How Does Comparative Negligence Affect a Slip and Fall Case?
Whether you are at a neighbor's house or a store in your community, you may at some point suffer a slip and fall accident. When these accidents happen, victims often sustain broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, and other medical issues that require extensive treatment.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to gain compensation for damages. However, just because you slipped and fell on another person's property does not automatically mean the other party was entirely at fault for your injuries. California courts enforce the legal concept of comparative negligence in cases where liability isn't straightforward. Regardless of how the accident played out, you can rely on our personal injury attorney Los Angeles for guidance.
How to Win a Slip and Fall Case
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the task you and your attorney for slip and fall lawsuits will have to prove is that the property owner was negligent in maintaining their property. In other words, you will need to establish how the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care in making sure the property would be safe for others. The property owner should have known about the hazardous conditions associated with the premises and taken the necessary steps to correct it.
How Will Comparative Negligence Impact the Case?
Comparative negligence refers to a shared fault between the defendant and the plaintiff. Should your case go to trial, this would mean the jury would also be determining how you contributed to the accident. Depending on the level of fault, the court will lower the compensation you receive. When you hire our accident injury attorney in Los Angeles, we guarantee that the settlement you receive will be fair.
The Defendant's Strategy
In slip and fall cases where comparative negligence is at the forefront, the defendant's strategy will show that the plaintiff was indeed partly responsible for your accident. Since it is up to the defendant to raise the question of comparative negligence, you as the plaintiff will not be expected by the court to prove you were not negligent. Your lawyers will provide the necessary legal defense and negotiate for you to pay the lowest settlement for an accident that should have been avoided.
Proving the Defendant's Negligence
While you may think you will have an easy path to victory in your slip and fall case, avoid overconfidence. Remember, though you don't necessarily have to prove you were not negligent, you do need to show the defendant was negligent in creating a situation or allowing a situation to develop that led to you being injured. Should you fail to do so, your case will be over, meaning no compensation will be coming your way.
Pure Comparative Negligence
When a state relies on "pure" comparative negligence, this means the plaintiff's compensation will be reduced based on how much a jury believes they contributed to their accident. If you were awarded $100,000 by a jury but were found to be 40% responsible for your accident, your actual award would be $60,000.
Modified Comparative Negligence
While "pure" comparative negligence is only used by a few states, modified comparative negligence is much more common in these cases. When this method is used, it simply depends on whether a jury feels a plaintiff or defendant was more at fault for the accident.
Thus, if a jury feels you as the plaintiff were only 50% responsible for your accident, you would receive no compensation for your injuries. As for cases where negligence is split 50/50 between the plaintiff and defendant, the outcome can vary among states. While some states will consider a tie to be a win for the plaintiff, others will not.
Very few states decide these cases using the concept of contributory negligence. If a judge or jury felt the plaintiff did anything that could be construed as negligent before their accident, they could lose their case.
Filing a lawsuit for slip and fall accidents are never easy. They will likely involve negotiations with insurance companies to keep your case from going to trial. Place your trust in our Los Angeles slip and fall attorney at Gutierrez Law when seeking maximum compensation for your injuries. We will hold the property owner and insurance company accountable for their actions.