Have you recently been injured in a slip and fall accident in Santa Barbara or anywhere else in California? Make sure you are not fooled by any of these misconceptions regarding slip and fall cases in California.
Today, we asked our Santa Barbara slip and fall accident attorney to debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions about this type of premises liability claim.
Misconception #1: It is always the property owner’s fault
Arguably the most common ‘false fact’ about slip and fall accidents that people in California believe to be true is that if you slip and fall on someone else’s property, it is always the property owner’s fault and you are entitled to compensation in 100 percent of all cases.
In reality, this is not how it works. In order to be able to seek damages and recover compensation for your injuries, damages and losses suffered in a slip and fall accident, you have to establish three elements of a premises liability claim: duty of care, breach of that duty, and the breach was a direct or indirect cause of your injuries.
Misconception #2: You can file a premises liability lawsuit right away
The second most common myth about slip and fall cases is that you can file a premises liability lawsuit immediately after you have been hurt in such accident. It is a little bit more complicated than that. Before filing a lawsuit, you will have to:
- Seek medical attention and document your injuries;
- Hire a Santa Barbara slip and fall accident lawyer in order to report the accident to the property owner, landlord, manager or another responsible party (only an experienced attorney can help you write a report that establishes liability and helps you drive up the value of your claim);
- Document everything related to your case (take photographs, record videos, take notes, interview witnesses, etc.) in order to build a strong case;
- If you cannot reach a fair settlement with the property owner, file a lawsuit to let the court decide.
Misconception #3: You can only recover medical expenses
Many people in Santa Barbara and elsewhere in California also wrongfully believe that they can only recover compensation for their medical expenses. In reality, premises liability claims go much further than that, and a skilled attorney can help you recover not only your past, present, and future medical expenses, but also lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, temporary or permanent disability, and other losses and damages.
Misconception #4: You do not need an attorney to handle a slip and fall accident
Another misconception about slip and fall cases that millions of people in California still believe in is that they do not need an attorney to obtain compensation for their injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident. In reality, only an experienced attorney can not only maximize the full value of your claim, but also build a strong case that will ensure that you are getting compensation in a timely manner.
Here at the Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman, our best premises liability attorneys in Santa Barbara will help you establish three elements of a premises liability claim (see above), find witnesses, access surveillance videos, interview frequent visitors/customers about the dangerous condition that caused the accident, write a report detailing your accident, establish liability, estimate the full value of your claim, and represent you in your best interests in and outside of court.