Ventura Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you’ve been injured on a property in California, contact experienced Ventura slip and fall lawyer Craig Murphy for a free one-on-one consultation.
Think about the last time you were out running errands. Maybe you went to a convenience store to get something to drink. Or perhaps you were out grocery shopping. Whatever you were doing, did you pay close attention to the ground you walked on? Did you make absolutely sure the ground was perfect, with no standing water, ice, cracks or other imperfections in the surface? Probably not, and if you did, it’s doubtful you paid this much attention to where you were walking every single moment you were completing your errand.
So imagine your surprise when you are walking to your car, down a store aisle or out the door when the next thing you know you are airborne and fall hard onto your back or side. You’re in serious pain and might have even broken something as a result of you slipping on standing water on the floor. All because the owner of an establishment failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the premises was safe for customers.
So what now? What you thought was a 30 minute trip is now an overnight stay in a hospital’s emergency room. Now your mind is racing about the things that you need to get done, but can’t because you’re injured. Will you be able to complete that project at work by the deadline? Who will be able to take care of your family while you’re healing from your injuries? What about paying for your medical bills? Even with medical insurance, your deductible could be thousands of dollars and you don’t have that kind of cash sitting around in a bank account.
The good news is that California law provides legal relief for these types of situations. The bad news is that getting legal compensation isn’t easy, especially with business owners and insurance companies try to play hardball. That’s where a Ventura slip and fall lawyer can be extremely helpful in getting you the compensation you are entitled to pursuant to the law.
Slip and Fall Law in California
Like many other states, California’s slip and fall liability law is based on the theory of negligence. The theory of negligence imposes legal liability when:
- A duty exists,
- There is a breach of the duty,
- There are damages, and
- There is a causal connection between the damages and the breach of the duty.
Applying the above hypothetical to these elements of negligence:
- There was a duty for the premises to be kept safe for customers,
- This duty was breached when there was standing water left on the store floor,
- You were injured and have incurred medical bills, lost wages or other damages, and
- Your injuries were caused by the failure to clean up the standing water.
If you are the plaintiff, you will have the burden of proving all of these things in court. At any one of these steps, you could encounter arguments from the defendant, such as:
- They didn’t own, possess or control the premises where you were hurt, so therefore they had no duty to clean up the floor.
- Your injuries weren’t caused by the fall.
- You were partially responsible for the fall.
This last defense is highly likely because California is a comparative negligence state.
How Comparative Negligence Works in California
The basic idea of comparative negligence is that everyone involved in an accident should only be responsible for their particular level of fault. There are different versions of comparative negligence, but California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that a plaintiff’s monetary recovery in a lawsuit will be reduced by their level of fault.
For example, if you suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of your slip and fall on the pool of water while running your errands, but a court concludes you were 40% at fault because you were looking at your phone when you fell, then you would only recover $60,000. This is because your $100,000 award would be reduced by your level of fault which is 40%.
Damages for a Slip and Fall
If you were injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, you can recover a variety of damages that are the result of the negligence of the defendant. These damages can include things such as:
- Lost income.
- Medical bills.
- Pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages.
Punitive damages are fairly rare in a slip and fall case and are usually reserved for situations where the court feels that the defendant should be punished for his or her conduct. For instance, if the store owner deliberately left the water on the floor because he thought it would be funny to see a customer fall on it, then that might warrant imposing punitive damages on him.
Deadline to Bring a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Slip and fall lawsuits are personal injury legal actions, which means under California law, you would have two years from the date you were injured to bring the lawsuit. If you suffered property damage in addition to personal injuries, you would have three years to file a lawsuit, but only in regard to recovering compensation for property damage.
These deadlines are commonly referred to as statutes of limitations. When a lawsuit is brought after the applicable statute of limitations deadline has passed, it’s really hard to continue your lawsuit. Luckily, there are a few exceptions, but these are hard to successfully argue and usually require the services of a Ventura slip and fall lawyer.
Are You Looking for a Ventura Slip and Fall Lawyer?
Let’s talk. Really, you and me. Call today for a free one-on-one consultation.
Follow Us for Daily Updates on Facebook