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How to File a Slip and Fall Claim in Bakersfield

Slip and fall accidents are exceedingly common. Sometimes these accidents only result in a bruise and a bit of embarrassment on the part of the accident victim. However, some slip and fall accidents are more serious than we realize. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 800,000 patients are hospitalized yearly due to fall injuries. Some of these falls may be preventable if not for the negligence of someone else. 

The term “slip and fall” is used in personal injury cases wherein a person slips or trips and is injured on someone else’s property. Usually, these cases are classified under the broader category known as “premises liability” claims. 

In this article, we will discuss: 

  • the slip and fall laws in Bakersfield, California, 
  • what to do if you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident, and 
  • the steps on how to file a slip and fall claim in Bakersfield. 
slip and fall claim bakersfield

Understanding Slip and Fall Laws in Bakersfield

California property owners have the duty of care to protect others from dangerous conditions that may cause them injury or damage. Should a property owner fail to perform the necessary maintenance checks or warn a visitor of any known dangers, they could be held liable for both economic losses and non-economic damages incurred by the victim.

California Civil Code 1714 touches on liability for injuries caused by another party’s negligence. 

California premises liability law states that property owners must regularly check their property for hazardous conditions and see if any potential danger is identified. They are responsible for ensuring the danger is repaired or proper warning is given to visitors to keep the property safe for them. 

When a property owner fails to eliminate hazardous conditions or warn others of these hazards, the owner is then considered negligent.

For example, if an apartment complex has uneven stairs, the business owner or apartment complex owner is responsible for repairing the stairs or placing a warning sign to inform tenants and visitors of the hazard. Failure to do this will make them liable for any injuries that may happen. 

What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in Bakersfield

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, note that there are several steps you may take to ensure your safety. These steps may also strengthen  the validity of your case, should you choose to file a lawsuit. 

1. Seek Medical Care

After any type of accident, you must seek immediate medical care. Even if you feel your injuries may only be minor, you must be properly assessed by a medical professional to ensure you do not have any internal injuries. If left untreated, internal injuries can lead to long-term medical issues. Be sure to have a copy of your medical records as this may be used by your personal injury lawyer to help support your claim. 

2. Report the Incident

Wherever your slip and fall accident takes place — be it a store, sidewalk, or the home of an acquaintance — make sure you promptly report the incident to the relevant manager, owner, or landlord. Remember to have the details of the accident recorded in writing, and request that the manager, owner, or landlord provide you with a copy of the incident report before you leave the premises. 

3. Document the Accident

Gather the essential details, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., from any potential witnesses. Their statements could be invaluable in substantiating your claim. 

Remember to take pictures of the exact location where your accident happened and include details that may have contributed to it, such as condensation on the floor, loose floorboards, or lack of warning signs. Keep the clothes and shoes you had worn at the time of the accident, as these may be relevant pieces of evidence in the future. 

4. Decline to Give Statements Without Your Personal Injury Attorney Present

Limit your communication with the property owner, manager, or insurance companies if you have yet to hire a Bakersfield slip and fall attorney. Refrain from posting any details about your accident on social media. 

5. Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you decide to file a premises liability claim against the at-fault party (defendant), it is in your best interest to hire an experienced accident lawyer to handle the complexities of your case. 

At Ayuda California, our team has years of experience handling slip and fall accident claims, and we fight aggressively to ensure our clients receive the financial compensation they need and deserve. 

Filing a Slip and Fall Claim in Bakersfield

Before filing a slip and fall claim in Bakersfield, one must be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the set time limits or deadline within which the plaintiff (injured party) can file a valid claim against the party liable for their injuries and damages. If the plaintiff fails to file a slip and fall accident within the statute of limitations, they forfeit the right to pursue their claim and recover compensatory damages. 

In the state of California, the statute of limitations to file a slip and fall claim is two years from the date of the accident. 

Homeowners and business owners are usually safeguarded by either a homeowner’s or commercial insurance policy. In the event that you sustain physical injuries in a slip and fall accident, the insurer will require you to inform them right away and file your claim within an acceptable time frame. 

An experienced slip and fall accident attorney will ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner, help you prove liability, and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance provider on your behalf. 

If you and the defendant cannot agree on settlement negotiations, your accident lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit and defend you in court. 

How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Injury Lawyer Help You?

Although it is possible for private individuals to file a slip and fall claim in Bakersfield on their own, this may not be the best course of action in the long run. It is best to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney, as insurance adjusters may use your vulnerability at this moment to trick you out of a fair settlement. 

Having an experienced Bakersfield slip and fall lawyer by your side will also ensure that all the complex paperwork is taken care of, so you can focus on your recovery. 

At Ayuda California, not only will our team make sure you get the medical care you need, but we will also fight to recover the maximum compensation possible for your case. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Claims in Bakersfield, CA

What should I do if the property owner denies liability in Bakersfield?

If the defendant’s party denies liability for your accident, this means that the defendant does not accept liability for your accident. In cases such as these the next step would be to gather supporting evidence of liability to present to the defendant’s party.

Your personal injury lawyer may also recommend for witness statements to be collected from any present during the time of the accident. 

Can I file a slip and fall claim in Bakersfield if I was partially at fault?

Due to California’s comparative negligence rule, even if a plaintiff is partially responsible for their accident, they may still file a slip and fall claim in Bakersfield. However, the amount of compensation for damages a plaintiff may recover will be reduced by the amount of fault for their injuries. 

For instance, if you are 25% responsible for your accident, the settlement amount you will recover will be reduced by 25%. 

How much time do I have to file a slip and fall claim in Bakersfield?

As previously mentioned, victims of slip and fall accidents have two years from the time of the accident to file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations is up. 

How much does it cost to hire a slip and fall attorney in Bakersfield?

At Ayuda California, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means our clients don’t need to pay a single cent unless we win their case. No initial fees. No out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Can I still file a claim if I signed a waiver before entering the property in Bakersfield?

If you were injured after signing a “waiver of liability” it may be more difficult to file an accident lawsuit or claim for compensation, but not impossible. It may still be possible to file a compensation claim if the property owner’s negligent actions caused you physical harm.

Get In Touch With an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today!

At Ayuda California, we understand the difficulties that come with recovering from a slip and fall accident. We are advocates for victims of slip and fall accidents and are dedicated to helping victims get the medical treatment they need and the fair compensation they deserve. 

Ayuda California has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for thousands of clients. We will be with you every step of the way. Fill out our contact form or call us at (844) 865-0721 for a free, no-obligation consultation today!

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