Understanding California’s Premises Liability Laws
Every property owner owes a duty of care to the lawful visitors to their property. Lawful visitors include those who have the property owner’s express or implied permission to enter the property. These may include individuals the property owner has invited onto their property for their own purposes, such as friends, neighbors, and relatives, and also those with implied permission to enter the property for their own purposes, such as utility workers and mail carriers.
Property owners are expected to address any foreseeable safety hazards that arise on their property. If they cannot correct such issues immediately, they are required to either post a clearly visible warning sign so that lawful visitors can easily recognize the hazard, or they must provide clear verbal warnings of such hazards before lawful visitors encounter them. When a property owner fails in this responsibility and a lawful visitor suffers a slip and fall, the property owner is liable for their damages.
It’s important to note that private property owners are not obligated to prevent injuries to intruders, trespassers, and any unlawful interlopers on their property. For example, if an individual breaks into someone else’s home and falls down their stairs, they cannot sue the homeowner for their injury because they did not have permission to enter the property.
To succeed with your slip-and-fall accident claim under the state’s premises liability laws, you are required to prove that the hazard that caused your slip and fall was something the property owner reasonably should have recognized and addressed. Alternatively, you may need to prove that while the property owner attempted to correct the hazard, their efforts were insufficient, or they did not use a responsible method for attempting to correct the hazard.
Claiming Compensation for Your Slip-and-Fall Accident in Los Angeles
Any slip-and-fall accident has the potential to cause life-changing harm to the victim. The severity of this type of incident typically depends on the height, location, and angle of the fall. For example, if the victim fell down a flight of stairs due to a broken floorboard or damaged handrail, they could hit their head and suffer a traumatic brain injury, sustain one or more bone fractures as they fall, or even suffer penetrating injuries if they fall on something sharp or otherwise hazardous.
As a result of their fall, the victim could face very expensive medical bills, and they may be unable to work while they recover from their injuries. These financial matters can quickly compound into a very challenging situation for the victim and their family. If you find yourself in this situation, an experienced Los Angeles slip-and-fall accident attorney is an essential asset to have on your side. They can assist you in claiming compensation for your damages, such as:
- Medical expenses. The defendant responsible for the injury is required to repay the full cost of all the medical care you required for the injuries you suffered in your slip and fall. This includes both immediate and long-term medical expenses if you sustained a severe injury that demands ongoing treatment. Hospital bills, ambulance fees, surgical costs, and any costs associated with necessary ongoing rehabilitative care are all claimable losses in a personal injury action.
- Lost wages. When you cannot work and earn an income due to your slip-and-fall injury, the property owner responsible for the damages is liable for repaying your lost wages. Your Los Angeles slip-and-fall accident attorney can help prove the full amount of your lost income, including any vacation time or paid time off you were forced to use in the aftermath of the accident.
- Lost future income. Unfortunately, some slip-and-fall accidents cause catastrophic injuries that prevent victims from returning to their jobs in the future. If this applies to your situation, your legal team can calculate how much future income you would have been able to earn if the injury had not occurred and add this amount to your claim.
- Property damage. If any of your personal belongings were damaged or destroyed in your accident, you can claim compensation for these losses as well.
Once you have an experienced Los Angeles slip-and-fall accident attorney review the details of your injury and the long-term financial impact it may have, you may discover that your economic damages amount to much more than you initially anticipated. However, you not only have the right to seek repayment of the direct financial losses you suffered from your accident but also the pain and suffering you experienced.
California law does not cap pain and suffering damages in premises liability claims, so there are no limits as to how much compensation you can seek for the physical pain and emotional distress you suffered from your slip-and-fall accident. Attorneys in Los Angeles generally use two methods to calculate appropriate pain and suffering compensation for their clients:
- When a victim is expected to make a complete recovery from their injuries in the near future, their attorney is more likely to seek pain and suffering compensation that reflects the number of days it takes them to recover. This per diem calculation includes a set amount of daily compensation multiplied by the number of days it takes the client to reach full recovery.
- If a victim has suffered catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent damage, their attorney is more likely to use the multiplier method. This entails multiplying the client’s total economic losses in the claim by a factor that represents the severity of their condition, usually one to five.
Many personal injury claimants in Los Angeles receive more in pain and suffering compensation than they obtain for their economic damages when they have suffered severe injuries. Any slip-and-fall accident has the potential to result in permanent brain damage, spinal injury, and other catastrophic harm that can negatively impact the victim’s ability to work and live independently.
When you select Easton & Easton as your legal counsel in a slip-and-fall accident claim, our goal is to help you recover as fully as possible as quickly as possible. Our firm has helped many clients recover from severe personal injuries, and we know how to uncover all the channels of compensation available in your claim. When you select Easton & Easton to represent your slip-and-fall accident claim, you are investing in decades of experience and will have a responsive advocate ready to provide guidance and support through every stage of your case.
Slip & Fall Lawyer FAQs
Q: How Much Time Does a Slip-and-Fall Case Take to Settle in Los Angeles?
A: When a defendant’s liability for a slip-and-fall accident is clear, it benefits them to seek a swift settlement with the plaintiff, avoiding the time investment and legal expenses that litigation would entail. If you have an experienced Los Angeles slip-and-fall accident attorney representing you, it may only take a few weeks for you to resolve the case, but if the defendant demands a trial or refuses to settle for any reason, resolving the case in court can take much longer. Your Los Angeles slip-and-fall attorney can offer an estimate of how long it could take to finalize your case.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for My Slip-and-Fall Accident in Los Angeles?
A: When you can prove another party is liable for your slip-and-fall accident, they are responsible for all associated damages. You have the right to seek repayment of your economic losses, such as lost income, property damage, and medical bills, and you can also seek repayment of anticipated future economic losses that result from the incident in question. When it comes to your pain and suffering, the amount you can claim depends on how serious your injuries were and whether they caused any permanent harm. Your attorney can help maximize the compensation you win from a successful slip-and-fall accident case.
Q: What Happens if I’m Partially at Fault for My Accident?
A: If you share liability with the defendant for your slip-and-fall accident, the state’s pure comparative negligence statute would apply to your case. This means you would lose a percentage of your total case award equal to your percentage of fault for causing the accident in question. For example, if the judge handling your case determines that you were 25% responsible for causing your slip and fall, you lose 25% of your case award, and the defendant would only pay 75% of the total damages sought in your claim.
Q: Is Hiring an Attorney Really Necessary for a Slip-and-Fall Claim?
A: Technically, no, you are under no obligation to hire legal counsel for a slip-and-fall accident claim in Los Angeles. However, trying to handle your case alone would likely be more challenging than you may initially expect. You could encounter legal issues that you do not know how to resolve by yourself, or you could unintentionally settle for far less compensation than you legally deserve. Having legal counsel that you can trust assist you with your claim significantly improves your chances of reaching a positive outcome to your recovery efforts.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney?
A: Easton & Easton will not add to your financial concerns in the aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident by charging exorbitant upfront legal fees or expensive ongoing fees throughout your case. We represent personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay a fee once we win your case, and there is no fee at all if we cannot obtain compensation for your damages. Our fee will be a percentage of the total amount we recover on your behalf, and you keep the rest.
Trust Our Los Angeles Slip-and-Fall Lawyers
After a slip-and-fall injury, you need to focus on your recovery. Having an experienced attorney can help you determine if a personal injury case can ease some of your burden.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have earned a strong professional reputation as a leading choice for personal injury counsel in Los Angeles, and our firm has successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of civil claims. Your slip-and-fall accident may have been very damaging, and you may have lots of pressing legal questions about how you can recover. Whatever your situation entails, we can provide the guidance and counsel you need to reach a positive conclusion to your claim. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a Los Angeles slip-and-fall accident attorney and learn more about the legal services we offer.