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 are treated in emergency rooms. Elderly people 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, for example, or a careless homeowner. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries to the extent that the accident was someone else’s fault.

Act Decisively—Time Is of the Essence in a Monterey Slip and Fall Case

Silva Injury Law, Inc. consists of Monterey slip and fall attorney Michael Joe Silva, along with 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 lawyers at Silva Injury Law, Inc. Call 831-201-5036 or contact us online to schedule a consultation where one of our Monterey slip and fall attorneys can review your case and answer your questions.

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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 have to 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.

Premises Liability

The owner or occupier of premises, such as a private home or a shopping center, has a legal duty of care to guests, to inspect the property for dangerous conditions and to repair any 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,
  • Weak or nonexistent stairway railings,
  • Steep stairs (especially at nightclub exits),
  • 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. Suppose, for example, that 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. If the victim was 25% at fault, for example, they will lose 25% of their damages. Even if the victim is 99% at fault, however, 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.

Gathering Evidence

The truth doesn’t matter unless you can prove it. And the only way you can prove 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 lawyer should be able to obtain the foregoing items, as well as other forms of evidence that are easily overlooked.

Compensation

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

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 is settled, you won’t be able to come back and ask for more money later.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic 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 non-economic damages might far exceed your medical expenses.

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, however, 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 expecting a settlement, however, you might need to file a formal lawsuit during settlement negotiations. The reason for this is that once you file a lawsuit, you can take advantage of the discovery process to demand evidence that is in the possession of the defendant. You can also cross-examine the defendant under oath.

Related Practice Areas

In addition to slip and fall cases, we also commonly handle the following types of cases:

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.

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln