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San Diego slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere. These types of accidents often arise unexpectedly as you are going about your daily life. One minute you’re walking in a grocery store deciding which avocado is ripest. Then in the blink of an eye, you’re on the ground assessing your injuries.
Although the name slip and fall sounds relatively harmless, these types of accidents can result in serious and even life-changing injuries. Catastrophic injuries can financially and emotionally bankrupt a family. Fortunately, California law permits slip and fall accident victims to take legal action against a negligent property owner to recover losses related to the accident and resulting injuries.
If you, your child, or another loved one has suffered injuries on another person’s property or at a business, contact the experienced San Diego slip and fall accident attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free case evaluation to share your accident story, discuss the viability of your claim, and learn how we can assist you going forward.
Gomez Trial Attorneys’ award-winning team of personal injury attorneys has been advocating for San Diego personal injury victims for decades and are experienced in cases involving San Diego slip and fall accidents.
A few of our notable slip and fall case results include:
Each case is unique, and the best way to determine whether you might have a case and what its estimated value is, is to schedule a free case evaluation.
A “slip and fall,” refers to a type of premises liability lawsuit that arises when a person is injured after they slip, or trip, and fall as a result of someone else’s failure to keep the area safe. For example, if someone slips on a wet entryway that a grocery store should have mopped up and is injured, a slip and fall has occurred. We include all kinds of unintentional falls under the slip and fall umbrella, including accidents where the victim tripped over something leading to the fall.
Slip and fall accidents are preventable events that can lead to severe injury or death, especially in older adults. In fact, the California Department of Health estimates that more than 90,000 adults over age 50 are hospitalized across California each year due to unintentional falls. More than 350 people die each year due to accidental falls in San Diego County alone, approximately 300 of whom are over the age of 65. Yet, the elderly are not the only vulnerable group. Children and adults can also sustain serious injuries.
Examples of dangerous conditions that can result in slip and fall accidents and injuries include:
San Diego’s climate makes year-round outdoor activities not only possible but one of the best things about living here. More than 5,000 miles of sidewalks cover San Diego and invite walkers, but they also pose a risk. Sidewalks are one of the most likely places for you to slip, fall, and injure yourself. Uneven, broken, and cracked sidewalks create tripping hazards that can easily cause falls.
San Diego’s sidewalks are particularly problematic. During the process of surveying the city’s sidewalks for damages several years ago, city engineers and college students identified more than 39,000 potential tripping hazards in the first 3,100 miles. The damage included broken pavement and curbs that did not conform to the requirements put forth by the American Disabilities Act. Tree roots are a common cause of damaged sidewalks in San Diego.
Responsibility for ensuring that sidewalks are free of cracks, holes, or other issues that could result in a person slipping or tripping and falling belongs to both the city itself as well as home and business owners.
Other common causes of slip and fall accidents in San Diego include:
These are just some common examples. Our San Diego slip and fall lawyers have seen slip and fall cases arise in many different ways.
Sometimes, an accident is just an accident; in these cases, no one is legally liable for the injuries. However, many slips and falls could have been avoided if the owner of the property where the accident occurred had acted as a reasonable person would under the circumstances – for example, by repairing cracked walkways. In these cases, you may have a case based on a legal theory called negligence.
Under California law, “[e]veryone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person.” Put differently, everyone, including property owners, must act as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances. Failure to do so is negligence. When a person or business is negligent, they are legally responsible for the harm that occurs as a result.
To win in a premises liability slip and fall case in San Diego, you must prove:
Some considerations slip and fall lawyers, insurance companies, and courts use to evaluate whether a property owner has breached their duty in a specific case include:
These types of cases involve complex legal and factual issues, making it important for you to obtain an experienced, reputable San Diego slip and fall lawyer to help you present your case.
The owner of the property where you were injured, also called the “premises” owner, is often the negligent party and the party legally responsible for your injuries, but not always. It is possible that someone else was negligent and legally responsible. For example, the property management company, tenant of the property, or a construction company that was working on the property.
Suppose you believe you were partially at fault for your injuries. In that case, you may still have a legal claim against the premises owner or other negligent parties for your injuries under California’s comparative fault doctrine.
Sorting out who is liable for your injuries can be confusing; a San Diego slip and fall accident attorney can help. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free consultation.
San Diego has a lot of renters. About 39% of the city’s residential buildings, ranging from single-family homes to high-rise apartments, are occupied by renters. Regardless of the type or location of the rental unit, landlords can face liability if a resident or a visitor slips and falls due to a known, unmitigated, ad unwarned hazard within the landlord’s control.
The types of slip and fall hazards that are within the landlord’s control include:
State law requires San Diego landlords to repair known hazards and provide adequate warnings to residents and guests about the hazard. Also, landlords must perform regular inspections of properties they own and rent to others to detect hazards that could cause harm. These inspections should take place before the tenant moves in, before renewing a lease, when the tenant moves out, and at reasonable intervals throughout the lease. Landlords also must disclose any known hazards on the property that could harm the tenant before the tenant enters into the lease.
San Diego has more than 11,000 short-term rental units that visitors and traveling workers rent between days and months at a time. Naturally, injuries sometimes occur at these units. At the time of writing, both Airbnb and Vrbo provide hosts (property owners) with $1 million insurance for property damage and personal injury.
If you are renting through another company or a private agreement with a homeowner, be sure to inquire into their insurance coverage before you rent. If they lack adequate coverage, it may be impossible to recover all of the compensation you are entitled to if you are injured while staying at the property.
If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident that would not have happened if not for the property owner’s negligence, you deserve compensation for losses related to the accident and your injuries. California law permits slip and fall accident victims to seek compensation for losses by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent property owner.
Suppose an accident victim reaches a settlement with the owner’s insurance company or a court rules in the victim’s favor. In that case, the victim may be able to recover financial losses as well as compensation for pain and suffering. In limited circumstances, when gross negligence or intentional harm caused the accident, the victim may also be able to recover punitive damages.
The following are common examples of damages that a San Diego slip and fall victim may be able to recover compensation for:
California law also allows certain surviving family members to take legal action if a loved one dies due to a personal injury accident. Eligible survivors sometimes receive compensation from one or both of two types of claims after the death of a loved one: a wrongful death claim and/or a survivor claim. Wrongful death claims are complex in California, so it’s best to consult with an experienced slip and fall injury attorney who can advise you on the best course of action for you and your family. Eligible survivors sometimes receive compensation for some of the above losses as well as funeral expenses and burial costs.
Compensation is based on the claimant’s specific relationship with the deceased. For example, minor children who lose a parent sometimes receive compensation for loss of guidance and parental support. Similarly, widows and widowers sometimes receive compensation for loss of companionship. A San Diego slip-and-fall accident lawyer can answer any questions you have related to the death of a loved one after a slip-and-fall accident.
Every case is unique, and the amount that may be recoverable depends on the unique facts of the case. The best way to get an estimate on the strength and value of your potential case is to schedule a free case evaluation with a San Diego slip and fall lawyer.
In determining your estimated case value, some of the factors that a slip and fall lawyer will take into account include available insurance coverage; the extent of injuries suffered; and the likelihood of success if the case goes to trial. As noted above, at Gomez Trial Attorneys, our case results for slip and fall cases include multiple multi-million dollar settlements and jury verdicts. Each case is unique, and we cannot guarantee results, but we can assure you that we are committed to fighting for San Diego slip and fall accident victims who were harmed by someone else’s actions or inactions.
We strongly recommend contacting a San Diego personal injury law firm, like ours, with significant experience in slip and fall cases.
Often, insurance companies will offer what looks like a decent settlement offer on the surface but will not provide you with the compensation you really deserve, such as compensation for your medical expenses and compensation for the losses you faced, including items like your lost wages and your pain and suffering.
Talk to Gomez Trial Attorneys before accepting any settlement offer, especially one that does not seem to reflect the compensation you really deserve for your injuries. A San Diego slip and fall lawyer can provide you with a better idea of what the negligent party owes you and negotiate with the insurance company to help increase your odds of securing it. Additionally, we know how to push back and get a higher offer when insurance companies try to give you a low-ball offer. In fact, our firm has a reputation among insurance companies that helps us get their best offer as early in the case as possible.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall that someone else is liable for, you would hope that the liable party would “do the right thing.” Unfortunately, this is not what usually happens. Instead, the property owner or other defendant in a slip and fall case and/or their business or homeowners’ insurance carrier will usually go to great lengths to undervalue an injured person’s claim. In fact, in many cases, insurers do their best not to pay on a claim at all. After all, insurance companies do not stay in business by paying every claim or settling every lawsuit that comes their way.
Depending on the situation and circumstances of your slip and fall injury, the insurer or the insurer’s lawyers will typically use one or more of the following strategies in an attempt to reduce or eliminate their financial liability:
Experienced and skilled slip and fall injury attorneys can anticipate the strategies the defense’s legal teams and insurance companies will use to try to avoid liability. In many cases, a lawyer can anticipate these tactics based on the circumstances of a slip and fall accident.
After a slip and fall accident, your first priority should be getting medical care and treatment and taking care of your health. Your second priority is taking steps to preserve your claim and improve your likelihood of success.
As a starting point, after a slip and fall accident, make sure you do the following:
#1 Seek medical attention. Any time you take a hard fall, even if you do not believe that you suffered substantial injuries in your accident, make sure to visit a doctor. A doctor can evaluate the potential extent of your injuries and make sure you didn’t miss any injuries, including broken bones. If you fail to seek treatment, it could lead to additional suffering: a longer healing time or even a poorer prognosis for your recovery.
A doctor’s report can also provide vital evidence that will establish when your injuries took place. If you suffer back and neck injuries in your accident, but do not seek medical attention until well after the accident, you may end up struggling to prove that your injuries occurred in that particular fall.
Report the accident. Many businesses have protocols in place that establish how they will handle accidents, including slip and fall accidents, on the premises. Report your fall to management at the business and fill out an incident report if needed. This report can serve as vital evidence in your case.
#2 Collect evidence, if possible. Sometimes, after a slip and fall accident, you might suffer such severe injuries that you cannot move safely around the scene of the accident. Other times, you may find that you can take photos or take other steps to record the accident. You may want to take pictures of the features that caused your accident or collect contact information for a witness who saw what happened. That evidence may later prove vital in establishing what led to your accident.
You should not, however, do anything (including trying to collect evidence) that may make your injuries worse or put you in an unsafe position.
#3 Contact an attorney. As soon as possible, get in touch with an experienced San Diego slip and fall accident injury attorney to learn more about your rights, including your right to compensation after a serious accident.
As the individual who was injured in a San Diego slip and fall accident, you will need to make arrangements to manage your medical bills. While a slip and fall injury claim can help provide you with much-needed compensation that will allow you to pay those bills, the liable party will not pay those bills for you. Instead, the liable party will issue payment to you based on the terms of the settlement or court award. You can then use those funds to manage your bills, including your medical expenses.
Your medical insurance can provide a great deal of assistance in the aftermath of your accident, especially if you have long-term injuries that will require ongoing care. Talk to your insurance provider to learn more about what coverage you have, including coverage for items like durable medical equipment and long-term hospitalization or a stay in a long-term care facility, if needed. You may also want to ask your insurance provider how the circumstances of your injury can affect your coverage.
Yes. Private homeowners owe all visitors, including friends, a duty of care. If you suffer a serious injury due to negligence on the part of a homeowner, even if that homeowner is your friend, you may still have grounds for a slip and fall injury claim.
Suppose, for example, the stairs on your friend’s back porch have rotted through. Your friend knows about the hazard but has taken no steps to repair those stairs: he simply chooses not to use them. Unfortunately, he did not warn you about the danger, which resulted in a serious fall. Because your friend allowed the danger to exist, you had the right to visit the property, and your friend took no steps to protect you, including warning you about the possible hazard, you may have grounds to file a claim for your fall.
Many people worry that filing a slip and fall injury claim against a friend or family member will harm the relationship. Most homeowners, however, carry insurance policies designed to protect against damage to the home or injuries to visitors to the property. Most of the time, the homeowner will not face significant financial losses from that claim. You, however, may suffer immense financial losses if you try to manage your injuries and associated bills on your own without filing a claim.
You still have the right to file a slip and fall injury claim even if you did not go to the hospital or visit a doctor immediately after the accident. Proving your claim and injuries may be more difficult than if you had received treatment immediately, but it is still possible. Talk to an attorney as soon as you discover your injuries to learn more about the steps you prove your injuries so you can get the compensation you deserve.
You may still have grounds for a slip and fall claim, even if the premises owner does not carry insurance. However, it is likely to be more difficult to collect on your claim, particularly if the injury occurred on a private homeowner’s property instead of on a business’s commercial property. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about your right to compensation and how the property owner’s insurance may affect it.
Yes. While you are legally allowed to represent yourself in pursuing your claim, we don’t recommend it. Whether you suffered a broken hip, traumatic brain injury, or back and neck injuries from your fall, a slip and fall attorney can help you better understand your right to compensation and help you effectively fight for the compensation you deserve.
Personal injury attorneys investigate the accident, gather relevant evidence from the scene of the accident, talk to witnesses, search for previous complaints, and build the strongest case possible to prove a property owner’s negligence led to the injury. This gives accident victims the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for their claim.
Some of the many things slip and fall attorneys do include:
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our slip and fall accident lawyers have had many clients that try to pursue their case on their own only to later realize that the case is consuming their life and that they can’t google what to do in certain situations like how to respond to a “motion to dismiss” from a defendant. Gomez Trial Attorneys is here for you whether your accident just happened and you need an attorney, or you want to hire one because you started working on the case alone and have realized you need help.
Above, we’ve discussed the most common questions victims ask our San Diego slip and fall accident lawyers, but you. Still, you may have other questions about the specific details of our potential claim as well as the experience of our firm. We’d be to answer your questions during a free slip and fall injury case consultation. Contact us at 833-GET-GOMEZ or here to set up your evaluation.
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