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San Diego slip and fall accidents can happen at home, at a business, at the airport, at a shopping mall, at a theme park, next to a swimming pool, or almost any place else that you can imagine. Property owners in San Diego have a legal obligation to maintain safe premises for those who visit and to warn visitors about known hazards. Negligent San Diego property owners who don’t remove hazards from their property or warn visitors about potential dangers open themselves up to liability for damages when someone gets hurt in a slip and fall accident on their property.
A severe San Diego slip and fall accident often leads to serious, sometimes fatal injuries, creating economic stress for victims and their families. Catastrophic injuries can 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.
The award-winning legal team at Gomez Trial Attorneys has been advocating for accident injury victims for decades, including those who suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident. The firm’s commitment to client service and professional excellence has led to tens of millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims and their families. Our most recent case outcomes involving slip and fall accidents range between almost $800,000 and more than $16 million. They include:
These settlement and verdict amounts for clients who were injured in slip and fall accidents do not guarantee a particular financial outcome for your claim. Each slip and fall case has underlying facts that add to or detract from its value. The skilled slip and fall attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys have the knowledge and resources to build a strong case against the property owner responsible for your injuries, giving you the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries.
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 unintentional falls in San Diego County alone, approximately 300 of whom are over age 65. Yet, the elderly are not the only group vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. Children and adults can also sustain injuries in slip and fall accidents.
Snow and ice aren’t a problem in Southern California, but other environmental factors can lead to slip and fall accidents. Additionally, we include all kinds of unintentional falls under the slip and fall umbrella, including trip and fall accidents.
Examples of dangerous conditions that can result in slip and fall accidents and injuries may include:
Slip and fall accident claims are based on a property owner’s negligence, which an attorney must prove in civil court or demonstrate to an insurance company to reach a settlement or win a jury award. If you suffered injuries on another person’s property, that does not automatically mean the owner was negligent.
California law states: “Everyone 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.”
Determining liability in a slip and fall accident is sometimes an easy task for lawyers, investigators, and the courts. Often, however, cases are complex, making it especially important for slip and fall accident victims to seek out a skilled attorney.
Prevailing in a slip and fall case in San Diego requires the plaintiff to prove:
Ultimately, determining liability is akin to proving negligence. All property owners have a duty to maintain their premises. Negligent property owners breach that duty and expose visitors to dangerous conditions and potential injuries in a slip and fall accident or another type of accident.
Some considerations lawyers, insurance companies, and courts use to evaluate whether a property owner has breached their duty in a specific case include:
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. If an accident victim reaches a settlement with the owner’s insurance company or a court rules in the victim’s favor, the victim can recover some or all of the following losses related to their slip and fall accident injuries:
California law also allows surviving family members to take legal action if a loved one dies as a result of a slip and fall 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.
Additionally, 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. Your San Diego slip and fall lawyer can answer any questions you have related to the death of a loved one after a slip and fall accident.
A property owner who is named in a personal injury lawsuit and 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. Typically, personal injury attorneys investigate a slip and fall accident claim, 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.
Whether in a residential setting like an apartment rental, or a commercial setting like a local business, San Diego is home to a wealth of opportunities for a slip and fall injury. A slip and fall accident at one of these places can leave you with substantial physical injuries, from a broken hip or broken bones in your hands and arms to traumatic brain injury.
If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident in San Diego, consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about your right to compensation or to ask questions about the specific details of your claim. Below, we cover some of the most commonly asked questions regarding slip and falls in San Diego.
If you suffer a slip and fall accident, whether in a San Diego business or a private home, the steps you take immediately after the accident can have a substantial bearing on your right to compensation and your overall physical wellbeing. Make sure that you:
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 slip and fall injuries took place. If you suffer back and neck injuries in your slip and fall 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 regarding your slip and fall.
Collect evidence, if you can. 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.
Contact an attorney. As soon after your slip and fall accident as possible, get in touch with an experienced San Diego slip and fall injury attorney to learn more about your rights, including your right to compensation after a serious accident.
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. While that report from your doctor could help establish exactly when your injuries took place, the facility or entity that caused your accident may still bear liability for your injuries. Talk to an attorney as soon as you discover your injuries to learn more about the steps you need to take to file a slip and fall injury claim and seek the compensation you deserve.
Private homeowners and public business owners bear a similar duty of care to visitors to that property. If you suffer a serious injury due to negligence on the part of a homeowner, you may still have grounds for a slip and fall injury claim.
Suppose, for example, that 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 slip and fall injury claim.
Many people worry that filing a slip and fall injury claim against a friend or family member will cause a breach in that 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 slip and fall injury and the associated bills without filing a slip and fall injury claim.
As the party 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.
If this intimidates you or if your health insurance company stonewalls or denies a claim you feel it should cover, let us know. Maybe we can help.
You suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident in a San Diego business. A few days or even a couple of weeks after the accident, you may receive a call from the insurance company, indicating that they wish to offer you a settlement for your injuries. Unfortunately, while this sounds like a good faith gesture on the part of the insurance company, it may not reflect the compensation you really deserve for your injuries.
Call us without delay.
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. An attorney 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.
While the premises owner often bears liability in a slip and fall accident, the premises owner does not automatically bear liability for any injuries that occur on the property.
A construction company that recently worked on the property, for example, may leave behind hazards, including debris, that can cause injury. A business operating on a property leased from another company may bear liability for any injuries sustained on that property or a premises owner who fails to take care of needed maintenance may bear liability.
You may also find that a specific company operating temporarily on the premises may share liability for an accident. For example, a convention guest who runs wires down the aisle, posing a trip hazard.
Talk to a San Diego slip and fall attorney to learn more about who may bear liability for your injuries. Often, you may find that more than one party shares liability for a slip and fall, which may increase the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries. An attorney can also help determine what portion of liability each party bears.
You may still have grounds for a slip and fall claim, even if the premises owner does not carry insurance. Sometimes, as in the case of a private homeowner, it can prove much more difficult to collect on your claim if there is no insurance coverage. On the other hand, in the case of a slip and fall at a business where the business owner does not carry adequate insurance, you may still recover the funds you need in a slip and fall injury claim. Contact your attorney to learn more about your right to compensation and how the property owner’s insurance may affect it.
After a slip and fall accident, the amount you can recover may depend on several factors. First, your attorney will take a look at the insurance policy that covers the liable party. That policy may have strict limits that may determine how much compensation you can recover after your accident. Second, your attorney may need to assess the extent of your injuries. Severe injuries often lead to higher medical bills and much more severe limitations, which can make it easier for you to recover the compensation you deserve. Relatively minor injuries, on the other hand, may lead to a lower value claim.
Talk to your attorney about the extent of your injuries and the limitations those injuries have caused in your life, including lost time at work or lost enjoyment of activities that once filled your life. Your attorney can give you a better idea of how much compensation you can expect for your specific claim.
Yes. Whether you suffered a broken hip, traumatic brain injury, or back and neck injuries from your fall, an attorney can help you better understand your right to compensation and help you effectively fight for the compensation you deserve.
An attorney can:
Gomez Trial Attorneys believes that every San Diego resident deserves a hazard-free home, workplace, and business community. If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident in San Diego, consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about what to do next.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our attorneys understand the physical, mental, and economic challenges that slip and fall accident victims face in the wake of a severe injury. We cannot take away your physical pain, but we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries if you have a viable claim. Financial compensation does not turn back time, but you should not have to suffer economically because of a property owner’s careless decisions or laziness. You also deserve compensation for the mental anguish and emotional stress you have experienced as a result of your accident and injury.
An experienced San Diego slip and fall attorney can help you through this difficult time and guide you through the claims process and a lawsuit, if necessary, giving you time to focus on healing and recovery. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys online or at (619) 237-3490 to discuss the events that led to your slip and fall accident, determine your eligibility for compensation, and get advice about the best course of action after your slip and fall accident injury. Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.
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