Put Decades of Experience on Your Side
At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, we realize that not all personal injury cases involve a major accident. In some instances, injury can be suffered from a public hazard, inattention to safety, or negligence that results in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. Victims are likely entitled to compensation under California state law, which provides for reimbursement for medical bills, as well as lost wages and more.
We can assist you if you have sustained any of the following injuries due to a slip and fall:
- Neck pain
- Back injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Shoulder injury
- And many more
Slip and Fall Causes
There are many reasons that slips, trips, and falls happen. Slick surfaces, improper signage, and damaged walkways or steps commonly contribute to serious accidents. Our team can also help you if you lost your footing or took a misstep because you were walking through a poorly lit area.
In many cases, the party that owns or operates the property is liable. For example, if you slipped in a retail store, then the store and its parent company could be liable. The same is true if you fell on a neighbor’s property due to a hazard that you had not been warned about. The problem is that identifying “chains of ownership” can be tough when the situation involves multiple parties.
What is the Basic Process of Filing a Claim?
Although no two cases are the same and will vary in the legal issues involved, the following is a general outline of the stages you will encounter:
- Hire a lawyer: To eliminate any guesswork, you should start by hiring an attorney who can handle all important aspects of your case.
- Start a claim: Your injury claim will most likely be filed against the insurance company that is representing the party that hurt you.
- Demand compensation: After you have completed your medical treatments, it will be time to calculate the damages owed to you and then file a demand of compensation to the liable party.
- File a lawsuit: If the demand of compensation letter is not accepted, then your attorney will file a lawsuit in court and prepare for litigation.
- Discovery: In the trial process, the discovery step involves determining what evidence is available to help either side with their arguments.
- Trial: If a case goes to trial, both sides will go before the court to argue their cases. Judges, juries, attorneys, witnesses, and others will all be involved.
At any step in the above process, a settlement negotiation can take place and reach an agreement. Even if a trial has begun, settlement agreements remain an option.
While having basic knowledge of the legal processes involved can provide a good groundwork for pursuing a slip and fall accident case, the best recourse is to rely on a lawyer who can help you secure the level of compensation you deserve. Let a San Jose slip and fall attorney from our law firm be that trusted resource and genuine friend for you.
I slipped and fell in a public area. Do I have a case?
Every slip and fall accident is different, but in many cases, the parties responsible for maintaining a public area can be held liable when an injury occurs. These parties often have insurance to cover public liability. Our firm may be able to help you file a claim against the party that owns or operates a business in a particular public space, especially if the link between negligence and an accident is an obvious one.
What if I slipped and fell at work?
If you slipped and fell at work, then you might have a few options. If your accident was caused by a third party’s negligence – like a subcontractor – then Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help you with a third-party injury claim. We recommend you speak with a workers’ compensation law firm if you think you also qualify for those benefits. However, you might be able to file a personal injury claim while also getting workers’ comp, so please dial (800) 900-0863 now to see if we can help you.
Do I need to complete an independent medical exam?
You might be required to undergo an independent medical exam (IME), depending on the details of your case. The defense in a slip and fall case often requests an IME once a lawsuit is filed, and the majority of these cases involve a lawsuit. Therefore, it is likely that you will have to undergo an IME for your slip and fall case. We can help you prepare for any questions that the examining doctor might have.
What kind of compensation am I entitled to?
If you can file a personal injury claim after slipping or tripping and falling on someone else’s property, California law usually allows you to seek compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other financial liabilities. The specific compensation differs according to the facts of your case.
Building Your Slip & Fall Accident Case
If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, which is a type of premises liability case, let us help you build it from the bottom and up. Securing evidence where the accident occurred is a practical step that can help you and our attorneys build your claim.
You can help your premises liability case if you do the following after an accident:
- Get help immediately: If you are seriously hurt, call 911. Otherwise, get the property owner’s attention. They need to know that you were hurt on their property, whether they are a residential owner, retail store manager, etc.
- Take photographs: If you can, use your smartphone to take many pictures of the accident scene. As it is often said, pictures are worth a thousand words.
- File an accident report: If your accident happened at a store or another commercial property, then ask to create an accident report. See if you can obtain a physical copy of the report before leaving, too.
- See a doctor: You should go to urgent care or schedule a visit to the doctor as soon as possible, assuming you did not call 911. A doctor will examine your injuries, make a diagnosis, and work on a treatment plan. This step also helps your case by making a note in your medical record about your accident. For example, the doctor might write something like “Patient hurt knee after falling down stairs with no handrail.”
When you work with our attorneys, you also gain our comprehensive knowledge of local statutes and documentation processes. This is why it is a good idea to turn to attorneys at the beginning of your case.
What do I have to prove in a slip and fall case?
California premises liability law states that the owner of a property – a house, a business, or any other real estate – has a duty to exercise reasonable care in using or maintaining the property. This duty includes responding to known slip/trip hazards to fix them and/or to warn visitors about the dangers. A slip and fall case typically deals with four issues, each of which you will have to prove.
The four important elements to prove in your slip and fall case are:
- Duty: Did the property owner have a duty to use reasonable care? Some situations, like trespassing, have limited or no duties involved.
- Breach: If the property owner had a duty, did he or she breach it by failing to use reasonable care? This is also known as “negligence.”
- Causation: If the property owner was negligent, were the victim’s injuries caused by that negligence?
- Damages: Did the victim suffer losses as a result of the accident? This may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
Our San Jose slip and fall accident lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP are ready to assist you with your case and prove these four elements. Give us a call today to learn more.
Contact Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP
Need the help of a slip and fall attorney in San Jose or a surrounding area? Caputo & Van Der Walde has helped many clients obtain the compensation they deserve when they have suffered an injury that happened in a public or private area. We would like to help you do the same.