The answer to that isn’t always cut and dried. It’s maybe. There are many factors that play into this decision, and each one should be carefully weighted before you proceed. After a slip and fall, you naturally may question yourself on calling a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer. It’s never a bad idea to take advantage of your free consultation to present the details of your case to an attorney. He or she can take a look at the extent of your injury, whether the at-fault party was negligent in maintaining safe conditions, and the amount of the insurance company offering.
Only then can a decision be made whether to proceed with a lawsuit. If you indeed have a case, you should absolutely hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in slip and fall cases. First, a little background on slips and falls. These cases arise from something called “premises liability,” which is the responsibility of property owners and their tenants to ensure safe conditions for visitors, workers and residents. California property owners can be held liable both legally and financially for slip and fall accidents that happen on their property.
Owners of shopping centers, office buildings, apartment complexes and other property types are responsible for the safety of the people who come onto their property. This means they have to exercise reasonable care to keep the premises safe by regularly inspecting their buildings and ensuring they are safe for visitors, tenants and guests. So, property owners can be held accountable for a slip and fall accident as a direct result of their failure to provide reasonably safe conditions.
When You Should Call a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyer
There are certain circumstances that arise in which you should always get in touch with a slip and fall attorneys in Los Angeles. Those conditions include:
- When you believe the property owner or tenant had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your injury. Property owners who fail to properly and regularly inspect their buildings can be held accountable for failing to exercise their duty to maintain their properties. You will have to prove that the hazardous location was not inspected within a reasonable amount of time. On top of that, if the landlord or tenant has received previous complaints about a dangerous or hazardous condition at their property but did not do anything to solve it, this represents a serious liability when the condition leads to a personal injury.
- What led to the fall: This is where things get tricky. Just because you fell on someone’s property doesn’t automatically mean they were at fault 100%. For example, let’s say you fell down a flight of stairs. Questions that will naturally arise include: how did the fall occur? What type of shoes were you wearing? Were you holding onto the handrail? Were you carrying anything? Were you talking on your phone or texting at the time of the fall? Did you simply misstep or was there an obstruction or slippery condition that caused you to fall? These are all critical facts that the insurer, the defense attorney, and, if it comes to it, a jury will need to know before awarding you any money. There’s a big difference between tripping on the hem of your dress, and reaching for a handrail that was missing or a step that was crumbling. Those latter points would point to negligence on the part of the property owner. The former is your fault – unfortunate and still an accident – but not necessarily the fault of the property owner.
- The extent of your injuries: Even if you did slip and fall due to improper maintenance and unsafe conditions, a twisted ankle may not be worth the time and effort involved in a lawsuit. You may be best off filing a claim with the insurance company and taking their offer. However, if you fell violently and hit your head, resulting in a concussion and possible TBI, then yes, hiring a lawyer would be the most prudent course of action. The more serious your injuries are, the bigger impact they will have on your life. But you can’t just think about the present, you have to think about the future as well. Thing is, it can be impossible to tell just how extensive those injuries will end up being, so always get medical attention first. A skilled Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can establish the full extent of your pain and suffering, while quantifying your damages, then fight to receive the full and fair compensation you’ll need moving forward. Bottom line is, if your injury has resulted in surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehab, chiropractic work, cosmetic surgery or orthopedics, you should always have your case evaluated by a slip and fall lawyer, says The National Law Review.
- When liability is disputed: While it may seem cut and dried to you that the other party was at fault, keep in mind their insurance company and defense lawyers know how to reduce or deny liability. They will do all they can to cast doubt on your claims, saying you’re partially at fault for your slip and fall injuries because you weren’t exercising sufficient caution when you fell, you were texting at the time of the fall, or you were running when you should have been walking. When you hire slip and fall injury lawyers, they can ensure liability is assigned correctly and fairly.
- When you haven’t been given a fair settlement: The insurance company will always try to make a cheap peace offering in the hopes you will take it and they can close the case on the incident quickly. Upon getting an offer from the insurance company, you may have one of two reactions: shock and disgust at how unfairly low it is, or – which is more often the case – a feeling that you’re unsure if it’s fair or not. That’s OK. That’s where lawyers come in. They can help you determine what’s fair and what’s not. You may think the amount is large in the moment; however, you have to calculate how that amount will serve you over the long-term in accordance with the severity of your injury. An attorney can examine the settlement, compare it against your injuries and determine if the amount of compensation is fair or whether you should counter offer.
Choose the Best Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys at Kuzyk Law
Call Kuzyk Law for a free, no-obligation consultation if you have been injured in a slip and fall and aren’t sure how to proceed. To learn more, call 661-945-6969.