Building owners and other public property owners are obligated to constantly ensure that their premises are safe for everyone who walks in and out. When this is not done, and someone slips and falls, they might be forced to compensate the person.
Evidence is required to show the court that a person injured themselves because the owner failed to do their part. An Orange County personal injury attorney understands the principles of proof and can make sure that your claim materializes.
What Evidence Should I Collect Immediately After a Fall?
Documenting the initial conditions of the area where you fell is critical in proving negligence and determining liability in your case. You might have difficulty collecting the evidence if you cannot move after the fall, because you probably broke a bone or hit your head. Calling 911 immediately not only helps you to get urgent medical assistance, but it also comes with an opportunity to collect evidence.
Ensure that you explain to the police exactly what happened, and remind them to take photographs of the circumstances that caused you to slip and fall. The police report can help in demonstrating the property owner’s negligence and point to the liable party. Thereafter, you can work with an Orange County slip and fall lawyer that can represent you in court and help you fight for a more deserving compensation.
The accident could have been caused by:
- Poor floor construction
- Poor lighting
- Dangerous floor surfaces
- Lack of warning signs
- Food debris
- Freshly mopped or waxed floors
- Greasy floors
- Negligent cleaning schedules
- Spilled liquids
How Important is Medical Evidence?
Apart from detailed documentation of the scene, a medical report is another vital piece of evidence. Such cases are all about proving that a property owner’s negligence resulted in the injuries you sustained. Ensure that your medical report outlines all your injuries, the type of trauma you suffered, and what could have caused the accident. Victims can suffer:
- Nerve damage
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Scrapes and cuts
- Muscle strains
- Knee injuries
- Wrist fractures or sprains
- Hip fractures
- Broken bones
It isn’t uncommon for insurance companies to dispute your medical condition, and ask for follow-up appointments with their third-party doctors that are likely to side with them. But your Orange County personal injury attorney can guide you every step of the way, and make sure that you are not short-changed on your compensation. They will make sure that you get damages to cover:
- Punitive damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses and legal fees
- Emotional injuries
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Losses of income
- Medical care and disability costs
Which Types of Evidence Can an Attorney Help in Collecting?
Just like in motor accidents, witness statements, videos, and photos are invaluable in filing a claim. But the problem with witness statements is that they might be biased. For instance, employees at the building may not be willing to give factual statements for fear of losing their jobs. Fortunately, lawyers at the Orange County slip and fall law firm can use other pieces of evidence such as:
- Photos of your wet shoes or clothes after the accident
- Citations regarding building safety
- Expert opinions from architects and engineers
- Building plans
- Testimony from guests or tenants that noticed the safety hazard
- Testimony from guests or tenants that also had an accident
- Reports about hazards that weren’t fixed properly
- Maintenance reports of similar falls
- Surveillance footage of the hallway or entranceway where you fell
How is the Evidence Collected Used in the Case?
It might be impossible to receive compensation until you prove that the accident directly relates to a hazard in a particular premise. The evidence collected needs to prove that the owner or the person in charge of maintenance:
- Ignored a known defect
- Failed to check for hazards
- Failed to keep up with the minimum standard of care
You will know that you have a personal injury case if the elements of the case meet the following elements:
- You suffered compensable losses
- A dangerous condition in the building or premises caused the injuries
- The owner or worker failed to put warnings regarding the dangerous condition
- The owner or worker was aware of the dangerous condition
- The defendant was the controller or owner of the property when the accident happened
Some of these elements are more challenging to prove than others. But the Santa Ana slip and fall lawyers at Gibson & Hughes have enough experience to bring forth proofs that can satisfy each of the five elements.
How Long Should One Wait to Present the Evidence in Court?
Like in all other cases, it is not advisable to wait too long to file a personal injury case in Orange County. In California’s statute of limitations, victims have two years from the day of the accident to file their case in court and plead for compensation. If you delay and the period elapses, you will automatically lose your rights to recover your losses in California.
It is worth noting that certain circumstances can prolong or shorten the time you have to file. If the victim is a minor, the deadline can be extended. And if you are bringing a claim against a government agency, you only have six months to file. So, as soon as you get injuries in a slip and fall accident, it is critical to call your lawyer as soon as possible, and they will tell you exactly how much time you have left.
High-Quality Representation from Award-Winning Personal Injuries Attorneys
The courts in Orange County cannot hesitate to dismiss a personal injury case if it is not loaded with credible evidence. That’s why it is essential to invest in a legal expert that will help you gather everything you need to win your case.
Victims of property owners’ negligence deserve full compensation for all their losses. The earlier you begin pursuing damages, the less likely you will face challenges in your recovery journey. Call us at 714-547-8377 to book a FREE, no-obligation case evaluation with us.