| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Fitness Gym Injury Claims

Under personal injury law in California, when someone is injured in a fitness center accident, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. Typically, injuries in fitness centers are caused by negligent gym owners, instructors, trainers, third party contractors who are responsible for the maintenance and inspection of equipment, or other gym members.   COMMON ACCIDENTS IN GYMS   There are a number of hazards that can lead to injury or even death in a gym. Gyms involve a number of people and often have large and heavy equipment. If this equipment is faulty and does not work properly, it can lead to injury. Likewise, if equipment is not properly maintained it may pose a safety risk. Additionally, it is common for employees to exhibit negligent behavior or even intentionally exhibit behavior that may pose a risk to the health and safety of gym members.   The actual gym itself may pose potential slip and fall threats, as surfaces may become dirty or slick. Finally, gyms often have many members using the facility at any given time which may lead to safety threats from irresponsible gym members or altercation between members.   POTENTIAL DAMAGES RELATED TO GYM INJURIES   The injuries one may sustain at a gym range from minor to severe. The implications of one’s injuries depend on the magnitude of the injury. It is common however for those injured in accidents at a gym to suffer the following damages:   Pain and suffering both physically and emotionally Lost wages from missing work due to medical complications Extensive medical bills Property damage Punitive damages   PROVING NEGLIGENCE FOR GYM INJURIES   In order to show that either the gym, trainer, contractor or another individual is liable, it is necessary to prove they were acting negligently when the accident happened. In order to determine negligence, it is important to look at what behavior caused the injury, whether or not the individual who caused the accident owned the victim a duty of care and if so, whether that duty of care was violated due to the behavior.   GYM OWNER’S DUTY   California law requires that a gym owner ensure that their facility is safe, and that all equipment is in good working condition and safe for gym member’s use. This means gym owners must maintain and upkeep the property to ensure it is in good condition. They must also regularly inspect the machines to ensure that they work properly. When equipment is damaged, the owner must make any necessary repairs. When equipment is undergoing repairs, the owner must have visible warning signs as well as warning signs for any dangerous condition throughout the facility.   EMPLOYEE AND TRAINER LIABLITY   If an employee of the gym is not conducting themselves appropriate in the gym and is acting negligent, the employer can be held liable. If an employee is failing to supervise the facility or is acting intentionally inappropriate the gym owner may be liable. Similarly, if there is an insufficient staff available to monitor the facility or if hiring is done negligently, the employer may be liable.   Similarly, if a personal trainer at the gym is completing their job negligently, they can be liable. This may occur when they instruct a gym member to do a workout incorrectly and it results in injury. A trainer can be liable for injuries which are a result of their negligent or reckless instructions.   CONTACT AN ATTORNEY TODAY   If you have been injured due to the negligent acts of a gym owner, employee or trainer, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law who can assess your case for free and determine if you have right to compensation for your injuries.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Other

Sexual Misconduct Cases in California

Sexual misconduct is a term that is used to describe a variety of sexual related crimes and behaviors. “Sexual misconduct” often refers to someone who is behaving in a sexual way towards another person without obtaining that person’s consent for the behavior. Misconduct also often occurs in relationships where the dynamic of power between partners is shifted insomuch that the partner with power uses such to engage in sexual relations. TYPES OF BEHAVIOR THAT ARE CONSIDERED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT In California, a wide range of behaviors fall under the umbrella of sexual misconduct. At the heart of these behaviors is the perpetrator acting in a sexual way without receiving consent. For example, if someone repeatedly hounds an uninterested party for sexual favors, and the other party shows discomfort and disinterest, this is sexual misconduct. If someone exposes themselves to another person without receiving that person’s consent, it is misconduct. If a person makes aggressive or even suggestive comments to someone who has not shown interest, this can be considered to be sexual misconduct. Given the nature of these types of offenses, it is common for misconduct to happen to individuals while on dates or with a current or past partner. For this reason, domestic and intimate partner violence, as well as stalking and dating violence may be considered sexual misconduct. WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT The most important thing to do is to get yourself to a safe place. Once safe, you can take the following steps: Seek medical help. Depending on the sexual misconduct, you may need to seek medical help. Medical professionals are trained to assist with individuals who have experienced a sexual crime and receiving medical treatment can be important in preserving evidence. Receiving psychological help in the form of a therapist can help as you process what has happened to you. Report the misconduct. It is often difficult to talk about what happened, as it is extremely violating and personal. Despite doing nothing wrong, you may experience self-blame and embarrassment. Speaking to someone about what has happened can help you receive the support and help you need. Preserve evidence. Your decision to report the misconduct is very personal, and it may take time for you to decide. It can therefore be extremely helpful to save evidence. Depending on the misconduct, this may include anything from clothing you were wearing to messages and pictures. Reach out to an attorney. When you decide you are ready to pursue legal action, contact a qualified attorney who can assist you in holding the perpetrator responsible. An attorney who is experienced in handling cases regarding sexual misconduct can ensure that you are heard and that your claim succeeds. PURSING CIVIL DAMAGES The civil justice system, unlike the criminal justice systems, allows survivors of sexual misconduct to bring claims for monetary damages. These claims, brought against the defendant, can help you receive compensation for your suffering related to their misconduct. Whether it is medical expenses, pain and suffering both of a physical and mental nature, loss of companionship, lost wages, or loss of earning potential. If you have suffered a loss of any kind due to another’s sexual misconduct towards you, you have a right to seek restitution. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law today who will provide you with honest, supportive, and aggressive

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Negligence

Electrocution & Electric Burn Injury Claims in California

Electrocution and electrical burns are regarded as damage that occurs to either the skin or internal organs following a person’s direct contact with an electrical current. Electrocution is the fifth leading cause of work-related injury deaths throughout the United States. Even when the victim does not die, they may experience severe burns, heart attacks, broken bone, busies, and spinal and neurological damage. Electrocution deaths and injuries are most likely to happen to utility workers, electricians, and individuals who work in the construction industry. However, it is possible for anyone to suffer an injury or wrongful death through electrocution and electric burns. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of an electrocution, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law. An attorney can assess your case and help determine if the electrocution or burn was due to another party’s negligence, and if so, can seek compensation for your damages. HOW ELECTRICTY CAN DAMAGE THE BODY Electrical burns are a result of electrocution. These burns are different from both chemical and thermal burns, as they cause subdermal damage. While electrical burns can cause surface damage, they often damage tissues deep under the skin. These burns can result in a wide range of damages, and in the extreme can cause shock to the brain, injuries to other organs, and even strain to the heart that may lead to death. In addition to damage to the skin, body systems which can be damaged include: Cardiovascular system: The heart is at risk for experiencing severe trauma due to electrocution. It is common for electrocution to result in asystole, which is when there is an absence of cardiac rhythm. This is also known as ventricular fibrillation, which can create rhythms that can be fatal is not treated promptly. Central nervous system: When the current from electricity passes through the body, this can damage both the spinal court and the brain. When this happens, the victim may be unconscious, experience amnesia or be confused about what happened. Long term issues such as psychiatric problems, delayed spinal cord issues, seizures, and damage to the brain and peripheral nerves may occur. Respiratory system: While the lungs are not commonly damaged by electrical currents, injuries can result when a current passes through eh chest or through the brain area that controls breathing. This can lead to difficulty breathing. Musculoskeletal system: Following electrocution, the muscles can suffer damage as a result of the prolonged tetany that can lead to kidney damage and even rhabdomyolysis. ELECTRICAL ACCIDENTS IN THE HOME Electrical burns and electrocution can happen in a variety of ways. They can take place in the workplace as well as in residential areas and in homes. Examples include: When high voltage power lines are left hanging low near homes When construction professionals or contractors making in-home repairs are negligent and leave power cords near water or fail to cut the power while making repairs. Defective products in the home, such as curling irons, power tools and hair dryers can also cause electrical injuries. REACH OUT TO AN ATTORNEY IF YOU HAVE SUFFERED AN INJURY DUE TO ELECTRICAL BURNS If you or a family member has suffered from an electrical burn, reach out to an attorney. Electrical injury and electrocution cases can be extremely complex and often require special expertise. An attorney can best ensure you receive any and all compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Dog Bite

Defenses to Dog Bite Claims in California

When someone is bitten by a dog in California, it is common that the dog’s owners will be held strictly liable for any injuries which result from the bite. There are, however, a number of exceptions which exist that may decrease the liability of the owner.   If you have been involved in a dog bite accident, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law who can help ensure you are fairly and adequately represented.   UNDERSTANDING STRICT LIABILITY   In California, the statute relevant to dog bites makes clear that a dog owner can be held strictly liable when their dog causes any injury. This requires the owner to be responsible for compensation for injuries if the dog was owned by the defendant, the victim was on public property or on private property with permission or invitation, the victim was actually bitten by the defendant’s dog and the victim sustained an injury from the bite.   There is not a “one free bite” rule in California, so even if a dog has not bitten anyone before or shown any vicious tendencies, the owner cannot avoid liability. There are, however, a number of defenses which may reduce or rid the owner of liability.   POTENTIAL DEFENSES   The Bite The statute refers very specifically to dog bites, so it is necessary that the injury sustained was from an actual bite. If the victim was knocked over or jumped on by the dog, then the statute does not apply. Even if a dog’s action of jumping or knocking over a victim, and this causes an injury, the victim may not be able to recover under strict liability.   It is not necessary for the dog bite to break the skin to qualify under the statute. If, because of the bite, a victim experiences nerve damage or bruising rather than broken skin, this is sufficient to satisfy the statute.   Trespass In order to recover for the dog bite under strict liability, it is necessary that the victim was either on public property or lawfully on private property when the attack took place. If the victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the accident, the trespass will constitute a defense for a claim of strict liability.   Assuming the Risk If the victim of the dog bite assumed the risk then this will bar their recovery under the strict liability statute. To assume the risk essentially means that the victim consented to participate in an activity wherein they knew of the dangerous nature and potential outcome. As this relates to dog bites, if a victim interacts with a dog despite being informed by an owner of its potential to bite, or if the victim ignores a “beware of dog” sign, these will prevent a victim from recovering under strict liability. This defense is also applicable to those who work with an assume control of the dog, such as groomers, trainers, veterinarian, etc.   Provocation If the victim provokes the dog attack by teasing, hitting, abusing, tormenting, or chasing the animal, they may not sue under strict liability. Even when the provocation is unintentional, such as disturbing a dog’s food, invading its space, or stepping on it or its tail may be a sufficient defense.   This does not apply to children under the age of 5, however, as they are not old enough to know to avoid provoking an animal.   CONTACT AN ATTORNEY   If you have been injured in a dog bite accident, reach out today to the attorneys at Silva Injury Law, who can assess your case and help you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Other

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in California

Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law in California and is viewed as a form of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment in the workplace refers to behavior such as unwelcome sexual advances, or physical, visual, or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. This behavior may create an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment and is based on an employee’s sex. It not necessary that the offensive conduct is motivated by sexual desire. Under California law it is sufficient that the offensive conduct be based upon an employee’s perceived or actual sex or gender identify, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, and gender related medical conditions.   If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, speak with an experienced attorney who can ensure you are compensated for any damages or lost work due to the harassment.   COMMON EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE   Harassment in the workplace can manifest in a variety of ways. The following are examples of common behavior that can be harassing in nature and lead to a hostile work environment:   Unwanted touching, such as back rubs, pinching, “accidental” brushes against your body Derogatory or sexual comments, jokes, epithets or slurs Discussion of sexual acts A threat to reduce your pay, hours, benefits, or other conditions of employment unless you comply with a sexual request An offer for benefits or employment in exchange for sexual favors The display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects Graphic or sexually degrading comments     WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN HARASSED AT WORK   If you have experienced or are currently experiencing harassment in the workplace, the following are important steps to take:   Read your company’s sexual harassment policy, which often will outline the actions to take when harassment is occurring. Be sure to put complaints in writing and keep detailed records of all incidents of harassment. In the records be sure to specify the date and time of the harassment and all individuals involved. Based on the guidelines in your company’s sexual harassment policy, reach out and inform your employer regarding the harassment. Failing to report the harassment may impact your ability to pursue remedies in the future, so it is incredibly important to report. File a complaint with the state or federal agency regarding the harassment.   PROVING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE   In California, in order to establish sexual harassment, you must show that the conduct was either pervasive or so severe that it affected an employee’s ability to work. When the conduct affects employees’ ability to work, it is known as a “hostile work environment.” Not only can the target of the behavior have a harassment claim, but those who are forced to repeatedly witness inappropriate comments and actions can pursue a claim.   If you have been the victim of a hostile work environment or have been the target of sexual harassment in the workplace, and your employer has failed to adequately remedy the problem, reach out to an attorney. It is not uncommon for employers to refuse to act, or for the reporting of the harassment to lead to more harassment. In these situations, an attorney can guide you and protect your rights.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Personal Injury Claims Against CALTRANS

The state of California has both its own pathway and repair construction agency, commonly known as “Caltrans.” Caltrans falls underneath the California Department of Transportation (“DOT”) and manages California’s highway system, including both the Expressway System and California Freeway. Caltrans is also involved in the state’s public transportation systems.   Of the many automobile accidents that occur throughout California, some are caused by conditions of the roads, and in many instances, due to falling objections or debris from Caltrans workers.   If you have been involved in an automobile accident which was triggered by the negligence of contractors or state Caltrans employees, speak to an attorney who can help you receive any compensation you may be entitled to.   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION’S RESPONSIBILITES   Caltrans is responsible for making repairs on the roadways. It is also responsible for warning drivers of dangers or treats on the roadway. When Caltrans is aware of a danger and fails to disclose and warn, this is considered reckless and negligent.   In addition, the organization is required to fix the freeway when necessary, to repair and provide highway guardrails, and repair any missing or damaged medians. When construction zones are set up, the organization is required to warn drivers of the dangers. This means that drivers must be advised when hazards such as sinkholes or open trenches are present.   Additionally, Caltrans is required to give appropriate training to all their employees and personnel. The failure of Caltrans to satisfy their duties can lead to serious injury and even death.   POTENTIAL DANGERS CAUSED BY CALTRANS NEGLIGENCE   Caltrans may be held liable when an accident and subsequent injury is caused by the state’s construction, repairs, failure to meet warning requirements, metro department, etc.   Examples of dangers which may commonly be caused by Caltrans negligence include the following:   Potholes: When a pothole goes unrepaired it can lead to lasting and significant damage. Objects Falling: Falling concrete, dust from cement or construction, or other materials can fall and create an accident. Repair Vehicles: Caltrans has a significant amount of repair vehicles on and around roads throughout California. When these repair vehicles do not have their supplies, equipment, cargo or chemicals controlled and secured properly, they present a risk for accidents. Manhole Covers: When Caltrans fails to install a proper covering for a manhole or trench, it can create a hazard to drivers and pedestrians. An uncovered manhole can cause significant damage to a vehicle and injuries to passengers, or even cause a pedestrian to fall leading to injury or death.   COMMON INJUIRES RELATED TO CALTRANS NEGLIGENCE   Caltrans negligence can lead to a variety of injuries. These injures can range from minor to severe. Common examples include the following:   Damage to car frame Blown tires and bent wheels Broken windows and windshields Scratches and dents Head wounds Abrasions and Lacerations Damage to eyesight Hearing loss Disfigurement and amputation Lasting psychological trauma Death   SEEK HELP IF YOU HAVE SUFFERED DUE TO CALTRANS NEGLIGENCE   If you been involved in an accident caused by Caltrans negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages. Reach out to a qualified attorney at Silva Injury Law who can represent you and your rights and ensure the responsible parties pay for your damages.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Open and Obvious Defense in Trip and Fall Injury Cases

In a personal injury case, a defendant may attempt to use what is called the “open and obvious” rule as a defense. The “open and obvious” rule is an exception to premises liability law, which can be utilized as a defense by a property owner in order to explain why they should not be held liable for injuries that were a result of a fall on their property.   In order to determine whether the open and obvious rule will apply in a case is a question best assessed by an experienced attorney. Premises liability laws can be complicated and a lawyer who is familiar with these laws and limitations can ensure the best result. If you have been involved in a fall or accident, speak to an attorney at Silva Injury Law who can assess your case and represent your rights.   APPLICATION OF THE OPEN AND OBVIOUS RULE   Property owners have a responsibility to visitors on their property to keep the area safe and free of hazardous conditions. Often property owners are held liable when injury results from their failure to keep conditions safe or to warn of such conditions. The open and obvious rule, however, provides a defense for property owners when the injury results from a clearly dangerous condition. Essentially, visitors are expected to exercise their discretion when they are faced with an obvious and apparent danger.   The Court in California has explained that “Generally, if a danger is so obvious that a person could reasonably be expected to see it, the condition itself serves as a warning, and the landowner is under no further duty to remedy or wan of the condition.” (Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 438.)   Generally, whether or not a dangerous condition is considered to be open and obvious is determined based on the standard of a “reasonable person.” This means that if a certain hazard would be apparent to a reasonable person in the same position, the rule may apply. The standard will be adjusted when the encounter between the injured party and the condition is unusual, such as the injured being of young age.   A defendant who seeks to use the open and obvious rule to show they did not owe a duty of care to the injured plaintiff must show that foreseeability and reasonableness support the application of the rule.     LEGAL PROCESS   The inquiry into whether or not a plaintiff will succeed in an injury claim, and whether a defendant’s open and obvious defense will succeed are fact intensive. Experts play a significant role in determining whether or not the condition was open and obvious, and whether or not the defendant had a duty to remedy the danger.   California Courts also may present the issue of whether a defect is open and obvious to the jury to determine. When this type of issue is presented to a jury, experts play a vital role.   WHEN IT IS NOT A COMPLETE DEFENSE   California Courts have established that the open and obvious rule is not a complete defense when “it is foreseeable that the danger may cause injury despite the fact that it is obvious.” (Osborn v. Mission Ready Mix (1990) 224 Cal.App.3d 104, 122.) This most frequently applies when necessity requires a person to encounter the dangerous condition.   Additionally, even if a condition is considered open and obvious, this does not always bar recovery for damages.   CONTACT AN ATTORNEY   An attorney is in the best position to assist you in proving your case. If you have been injured on another’s property, speak with an attorney at Silva Injury Law who can protect your rights.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims in California?

There are numerous reasons why a person would hire a personal injury attorney to represent them in California. With accidents being one of the leading causes of both injury and death throughout the United States, there are over 400,000 personal injury claims filed each year.   The most common personal injury claims throughout California include the following:   Injuries related to car accidents: Car accidents and subsequent injuries are a leading cause of personal injury lawsuits. Automobile accidents can leave victims with significant injuries that often require expensive medical treatment. If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the damage to your property and for your injuries.   Medical malpractice: While the purpose of doctors and medical professionals is to help us when we are either injured or sick, unfortunately this does not always happen. Medical negligence causes hundreds of thousands of people to experience increased physical suffering and wrongful death per year. When a patient is injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, they may seek compensation from the doctor or hospital for their damages.   Dog bites and animal attacks: There are a significant number of attacks from dogs and other animals in California each day. California imposes strict liability for animals which requires that dog owners be held liable for damages that result from an unprovoked dog bite, even if their dog has not bitten anyone before. Even in instances where a bite does not occur, but injury does, an owner may be liable for damages if they were negligent.   Slip and fall accidents: A slip and fall is when someone falls due to the unsafe conditions on a person or company’s property. A few examples of these unsafe conditions can include cracks in the sidewalk, poorly lit or unmaintained stairwells, and slick floors. When injury results from the improper maintenance of property, the victim may seek compensation from the property owner.   Traumatic injuries: Traumatic injuries can result from a variety of accidents. Common traumatic injuries include spinal cord injuries, amputations, brain injuries, disfigurement and burns. When someone incurs a traumatic injury, they often have extreme medical bills, are unable to work and live as normal, and experience severe amounts of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, with many traumatic injuries, it is rare to ever recover fully.   Construction accidents: Injuries can occur quickly and easily at construction sites. It is not uncommon for employees, patrons, tenants or passing civilians to be injured either at or near the construction site. Construction companies are required to take reasonable steps to minimize any potential risk of harm to employees and the public.   CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED If you or a loved one has been injured by someone’s negligence in California, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law today. An attorney can best assess your case and ensure you receive any compensation you deserve for your damages.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Comparative Fault in California Motorcycle Accident Cases

If you have been involved in an accident while driving your motorcycle, it is likely that the insurance companies and adjusters will attempt to defeat any claims you have through comparative fault. In order to overcome this, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney at Silva Injury Law.   COMPARITIVE FAULT IN CALIFORNIA   It is extremely common in cases involving a motorcycle accident that both the parties involved are partially at fault. When it is not clear that one party is the victim and the other is at fault, the courts will apply what is called the “pure comparative fault” method in order to determine which parties are entitled to compensation and what amount that compensation should be.   California’s comparative fault law is a pure comparative fault standard in cases that involve negligence and injury. Comparative fault, put simply, means that an individual will be compensated for an injury claim based on the individual’s share of the fault for the accident. Essentially, the more you are at-fault for the cause of the accident, the less compensation you will receive for your incurred damages.   As California has a pure comparative fault standard, this allows victims of accidents to recover compensation even if they are as much as 99 percent responsible for the accident.   As an example, you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you have a subsequent claim wroth $100,000. The insurance company can claim that you are 60 percent at fault for causing the crash, and if they succeed the compensation that you receive for your injuries would be reduced by 60 percent.   COMPARATIVE FAULT IN CASES INVOLVING MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS   It is unfortunately common for motorcycle accident victims to be struck by an automobile. These accidents can be the automobile driver’s fault, when they fail to check and see a motorcycle before pulling into an intersection or changing lanes. These accidents can also be the motorcyclist’s fault if they are driving negligently or recklessly. Most likely, it is a combination of fault.   There are unfortunate stereotypes which surround motorcycle drivers. Many believe that bikers are reckless and dangerous in the way they drive, exceeding safe speeds and irresponsibly driving through traffic. Insurance companies have a tendency to rely on these stereotypes and will often allege that a rider is responsible for causing a crash. Insurance companies will use this tactic as a way to reduce the amount they must pay in a claim. Under comparative fault standards, the more blame that is placed on the biker, the less money an insurance company is required to pay.   AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP IN YOUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASE   An experienced personal injury attorney can understand the various tactics used by insurance companies, including the attempted use of comparative fault to reduce the potential value of a valid claim. If you have been injured while driving your motorcycle, you have a right for fair compensation. An attorney at Silva Injury Law can help you navigate insurance companies and comparative fault claims to ensure that negligent and reckless drivers are held responsible for the injuries and suffering they have caused you and your loved ones.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Trivial Defect Defense in Trip and Fall Injury Case

It is unfortunately common for trip and fall incidents to cause serious and lasting injuries. When the tripping and falling has occurred on someone’s property, and it results in injury, there is a potential premises liability case. In the process of determining liability, the court may apply what is called the “trivial defect” doctrine.   If you have been involved in a trip-and-fall incident and were injured, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law who can best navigate your case to ensure you are compensated fairly for your injuries and suffering.   THE TRIVIAL DEFECT DOCTRINE   Before an injured party can recover for their injuries in a trip and fall case, they must prove that the defendant, often the owner of the property, maintained dangerous conditions on the property, and that the owner either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Additionally, the injured party must prove that the condition which caused the fall was not considered a “trivial defect.”   A “trivial defect” in California is generally understood to be when the change in elevation of a walkway is of 3/4 of an inch or less. However, some courts in California have held that a change in elevation of 1.5 inches or less is trivial. What this means in a trip and fall case is that if you trip and fall over a raised portion of a walkway which is less than 1.5 inches, your claim may be discarded. Even if your injuries from falling were severe, a judge may be able to throw out the case completely based on this rule. Despite this, however, there are exceptions to this general rule which may allow a claim to prevail despite the trivial defect doctrine.   EXCEPTIONS TO THE TRIVIAL DEFECT DOCTRINE   The trivial defect doctrine is a fact-based test, meaning the court will determine whether it applies on a case-by-case basis. In cases where the area is well-lit, and you are familiar with the area, and there was nothing liming you from seeing the potential trip hazard, the court will most likely assign blame to you.   However, if it was dark, the lighting was inadequate, you were not familiar with the area, if poor weather conditions or some type of debris concealed the danger, then you can possibly overcome the trivial defect argument. If the court, in looking at all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the fall, determines there were sufficient reasons you were not able to see and avoid the condition, you will be allowed to further pursue the case.   HOW A LAWYER CAN HELP IN A TRIP AND FALL CASE   In order to win a case and receive fair compensation for the injures obtained due to a trip and fall, it is best to speak to a qualified attorney. An attorney can help determine if the factors in your case are sufficient to prove that the defendant was aware, or should have been aware, of the danger, or if the defendant created the dangerous conditions. An attorney can prepare for any potential defense attempts to use the trivial defect doctrine to defeat the claims.   Reach out the experienced attorneys at Silva Injury Law today if you have suffered from a trip and fall case.

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