Monterey Slip and Fall Lawyer
Proven Monterey Slip And Fall Attorney Ready To Help You
Every year, over 800,000 people are hospitalized for slip & fall injuries, while millions seek treatment in emergency rooms. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. A high percentage of slip-and-fall injuries are the fault of someone other than the injured party—the owner of a commercial establishment or a careless homeowner, for example. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries to the extent that the accident was someone else’s fault. But these are often complicated cases to pursue.You need a knowledgeable Monterey slip-and-fall attorney to fight for your rights so you can focus on your recovery. Thankfully, the skilled team of Monterey slip-and-fall lawyers at Silva Injury Law, Inc. is here to help you.
Act Decisively—Time Is Of The Essence In A Monterey Slip-And-Fall Case
Silva Injury Law, Inc. consists of Monterey slip-and-fall lawyer Michael Joe Silva and partners Cassidy Jensen and Tanner Combs. Together, we have handled a multitude of slip and fall claims. Although most of our cases settle out of court, this is because our stellar courtroom track record is very effective at convincing defendants and their insurance companies not to take us to court.
If you have suffered any type of injury from a slip and fall, please feel free to contact our Monterey slip and fall attorneys at Silva Injury Law, Inc. Contact us online to schedule a consultation so that one of our Monterey slip-and-fall lawyers can review your case and answer your questions.
You Probably Won’t Have To Bankrupt The Defendant To Win Generous Compensation
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident that occurred on your neighbor’s property, you might feel uncomfortable about pursuing a large claim for compensation. After all, you wouldn’t want to drive your neighbor into bankruptcy. In all likelihood, however, your neighbor carries homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Most of these policies cover slip and fall accident liability that applies if the homeowner’s negligence caused the accident.
The Elements Of A Slip-And-Fall Claim
The “elements” of a claim represent what you must prove to win. There are four basic elements to a slip-and-fall claim:
- Duty of care—the defendant had a duty to act with care to protect you from harm;
- Breach of duty—the defendant did not comply with their duty of care;
- Causation—the defendant’s breach caused the accident; and
- Damages—you suffered damages as a result of the accident.
You must prove that each of these elements is more likely than not to be present. While the concept of liability sounds straightforward, proving it is not that easy. Many insurance companies are very skeptical of slip and fall claims due to fraud—which is why having a skilled legal advocate on your side is highly recommended.
The owner or occupier of premises, such as a private home or a shopping center, has a legal duty of care to guests, inspect the property for dangerous conditions, and repair any hazards that are discovered. This duty applies to invitees (customers, for example) and licensees (mail carriers, for example), but not to trespassers.
Causes Of Slip And Fall Accidents
There are probably hundreds of different dangerous conditions that can cause slip and fall accidents. Some causes, however, are more common than others. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floors,
- Icy surfaces,
- Debris or fallen objects,
- Weak or nonexistent stairway railings,
- Poor lighting (indoor and outdoor),
- Steep stairs (especially at nightclub exits),
- Broken stairs or steps,
- Poorly maintained grounds,
- Uneven floors and
- Potholes in parking lots.
The way to remedy these conditions would be to repair them or at least warn of them with a conspicuous sign. In some cases, a warning might not be enough.
Comparative Fault: When More Than One Party Is At Fault
In many slip-and-fall accidents, more than one party is at fault. Consider a scenario where you rush down a flight of stairs while intoxicated and slip on an item that was carelessly left on the stairs. In this case, California’s pure comparative fault rules could apply.
Under California’s pure comparative fault rules, the victim will lose that percentage of their damages that corresponds to their own percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if the victim was 25% at fault, they will lose 25% of their damages. Even if the victim is 99% at fault, they can still receive 1% of their damages. You can expect the defendant to try to whittle away at your damages by asserting fault on your part.
The truth doesn’t matter unless you can prove it. And the only way you can prove liability in a slip-and-fall claim is with admissible evidence. Common evidence includes:
- Security camera footage of the accident,
- Police reports,
- Eyewitness testimony,
- Your own testimony,
- Photographs of the dangerous condition, and
- Property maintenance records.
An experienced Monterey slip and fall attorney should be able to obtain the foregoing items and other forms of evidence that are easily overlooked.
Compensation breaks down into two different types—economic damages and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are theoretically possible, but they are rarely awarded in slip-and-fall cases unless the defendant intentionally injures the victim.
Economic damages are, in a nutshell, damages that are easy to count. They include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost earnings, and
- Incidental expenses, such as child care expenses while you are in the hospital.
Remember to include future medical expenses and future lost earnings in your calculations because once your claim settles, you won’t be able to come back and ask for more money later.
Noneconomic damages are intangible damages. They include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of ability to enjoy life.
If you suffered a debilitating injury, your noneconomic damages might far exceed your medical expenses.
As mentioned, there may be limited scenarios where you could be eligible for a punitive damages award. Punitive damages are reserved for cases involving egregious behavior, such as an intentional act. When the court makes a punitive damages award, the purpose isn’t necessarily to compensate you. Punitive damages are to punish the wrongdoer and discourage them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Negotiating A Settlement
Most slip-and-fall injury claims never make it to trial because the defendant (or their insurance company) settles privately. Even if you are aiming for a settlement, you need to be ready to go to trial and win. Without this resolve, you have no leverage over the defendant, and the defendant will have no motivation to settle your claim.
Even if you are in the midst of negotiating a settlement, you might need to file a formal lawsuit. The reason for this is that the statute of limitations, which is the date by which the law requires you to file a lawsuit, might prevent you from pursuing a claim or receiving a settlement. There are other benefits to filing a lawsuit. You can take advantage of the discovery process to demand evidence that is in the defendant’s possession. You can also cross-examine the defendant under oath.
Why Hire Our Monterey Slip And Fall Attorneys?
Protecting your rights is a crucial aspect of any personal injury claim, including slip and fall accidents. These claims are also notoriously complicated, making it very easy for you to miss important evidence or details to support your case. Working with experienced Monterey premises liability lawyers can put your mind at ease and ensure nothing is missed.
When you hire Silva Injury Law, Inc., you benefit from passionate and experienced Monterey premises liability attorneys who will work tirelessly to fight for your rights. We will conduct our own independent investigation and preserve all related evidence. We will handle communication with the defendant, their insurance company, and any attorneys. When you have an attorney handling communication, you eliminate the risk of saying something to the adjuster that could harm your case. We will also negotiate your claim, so you don’t have to worry about how to stand up to the insurance company or their legal representatives.
If your case doesn’t resolve through negotiations, we will file a lawsuit and take your case to trial if necessary.
If there’s a chance that negotiations will extend beyond the deadline for filing a premises liability lawsuit in California, we will file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean that negotiations will stop; rather, filing a suit protects your right to pursue your claim in court. Even if you have to file suit, we will continue to work toward resolving your case as quickly as possible for the maximum value.
Related Practice Areas
Our experienced legal team also handles other types of injury cases, including:
- Auto Vehicle Accident
- Trucking Accident
- Motorbike Accident
- Bicycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Dog Attack
- Sexual Harassment
- Wrongful Death Claim
- Drunk Driving Accident
- Distracted Driving Accident
- Nursing Home Abuse
Don’t be afraid to speak with us if your claim isn’t on the foregoing list—we handle a wide variety of injury claims.
Contact Our Monterey Premises Liability Attorneys
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, don’t try to determine liability on your own. Instead, let the skilled team of Monterey premises liability lawyers at Silva Injury Law, Inc. help. We have a successful track record of recovering compensation for our injured clients, including in slip and fall cases. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation and to learn more about how we can help you.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip-and-Fall Claim?
For nearly every type of case in California, you must file a claim within a certain period of time. This period of time is called the statute of limitations. A slip-and-fall claim has a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you must file your case within two years of the slip and fall. A court will likely dismiss your case if you wait longer than two years to file your lawsuit.
There are some exceptions to this two-year time limit. If a child slips and falls, the two-year statute of limitations period doesn’t start running until they reach 18.
Additionally, you have a shorter time limit if you sue a city or state government. Under the California Tort Claims Act, you must file a claim directly with the governmental agency responsible for your injury within six months of the incident.
I Slipped on a Defective Sidewalk. Can I Sue the City?
Yes, you usually can sue the city for your slip and fall if you can show the city was negligent. However, as mentioned above, you must first file a claim with the city agency responsible for the defective sidewalk within six months of the incident.
The city agency has 45 days to investigate your claim and respond to you. Often, they’ll try to negotiate a settlement with you. If you don’t settle your case, or if they reject your claim, they’ll send you a letter giving you the right to sue in court. You have six months from the date of this letter to file a lawsuit.
Suing a governmental agency brings many complications. You should speak with one of our Monterey slip-and-fall attorneys if you believe a governmental agency is responsible for your injuries.
Can I Get Compensation If I Fall at Work?
Suppose you slip and fall at work while performing your job duties. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and provides disability payments. However, depending on the circumstances, you might be able to file a lawsuit against your employer or a third party for your slip-and-fall injury. These types of claims can be complicated, so you should speak with one of our attorneys to better understand your options.