Sacramento Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

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Sacramento Slip and Fall Lawyer

Slip & Fall Lawyer in Sacramento, CA

Thousands of people are injured each year when they slip or trip on a wet floor, defective stairs, or a rough patch of ground. Injuries caused by slip and fall accidents can be serious. A natural question when faced with injury from a slip and fall is whether the property owner can be held responsible for the accident. It’s a normal occurrence for things to fall or drip onto the floor or ground. It’s also natural for smooth surfaces to become uneven. Sometimes, the presence of things on the ground, like drainage grates, serve a lawful purpose and cannot be removed. So, a property owner can’t always be held responsible for immediately picking up or cleaning every slippery substance. However, property owners must be careful in keeping up their property. The question in every slip and fall case turns on whether the property owner was negligent.

Determining Liability

A slip and fall accident is a type of California premises liability accident. To hold the property owner legally responsible for damages caused by the slip and fall, you must prove that the property owner was negligent. 

In California, a property owner is negligent when he or she knows about a hazardous condition on the property and fails to repair, protect against, or give adequate warning of the condition. Usually, one of the following must be true to show negligence:  

  • The owner of the premises or an employee causes the spill, or a slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot. 
  • The owner of the premises or an employee knew of the dangerous surface and did nothing about it. 
  • The owner of the premises or an employee “should have known” of the dangerous surface. Implying what the owner or employee “should have known” is usually decided by the actions of a “reasonable” person. So, if a reasonable person in that circumstance would have discovered and repaired it, then the owner can be held legally responsible. 

The third situation is not as clear as the first two scenarios because “reasonable” is a question to be decided by looking at many factors. In deciding what is “reasonable,” the judge or jury may look at whether the owner or employee made thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean. Having an experienced attorney to evaluate what the courts have held to be “reasonable” will help determine whether there was negligence in your particular case.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall

Some common causes of slip and fall accidents include: 

  • Spills; 
  • Plumbing leaks; 
  • Loose carpeting; 
  • Broken or missing railings; 
  • Uncovered cables and cords; 
  • Failure to rope off construction sites; and
  • Failure to put up warning signs about known hazards. 

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, it is necessary to obtain evidence showing the connection between the slip and fall and the property owner’s negligence. Necessary types of evidence usually include doctor’s notes from a treating physician, video footage, witness statements, and testimony from accident reconstruction experts. If your family member has died in a fatal slip and fall accident, this can form the basis of a wrongful death claim and impose similar procedural requirements when it comes to establishing liability.

Whenever a property owner notices any safety issue on their property that could foreseeably injure a lawful guest or visitor, they must take appropriate steps to prevent injuries. This could mean fixing the problem immediately, posting a visible warning sign near the hazard, or giving lawful visitors clear verbal warnings.

Additionally, property owners may only legally owe a duty of care to lawful visitors, but this does not technically apply to children. If there is any risk of a child wandering onto the property, the property owner is expected to take steps to prevent injuries to young interlopers. The law does not recognize children as having the same judgment as adults, so a property owner could be held liable if a child wanders onto their property and suffers a slip and fall injury from a foreseeable safety hazard.

slip and fall lawyer sacramento ca

Claimable Damages in a Slip and Fall Claim

A slip and fall claim is a type of personal injury case, and California’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to seek full compensation for the damages caused by the defendant. Slip and fall accidents regularly cause severe injuries in the Sacramento area, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and more. These injuries, in turn, generate expensive medical bills and can prevent the victim from working, meaning loss of income. The damages you may be able to claim from the defendant in your case include:

  • Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care if you require ongoing rehabilitative treatment.
  • Lost wages, including lost future earning capacity if you have suffered severe long-term harm and will be unable to return to work in the future.
  • Property damage, such as the cost of any personal belongings that were damaged or destroyed in the accident.
  • Pain and suffering. You have the right to claim as much pain and suffering compensation as you believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the injuries you suffered.

The average person should be able to calculate immediately recognizable damages like their medical bills and the income they cannot earn during their initial recovery process, but accurate assessment of long-term damages like lost earning capacity is more difficult. Additionally, the average plaintiff may find it hard to determine a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek from the defendant. Your Sacramento slip and fall attorney can be invaluable not only in the guidance they can offer throughout your case proceedings but also in their ability to identify every available channel of compensation in your case.

When you choose Kreeger Law Firm to represent you in a slip and fall claim, our objective will be to help recover as much compensation as possible in the most efficient manner possible. We take time to learn each client’s story and assess the full impact an injury has had on their life. You have a limited time in which to pursue your recovery, so it is crucial that you reach out to legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible after any slip and fall in the Sacramento area.

Sacramento Slip & Fall FAQs

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Claims?

A: A slip and fall claim filed under the state’s premises liability laws is a type of personal injury claim, and you must file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations. This time limit is two years and begins on the date an injury occurs. However, if the exact cause of a personal injury can’t be immediately determined, or if a defendant took steps to conceal their liability, the statute of limitations could instead begin on the date of discovery, or the date when the plaintiff realized another party harmed them.

Q: How Do You Prove Liability for a Slip and Fall?

A: To succeed with your slip and fall accident claim, you must prove that your injury happened because a property owner failed to take appropriate care of their property. This could mean failure to address a foreseeable safety issue or failure to provide any warning of the safety issue to a lawful guest. Your Sacramento slip and fall attorney can help gather the evidence you will need to prove that a property owner is directly liable for your injury.

Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Slip and Fall?

A: Once you have proven that a property owner is directly responsible for your injury, you can seek compensation for all economic losses you sustained from the incident. Your claimable damages may include your medical expenses, lost income, lost future earnings, and your pain and suffering. An experienced Sacramento slip and fall attorney is your most important asset when it comes to maximizing your case award.

Q: What Happens if You Share Fault for a Slip and Fall?

A: If an investigation of your claim indicates that you were partially negligent in the slip and fall accident, the state’s pure comparative fault rule would come into play and diminish your recovery. Your percentage of fault will be deducted from your case award as a penalty, and you would keep the remainder. For example, 10% fault translates to the loss of 10% of your total case award. A good attorney can help minimize any shared fault assigned to you.

Q: What Does It Cost to Hire a Sacramento Slip and Fall Attorney?

A: Most of the personal injury attorneys representing clients in the Sacramento area do so on a contingency fee basis. With a contingency agreement, the attorney does not charge hourly fees and instead takes a percentage of the client’s case award. However, the client only owes this fee if the attorney wins their case. If the attorney is unable to secure compensation for their client, then there is no fee at all, so this eliminates the financial risk of hiring the legal counsel you need when you need it most.

Don’t Face Insurance Companies Alone

The smartest way to ensure that your claim is successful, and you recover the compensation you are entitled to is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Christopher Kreeger has successfully handled countless slip and fall cases, winning favorable settlements and judgments for his clients.

Your recovery efforts may entail an insurance claim followed by a personal injury suit. In both of these claims, it is vital to have legal counsel you can trust. Kreeger Law Firm is ready to provide compassionate and responsive support through each step of your recovery. To schedule a complimentary consultation today, contact us at (916) 782-8400.