Many people have the misconception that it's easy to file a personal injury claim and receive compensation for their injuries after a slip and fall accident.
Unfortunately, the insurance company for the negligent business or property owner may present numerous defenses to try to reduce or even deny your claim. If you want to win your case, you must understand the common arguments raised in these cases so you can refute them.
Leading Defenses to Anticipate in Your Slip and Fall Accident Case
In California, property owners and managers have a duty to maintain safe conditions for guests and to take reasonable steps to protect them from any hazards. If they can't remove the danger quickly, they must post warnings of the danger.
Here are some of the common defenses businesses and property owners use to try to argue that their negligence wasn't the reason for the incident.
- Open and obvious condition. This is one of the most common defenses. The insurance company argues that the victim should have spotted the dangerous situation and avoided it.
- No notice of the defect. Under California law, a business or property owner is responsible for hazardous conditions that they knew or should have reasonably known about. In some cases, the insurance company might state the owner or business isn't liable because they didn't have reasonable notice of and the opportunity to correct a hazardous condition. For example, this argument could be raised if someone gets hurt due to a spill by another customer in a store or restaurant.
- Comparative negligence. Another defense raised to defeat a slip and fall injury claim is that the victim was partially at fault for causing his accident. However, California follows the pure comparative negligence doctrine. It provides that an injured victim is entitled to compensation no matter how much at fault he was in causing his accident. However, the amount he receives is reduced by his percentage of fault. For example, if he were entitled to $200,000 and was 20 percent at fault, he'd receive $160,000.
You can learn more about slip and fall accident claims by ordering my free book, The Ultimate California Slip and Fall Injury Legal Survival Book. Then, fill out the convenient form on this website to schedule a free case evaluation with me to learn how I can assist you.