray can; the can had tumbled off an improperly stocked shelf and rolled into the aisle. While an individual store employee may have made the mistake that directly caused her to slip and fall, it is the property owner who is responsible for keeping the premises safe, so it is the property owner who needs to be held liable and whose negligence must be proven.
While your lawsuit will be against the property owner, in most cases, your attorneys will be dealing primarily with the property owner's insurance company. Insurance adjusters are skilled at their jobs and are highly motivated to protect the interests of their client, the property owner. This is why you need top-notch legal representation from knowledgeable attorneys like those at The Ryan Law Group: we know all the insurance companies' tricks and tactics, and we can beat them at their own game.
How is Negligence Defined in Slip and Fall Law?
Suffering a slip and fall accident and resultant injury on someone else's property does not necessarily mean you will have a successful slip and fall case. In order for a slip and fall case to result in a settlement for the plaintiff, the plaintiff must establish that their injury occurred at least in part due to the property owner's negligence, or lack of reasonable care.
California law generally requires the plaintiff to prove three factors in order to establish negligence on the part of the property owner. These three factors are:
- Duty of care (was the defendant legally required to take reasonable steps to protect the plaintiff from harm?)
- Breach of duty of care (did the defendant fail to take reasonable steps to uphold their legal responsibility to the plaintiff?)
- Breach directly causing injury, in part or in full (did the injury happen – at least partially – due to the defendant's failure to take reasonable steps to uphold their legal responsibility to the plaintiff?)
In California, there are some cases in which the plaintiff may need to prove a greater extent of negligence on the part of the property owner in order to recover damages; specifically, the plaintiff may need to prove gross negligence rather than ordinary negligence depending on where and under what circumstances they suffered their slip and fall accident. It is important to consult with an excellent law firm like The Ryan Law Group before pursuing a slip and fall case because our attorneys can quickly and accurately identify the specific legal issues that will need to be addressed in order for your case to be successful.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
When you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, it can be incredibly difficult to handle everything that needs to happen, including seeking medical care (and contending with expensive medical bills), retaining an attorney, dealing with physical and emotional distress, and trying to go about your daily life again.
However, it is important to do all you can to gather and preserve evidence in the first minutes, hours, days, and weeks following the accident. The idea is to have as much relevant information and proof in your arsenal as possible. This will help your attorney's office to evaluate your claim, work up your case, and get you the high-value settlement you deserve as efficiently as possible.
Some potentially important ways of preserving evidence are as follows.
Documenting the conditions that caused your accident.
As soon as you are able, photograph the conditions that caused you to slip or trip and fall. If this is not possible, then write down the details – or explain them to your attorneys – while they are still fresh in your mind.
Preventing destruction of surveillance/security footage
If your slip and fall accident may have been caught by a security/surveillance camera, then that evidence needs to be preserved as soon as possible – many businesses, etc. routinely tape over old footage, so don't delay.
Creating a record of your injuries.
Seek medical help for your injuries if at all possible. If you have visible injuries, you should also take photos.
Creating a witness list.
If there were any witnesses to your slip and fall accident, try to obtain their names and contact information. Their testimony might make a huge difference for your case.
If you do see a doctor or other medical professional for evaluation or treatment of the injuries arising from your slip and fall accident, it can be helpful to obtain copies of your medical records and bills for your attorneys as well. This may assist your law firm in evaluating, handling, and settling your case as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Even if you did not begin the process of collecting and preserving evidence immediately following your slip and fall accident, you should do so as soon as you can. Collecting and preserving as much evidence as possible related to your case will help your lawyers to fully understand your case and to get you the highest possible settlement award.
One thing to avoid following your slip and fall accident is creating evidence that may help the defendant in your case. The lawyers at The Ryan Law Group advise our clients and prospective clients to exercise extreme caution when posting on social media following their slip and fall accidents – even if they are not posting specifically about their accident, injury, or lawsuit. Posts on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have been used to discredit many slip and fall plaintiffs and prevent them from seeing the monetary compensation they deserve.
How Are Damages Calculated?
There are two broad categories of damages in personal injury lawsuits like slip and fall accident cases. These categories are compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are the primary type of damages awarded and typically make up most of a plaintiff's recovery from a slip and fall case. This category of damages involves compensation for all the losses the plaintiff suffered or will suffer as a result of the accident.
In California, there are two types of compensatory damages:
- Economic ("special") damages
- Non-economic ("general") damages
Economic, or special, damages may include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Past, present, and future lost wages/earnings (due to inability to work or need for a change in profession as a result of your injury)
- Property damage (for example, if your watch broke as a result of your slip and fall accident)
Non-economic, or general, damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress/mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (negative effects on the plaintiff's marriage)
Punitive damages are less commonly awarded than compensatory damages. If a property owner's negligence is unusually egregious, then a judge or jury may choose to award punitive damages. These are intended specifically to punish the property owner for their wrongdoing and serve as a deterrent from future grossly negligent behavior.
What a Lawyer Can Do to Help
It can be difficult for someone who has been injured in a slip and fall accident to determine how to proceed with a potential case against the property owner. That's why it's important to call the experienced injury attorneys at the Ryan Law Group.
Our skilled team will handle all the difficult logistical and legal matters related to your case, so you can focus on recovering from your injury and getting your life back. We can also help you get medical treatment, even if you're uninsured. Even if you're not sure you have a strong case, give us a call and allow our experienced staff to evaluate the matter. We may be able to obtain additional evidence and further investigate your potential case.
No matter what, there's no financial risk to you because our law firm works on a contingency basis. This means that our fee is a percentage of your settlement award, so if you don't get paid, we don't get paid – and you would never have to repay our attorneys or staff for their time or for any expenses accrued in working on the case. It's always in our best interest as well as yours to get you the high-value settlement you deserve in the most efficient way possible.
It's not enough to retain just any law firm that works on a contingency basis, though. Many law firms are unsuccessful in slip and fall accident cases because they are inexperienced and do not anticipate all possible defenses from the property owner and their insurance company. It is important to retain the services of a law firm like The Ryan Law Group, which has knowledgeable and experienced lawyers with a proven record of success representing clients like you in Los Angeles.
Highly experienced and skilled attorneys like ours at The Ryan Law Group are also familiar with the best practices and strategies based on the specific courts, judges, defendants, attorneys, and insurance companies involved. We know the ins and outs of the system. We'll fight hard for you, but we'll also fight smart for you.
Don't delay! Contact us as soon as possible – there are important deadlines that must be met in order for your case to be successful, and the more time we have to evaluate and prepare your case, the better.
We've helped many clients in Los Angeles win the compensation they deserve, and we can help you, too. Call The Ryan Law Group TODAY for your free, no-commitment consultation.