San Francisco Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you or someone you love was seriously hurt in a slip and fall, you may have grounds for a claim against the property owner or possessor. Unfortunately, the defendant and their insurance company may go to great lengths to avoid paying a fair settlement. Our slip and fall attorneys in San Francisco can help you level the playing field and fight for the compensation you need to cover medical costs, lost income, and other damages.
Any statements you provide to the opposing party may be used to dispute your claim, but our lawyers can take over this correspondence and help you avoid critical mistakes. We can also gather evidence, prepare for settlement negotiations, and litigate your case if it goes to trial.
We offer free consultations and accept premises liability cases on a contingency fee basis. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to learn more and to speak with a member of our team.
How to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Claim
To prevail in a slip and fall case, it must be shown that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the claimant (or his/her deceased loved one if the fall resulted in wrongful death). The specific duty of care will depend on the reason why you or your family member was on the property in the first place—i.e. whether you were an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
Most slip and fall claims are brought by invitees, which are people who lawfully enter a premises for the economic benefit of the property owner. If, for example, you slipped on a wet floor while buying groceries at a supermarket, you would be considered an invitee.
Business owners breach the duty of care owed to invitees when they fail to fix dangerous conditions on the premises within a reasonable timeframe, or when they fail to warn invitees about such conditions. This breach of duty is called “negligence.”
There are several potential defenses a business establishment may use to challenge a slip and fall claim. Regarding negligence and liability, the defendant may argue that:
- Neither constructive nor actual knowledge of the dangerous condition existed; or
- The claimant’s own negligence was the actual or proximate cause of the slip and fall.
Strong evidence is the key to overcoming these disputes. Our San Francisco slip and fall lawyers will carefully review the facts of your case to determine the kinds of evidence that will be needed to strengthen your claim, which may include:
- Footage from the Property’s Surveillance System: Video recordings may show what caused the dangerous condition that led to your fall, which can help your attorney determine the amount of time that passed between the creation of the hazard and your injury. If enough time had passed, it may be determined that the defendant had constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition. Surveillance footage may also show an employee of the establishment creating or discovering the hazard, thus establishing actual knowledge. If the defendant argues that your own negligence was the proximate cause of the fall, surveillance recordings may be used to prove otherwise. If the defendant tries to withhold such evidence, your San Francisco slip and fall attorney can file a subpoena to obtain it.
- Statements from Eyewitnesses: Statements from people who saw the incident will be especially valuable if there weren’t any surveillance recordings of the fall. Your lawyer may use their deposition and testimony to corroborate your version of events.
- The Incident Report: If the incident report indicates that the business establishment was negligent, it might be used as evidence to strengthen your case.
- Photographs: Did you take any pictures of your injuries or the dangerous condition that caused them? Such photos may serve several important purposes. For example, if the defendant fixes the hazard before your attorney has a chance to investigate the scene, your photos might be needed to prove the existence of the hazard. They can also be used to prove causation and the severity of your injuries.
- Past Complaints About the Same Hazard: If another person had been injured by a similar hazard on the same premises, any documentation of that incident may be used to prove that the defendant had actual knowledge of the hazard’s existence yet failed to take reasonable steps to remedy it.
Proving negligence, of course, is just one piece of the puzzle. To win a settlement or verdict, your lawyer will also have to prove causation and damages. Our slip and fall attorneys in San Francisco know what it takes to achieve successful outcomes in these cases, and we will invest the time and resources needed to pursue the highest compensation possible.
Discuss Your Case with a San Francisco Slip and Fall Lawyer
To schedule a free consultation with one of our premises liability attorneys, call 1-800-GO-HARRIS. You can also send us a message on our Contact Page. We are available 24/7 to take your call.