Determining Fault in California Slip and Fall Cases
A so-called “slip and fall” accident typically involves a victim suffering serious injuries because of an accident that is usually caused by another party’s negligence. In many cases, premises owners will claim that the victims themselves were at fault for their own injuries.
Not all dangers are obvious, however. Hidden and unexpected problems with seemingly safe settings can lead to people being severely injured. Victims in such cases do not deserve to be blamed for the harm they have suffered.
When a person is injured in a slip and fall accident in California, he or she should avoid getting into a dispute with the premises owner. Instead, he or she should immediately seek medical attention so a doctor or other medical professional can conduct an independent examination and accurate diagnosis of his or her condition. Immediately thereafter, the victim will want to seek legal representation.
Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in California
Slip and fall accidents can occur in a variety of different settings, including places open to the general public as well as private premises. In both scenarios, a property owner has an obligation to warn guests of any potentially dangerous conditions.
In most cases, the insurance company for the property owner will attempt to contact the victim and try to get him or her to accept a settlement for his or her injuries. In many cases, these initial offers do not account for the full lifetime of care that victims will require.
Some of the most common settings for slip and fall accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Parking lots
Damages for California Slip and Fall Injuries
California is considered a comparative fault state, which means that a victim’s own negligence in an accident can effectively reduce his or her share of any monetary award. Under a comparative fault system, a plaintiff’s award will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is allocated to him or her.
Comparative fault is an especially common claim in many slip and fall cases because defendants will often claim that a victim’s injuries were entirely the result of his or her own negligence. If a jury agrees that a defendant is not liable for a victim’s injuries, then the plaintiff’s own degree of responsibility becomes irrelevant.
When a defendant is found to be liable and awards a plaintiff $100,000 but also rules that a plaintiff was 25 percent responsible for his or her injuries, then, the award will be reduced to $75,000. California is known as a pure comparative fault state, which means that this manner of reducing jury awards holds true in all slip and fall actions—even those cases in which the plaintiff’s share or responsibility for the accident exceeds 50 percent.
Find a Slip and Fall Attorney in Los Angeles
Our firm fights to get full and fair compensation for people injured in all kinds of slip and fall accidents. You can have us provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (310) 954-7248 to schedule a free consultation.