Falls are among the leading causes of preventable injury in California and throughout the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800,000 people receive medical treatment in a hospital for fall-related injuries each year.
The impact of a slip-and-fall accident on your life can be profound, and it is important that you are fairly compensated for your injuries after an accident.
At the Los Angeles personal injury law firm of Glotzer & Leib, LLP, our premises liability lawyers aggressively pursue maximum compensation on behalf of individuals and families impacted by slip-and-fall accidents.
When it comes to slip-and-fall settlements in California, there are a few things you need to know.
First, after an accident, you will almost certainly be dealing with the company that insured the property where your accident occurred.
Most property owners, including individual homeowners and businesses, have an insurance policy that covers them for any losses related to injuries on their property. Thus, while a local business may be responsible for your injuries, you won’t be dealing directly with the business but with their insurance company instead.
Insurance companies have one goal: to minimize the amount of money they need to pay out to make a claim go away.
Insurance companies operate for a profit, and if an insurance company paid out every claim made against it, the company would quickly go out of business. Thus, insurance company representatives are trained to obtain any evidence that can reduce the value of a claim or allow the company to deny the claim.
Another important thing to know about California slip and fall settlement amounts is that they are made up of two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the costs you incurred as a result of the accident, as well as any money you couldn’t make due to your injuries.
Proving economic damages often involves presenting objective evidence, such as medical bills and proof of income.
Non-economic damages relate to the emotional and psychological effect the accident had on your life. Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature because accidents impact everyone’s life in different ways.
Given the subjective nature of non-economic damages, they require a more creative approach. For example, a skilled California personal injury attorney will obtain evidence of what your life was like before the accident and compare it to what your life looks like after the accident.
Can you no longer engage in the activities you used to enjoy? Did you miss out on important family events while you were recovering? Are you living with ongoing and persistent pain related to the accident?
These are all questions that can affect slip-and-fall lawsuit settlement amounts in California.
There is no requirement that you work with a lawyer when negotiating a settlement with an insurance company. However, after weighing their options, most accident victims decide to enlist the assistance of an attorney.
First, history has shown that accident victims who work with a personal injury lawyer tend to recover greater damages awards. In fact, the Insurance Resource Council conducted a study in 2014, revealing that accident victims who worked with a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times more in damages than unrepresented accident victims.
This is largely due to the fact that insurance companies know that they cannot take advantage of an accident victim when they have an attorney because an attorney will understand the value of the accident victim’s claim.
Hiring a lawyer to represent you in your slip-and-fall claim will also make the process much easier. You won’t need to worry about filing an insurance claim, gathering all supporting evidence, or negotiating with an insurance adjuster. Instead, your lawyer will handle everything, so you can focus on your recovery and getting your life back to normal.
Slip-and-fall cases fall under the larger umbrella of negligence claims. Thus, before an insurance company makes a settlement offer, it will first determine if the property owner was negligent.
In most cases, businesses and other property owners owe a legal duty to all invited guests. The extent of the duty a property owner owes to a guest depends on the surrounding circumstances. However, generally, all property owners must make their property reasonably safe for their guests.
For example, this includes fixing known hazards on the property and warning guests of potential dangers they may not be aware of. Owners must also periodically inspect their property to discover unknown hazards. If a business, individual, or government entity fails to meet this duty, it can be liable for any resulting injuries.
If you recently fell or were injured on another’s property, contact the dedicated Los Angeles premises liability lawyers at Glotzer & Leib, LLP. We have decades of experience helping accident victims effectively pursue the Slip and fall compensation they need and deserve.
We recognize the difficulties you face in the wake of an accident and do everything we can to make the process as easy on you as possible. From the moment you bring us onto your team, we will immediately get to work preparing your claim.
Throughout the process, our lawyers keep you apprised of all developments with your case, and are available to answer any questions that come up along the way.
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