Slip & Fall Attorneys in San Diego, California
There are many reasons someone may bring forward a personal injury claim against another individual in California. Any kind of personal injury claim requires a detailed and accurate knowledge of the laws involved. Nowhere is this more important than if you believe you have a premises liability claim due to unsafe conditions or hazards on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents, in particular, can result in serious injuries.
No one should go through this difficult process alone. If you’ve recently been hurt in a slip and fall accident and would like to speak with a personal injury attorney about potential compensation, reach out to us at the Law Offices of Barry Pasternack. We’re able to represent accident victims in San Diego, California, and the surrounding areas including Ramona, Imperial County, National City, Chula Vista, Oceanside, El Cajon, and Julian.
Premises Liability in California
The most important legal concept to understand in cases like this is that of premises liability. This essentially states that a property owner is responsible for keeping their property well maintained and free from hazards to prevent accidents. If you can prove that they were negligent in this respect, they may then be found liable for any injuries that occur and you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Importantly, in order to bring a lawsuit forward, it’s not enough to simply show that a hazard existed—you must prove that the owner either knew about the danger or should have known about the danger, and did nothing to address it or provide sufficient notice of the potential hazard. Furthermore, you must be on the property legally, either as an invitee (a guest of the owner) or a licensee (for example, a worker who’s been hired for their services).
Premises liability cases can result in several different types of lawsuits:
Slip and fall
Toxic chemical exposure
Ice and snow accidents
Swimming pool accidents
Under state law, the statute of limitations for filing a slip and fall claim is two years from the date of the accident. The one major exception to this is that if you’re filing a lawsuit for an injury on public property, you only have six months to file an administrative claim.
The first thing to determine in cases like this is what party is liable for damages, and this will vary depending on the circumstances of your case. In general, there are four possibilities:
Property owner or homeowner: In many cases, the individual who owns the property will be responsible for damages that occur on it. This is often the homeowner, but in cases where the accident occurred on a rental property, the building owner will likely be held liable.
Business owner: If the accident occurred at a business such as a slip and fall incident at a grocery store, the business owner will be the one liable.
Government entity: If you’re injured on public property such as a city park or inside a governmental building, the government entity will be responsible for paying damages. Remember, with these cases, you only have six months to file a claim, so you’ll need to contact an attorney immediately.
Your own carelessness: In cases where you were the one responsible for the accident occurring, you likely won’t be able to pursue damages from anyone. This could occur if you neglected to heed warnings about a potential hazard.
When you work with your slip and fall attorney, you’ll need to gather evidence to prove liability on the part of the property owner. The first thing you’ll need to demonstrate is the property owner’s duty of care was neglected and that this neglect led to your injury.
For example, if a homeowner knew there were rotted-out boards in their deck that posed a danger and then you fell through these boards, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against them. In this case, the owner should have either replaced the boards or issued a sufficient warning to his guests to stay away from that area.
Lastly, you’ll need to show that the owner should have known it was dangerous by “reasonable” person standards.
California’s Comparative Negligence Rule
Another key component of a personal injury case in California is the pure comparative negligence rule. This states that fault can be shared by more than one party in a case like this. For instance, if you’re found to be 20% at fault for an accident happening, your final compensation will also be reduced by 20%. So if the total settlement was $20,000, you would only receive $16,000.
Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys Serving
San Diego, California
If you live in or around the San Diego, California area and would like to consult with an experienced attorney about a recent slip and fall accident, reach out to our team. At Law Offices of Barry Pasternack, our attorneys are here to help you move forward.