No matter how simple your case seems, insurance companies make their money by finding as many ways to reduce a settlement payment as possible.
If you are a visitor on someone else’s property and you fall and are injured, it is only fair that you should be considering your legal options for compensation. Your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional suffering are all the result of the property owner’s irresponsibility when it comes to maintaining a safe environment for visitors, and you should not be financially responsible for their errors. However, proving that you are a victim of a slip and fall, and then proving that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, can be more complicated than it may seem, no matter how clear or obvious your accident may have been.
This is why it is so important to hire an attorney as soon as possible. No matter how simple your case seems, insurance companies make their money by finding as many ways to reduce a settlement payment as possible; a half a percent here, a percent there, until all of a sudden they are attempting to pay you less than half of what you deserve. Working with someone like personal injury lawyer Kenneth King in Oxnard, CA is an important strategic partnership for the long process of fighting for what you deserve.
Take a look at what you and your attorney will need to prove in order to get compensation for your injuries.
The Key Elements of a Successful Slip and Fall Claim
The following points are simplified explanations of what you will need to prove. You will quickly find that even something as simple as proving that the property owner was acting negligently can be difficult, especially when you are going against an experienced team of lawyers or the insurance company.
Duty of Care
The first important factor in a slip and fall case is proving that the defendant had a “duty of care” in the situation, meaning that it was up to them to maintain a safe property and to take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries to visitors. In some cases, this means that a management company, lessee, or other party is to blame for your injuries, and not the property owner themselves. This is common on certain types of commercial property, and many other cases, where the owner has a specific contract with their renter about who takes responsibility for what.
Failure to Uphold the Duty of Care
Once you have established that the defendant does, in fact, have a responsibility to keep you safe from harm on their property, the next step is to prove that they failed to uphold this responsibility. For instance, if you visit a shopping mall and fall down a flight of broken stairs, you and your lawyer will first establish who is responsible for the stairs, and then prove that they failed to take the appropriate steps to keep you safe.
Responsibility for Injuries
The final thing that you and your lawyer will need to prove is that the defendant’s failure to uphold their care of duty is directly responsible for your injuries and the associated financial damages. If you were acting recklessly or irresponsibly on a stairwell in a mall, is the property manager responsible for your injuries if you were to hurt yourself? This can ultimately be the most difficult thing to prove in the early stages of a slip and fall claim, because the defendant and their insurance company will work tirelessly to implicate you as being responsible for the accident.