As a Los Angeles accident lawyer, this is a question I’m occasionally asked by people injured in a slip and fall.
Slip and fall cases are different from other personal injury cases like auto accidents and dog bites.
Auto accidents, for example, are more straightforward, and liability is often easier to prove. For example, if you’re stopped at a red light and get rear-ended, there’s not a lot of investigating that needs to occur. The rear-ending driver is responsible.
Slip and fall cases are more complicated. Proving liability takes effort and skill that not all lawyers have.
A key issue in slip or trip and fall cases is notice. Did the property owner know or have notice that there’s a dangerous condition likely to cause harm? The common example is the wet floor at the supermarket.
Was the floor wet for a long enough period of time that store employees knew, or should have known about it? How do you prove that the supermarket should have known about the wet floor and taken corrective actions?
The answer is–through litigation and obtaining company records and statements from witnesses and employees.
And therein could answer why many lawyers–even personal injury lawyers, won’t take slip and fall cases.
Slip and fall cases–most of the time–must be litigated. While ultimately an insurance company may be the one paying the plaintiff’s claim, it can take hard work and effort convincing the insurance company and its army of lawyers that the property owner is responsible for the plaintiff’s damages and injuries. It can be done.
Many lawyers brag about how aggressive they are, but in reality, they never step foot in the courtroom or do anything other than negotiate out-of-court settlements. There’s a time when this approach is effective.
But it’s usually not in slip and fall cases. At least not in my experience.
Slip and falls send thousands of people to the hospital every day throughout the country. If you or someone you know was injured in a slip or trip and fall, call an attorney who won’t back down from a fight with an insurance company. Call an attorney who won’t turn down a case because it may involve a fight.
My office is ready to assist, 24/6!