Slip and fall injuries are legal claims based on a person slipping or tripping and falling. In order to successfully prove these types of cases, one must prove the property owner was negligent in allowing a dangerous condition to exist that caused the fall.
There are several specific elements to establish a slip and fall case in San Diego. This week, the personal injury lawyers at Martinez & Schill explore those specifics and the evidence beneficial in documenting a slip and fall and its resulting injuries.
The first fact that must be established is a dangerous condition existed on the owner’s property and caused the slip and fall. Photographs are helpful evidence and ideally, there were witnesses who can testify to the fall. There are times when a witness was present, but did not actually witness the accident. Still, their testimony is important and can often provide valuable information about the overall conditions that led to the injury such as poor lighting or perhaps a wet floor.
Once the dangerous condition has been established, the next step is establishing the property owner, caused or allowed the dangerous environment or knew or should have known of the potential for injury relating to a dangerous condition and did not make a good faith effort to repair it.
Additionally, the injuries one suffers must also be documented. A police report is always helpful, but a doctor’s examination and subsequent report with professional medical opinion on what the injury might mean in the future are extremely valuable. Is there long term damage? Will there likely be a need for surgery in the future?
Next, your personal injury attorney will have to prove losses you’ve incurred, such as medical expenses incurred or loss of income. These are easily documented via medical paperwork or payroll records. Clients are encouraged to retain all of their receipts and paperwork to provide to the attorney.
From there, your legal advocate will coordinate the testimony from those who can contribute legally accepted information. If you’ve required additional care, a caretaker can provide testimony on the pain and suffering you’ve endured as a result of the slip and fall, and often any emotional or mental repercussions that caretaker or other witness can provide.
Expert testimony is invaluable in cases such as these. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as injuries that cannot be quantified via traditional medical routes (x-rays, etc.), an expert will be able to testify to that effect.
It’s important that you strongly consider not only your pain and injuries today, but what it might mean for your future. Will you be able to return to work? Will you be limited in what you can do because of the injury?
Remember: document everything, seek medical attention and contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in San Diego, we encourage you to explore your legal options. There are time limits on how long you have to file a claim and the sooner you put those wheels in motion, the sooner you can get back to the business of living your life. We understand the intricacies of personal injury law and understand how our clients simply want a fair settlement.