According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are a leading cause of ER visits across the country, and some of them cause truly devastating injuries. When you are left with high medical bills and unable to work after falling at the grocery store or a friend’s house, you may worry about your financial stability. What is your case worth? What is the average payout for slip and fall accidents in California?
Property owners who fail to keep their premises safe for visitors may be held liable for any accidents that occur. If you’ve been seriously injured because a home or business owner allowed a dangerous condition to exist on the property, a top Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can help you recover the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, cover lost wages, and even cope with a permanent disability.
At Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP, we have helped many clients get the financial resources they need to rebuild their lives after a catastrophic accident. In this blog, we explain the factors that impact slip and fall settlements in California and how a personal injury lawyer can help you maximize your claim.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Under California’s premises liability laws, both residential and commercial property owners have a legal obligation (also known as a duty of care) to ensure that their premises are safe for legitimate visitors. Examples include employees, customers, and guests.
When a property owner is aware of a hazard and fails to fix, remove, or adequately warn visitors about it, they may be liable for any injuries that result. Common causes of slip and fall accidents in California include but may not be limited to:
- Unmopped spills and rainwater
- Discarded objects left in high-traffic areas
- Broken and uneven sidewalks or walkways
- Bunched-up carpeting
- Loose floorboards or stairs
- Broken railing or banisters
Injuries can range in severity from cuts and bruises to broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Some injuries can even lead to disability, paralysis, or death. If you’ve fallen, you should seek medical treatment immediately, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered more than a few bruises. Not all injuries are visible or immediately detectable, and you’ll need medical documentation to pursue a slip and fall claim.
What Damages Are Available in a California Slip and Fall Accident?
If you’ve been seriously injured because a property owner was negligent, you may be able to recover compensation for losses you incurred as a result of your injuries. Generally speaking, personal injury damages are characterized as economic (meaning that they can be quantified with receipts, invoices, or pay stubs) or noneconomic, which includes non-monetary losses like pain and suffering. Depending on the unique circumstances of your accident, compensation may include:
- Current and ongoing medical bills
- Lost wages (if you’re unable to work)
- Reduced earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
In some cases, slip and fall victims may also be able to seek punitive damages, but this option is rare and reserved for cases of extreme negligence. For example, if you fell and broke your leg after stepping in an unmopped spill and yours is the latest in a series of accidents on the property, the court may impose punitive damages on the property owner.
What Are the Average Payouts for Slip and Fall Accidents in California?
Because no two incidents are exactly the same, there is no average payout for slip and fall accidents in California. The amount of damages you may be able to recover is determined by several factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury that leaves you in a wheelchair, your settlement will be significantly higher than if you suffered a broken leg that heals without complications.
- The financial losses you incurred. This includes your medical expenses, lost wages, and damaged property. Treatment for some injuries is more expensive than others. Similarly, your income level before the accident will have an impact on your settlement, with someone who worked as a physiotherapist (for example) having a higher wage loss claim than someone who stocked shelves or worked in retail.
- Estimated future losses. The property owner must compensate you for any reduction in your earning ability if you cannot do the type of work that you used to before the slip and fall.
- Future quality of life. If your injuries prevent you from enjoying the same activities you did before the accident, it will factor into your settlement. If you need to hire help for activities you used to do, like mowing the lawn and maintaining the home, your claim may include reasonable costs for these services.
- Pain and suffering. You can be compensated for the psychological and physical suffering you have endured after the accident. A large part of your settlement is usually related to your pain and suffering.
Calculating slip and fall settlements in California requires knowledge and experience in premises liability cases. Your slip and fall lawyer at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP will use your medical records, the accident report, and opinions from medical and vocational experts to demonstrate the property owner’s liability and the expected impact of the accident on your future. We protect your interests by demanding maximum compensation for your injuries and will take your case to trial if the property owner or their insurer refuses to cooperate.
What If I Was Partly Responsible for My Slip and Fall Accident?
If you were partly responsible for your injuries, you can still recover damages, but under California’s pure comparative negligence law, your compensation will be reduced in accordance with your degree of fault.
For example, if you tripped over bunched-up carpeting because you were on your phone and didn’t see the hazard, you may be found to be 40% at fault. If your financial compensation amounts to $20,000, you will only receive 60% of your damages, or $12,000, instead of the full amount.
Unfortunately, insurers often use the pure comparative negligence standard to reduce how much they have to pay out. They may argue that you were 50% at fault instead of 25% or try to blame the accident entirely on you. Your California slip and fall lawyer will be aware of this strategy and take measures to protect your right to compensation.
How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me?
Slip and fall settlements in California are rarely straightforward, especially when you’ve got a significant financial claim against the property owner. They -and their insurance provider- will do everything they can to minimize liability and pay you as little as possible.
An experienced California slip and fall lawyer can calculate the true value of your claim after a thorough investigation and negotiate a fair settlement that takes all of your needs and losses into account. If a fair resolution can’t be achieved through negotiation, a lawyer will prepare your case for court.
When you work with Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP, you benefit from access to some of the best slip and fall attorneys in California. We have a successful track record handling cases like yours and look forward to being of service to you.
Questions About the Average Payout for Slip and Fall Accidents in California? Get a Free Consultation With a Lawyer!
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident on another party’s property, call the experienced premises liability lawyers at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP. We will determine the damages you may be entitled to receive and negotiate with the insurance company for the money you need to support a medical and financial recovery. Your initial consultation is free and if we take your case, you don’t owe us anything unless we win! To learn more, contact our law office today.