According to the Centers for Disease and Control, one million Americans are injured each year as the result of slip and fall accidents. Injuries incurred in these cases may be severe and may last for the remainder of the victim’s life, and we are here as your Huntington Beach slip and fall lawyers to help.
Not every slip and fall case is likely to be successful. Generally, a slip and fall case requires that the property owner knew or should have known about the potentially harmful condition. A slip and fall victim must prove that the property owner took no action to detect or correct the condition or to warn visitors of the potential hazard. The injured party must prove that he or she actually suffered damages as a result of the accident and that the physical injury is consistent with the circumstances of the incident.
If you are injured due to a slip and fall, you can take steps immediately to make your case stronger. If possible, make a mental note of the exact location of the accident, the condition of the floor or ground where the accident occurred and the presence or absence of signs, cones, or yellow tape indicating hazardous conditions in the area. If you are able, try to get names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident. Cell phones can be valuable in documenting these situations because you or someone with you can take photographs of the area immediately following the fall.
Two other steps that may not come immediately to mind are to preserve the shoes and clothes you were wearing at the time of the incident. Surface testing may be required to show how the actual shoes you were wearing are likely to interact with the surface on which you fell. Your clothes may have stains that can help to identify any liquids that may have been on the floor or ground that may have caused your fall.
You should consider contacting a slip and fall attorney in Huntington Beach as soon as possible after you suffer a slip and fall injury. The attorney may be able to send someone to the scene to take photographs or gather other evidence that may ultimately be important to your case. Winning a slip and fall case is highly dependent on preservation and presentation of good evidence to support your claim. Your attorney should be familiar with what you need to increase the chances of winning your case.
Depending on the strength of your case, the owner of the premises or the owner’s insurance company may attempt to settle the case out of court. They may simply be trying to avoid the expense and trouble of a trial, or, in some cases, they may try to offer a low settlement, hoping that you will accept it just to be sure that you receive some compensation for your injury. Your lawyer can be invaluable at this stage. The owner or insurance company may present their offer in a very folksy, friendly way and portray it as very generous. However, your Huntington Beach slip and fall attorney should be able to negotiate with the other side to get the best settlement for you, one that compensates you for your injury and that is at least as good as what you would likely get if your case went to trial.
If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful and your case goes to trial, your lawyer can present the evidence in your favor and put on a case that attempts to prove that you did actually suffer damages as a result of the slip and fall and that the hazardous condition was something that the owner or occupant should have warned visitors about but failed to do so. The judge will give the jury very specific instructions regarding what must be proven in order to find in your favor. Your lawyer should be familiar with those instructions and present the best case possible to convince the jury that the necessary elements were met.