Were You Hurt in a Slip and Fall in San Jose?
Our attorneys will stand up for your legal rights
Property owners in San Jose have a responsibility to keep their premises safe, because when they don’t, lives can be changed dramatically. Slip and falls can cause serious injuries that have ripple effects on the rest of the victim’s life. As a result of a permanent injury, your career, your family, and your future may change. You have recourse under California law, but getting that recourse requires a strong advocate in your corner.
The Swanson Law Group has the experience, resources, and determination needed to stand up for slip and fall victims in San Jose and throughout northern California. If you’ve been hurt, you don’t have to go up against the property owner and their insurance company alone. Contact us today to discuss your legal options with an experienced San Jose slip and fall attorney.
What to do if you slip and fall in San Jose
Your first step, after making sure you are safe, should be to start gathering evidence. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and any visible injuries. If you slipped on or tripped over something, save the object. Save your shoes, too, so they can be tested for evidence. Get names and contact information for any witnesses. Take note if there are any security cameras or other recording devices in the vicinity – remember, camera footage is often gone within days if an attorney doesn’t take legal action to secure it, so it’s important to contact us quickly.
Report the incident to the owner of the property or someone responsible for the premises, and make sure you get a copy of the incident report. If the San Jose Police Department investigates the incident, you’ll need a copy of their incident report as well, which you can obtain online from the Records Unit. However, don’t sign anything before you talk to your lawyer.
Get medical attention right away, even if you feel fine. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, and brain injuries often have delayed-onset symptoms, as do other common slip and fall injuries like internal injuries. Go to an emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care provider and tell the doctor about all your symptoms. Keep copies of all medical documents – bills, discharge instructions, prescriptions, and so on – as well as mileage to and from your medical appointments.
Just as importantly, you need to speak with a San Jose slip and fall attorney at our firm as soon as possible, before you talk to the insurance company. We need to take immediate action to secure evidence and start building your case. Moreover, we can deal with the property owner and their insurance company on your behalf, protecting your rights while you focus on healing. We offer a free consultation, so there is no downside to getting answers about your legal options.
Who is liable for a slip and fall in San Jose?
Under California premises liability law, anyone who “owns, possesses, or controls” property can be held responsible for accidents, including slip and falls, that occur due to dangerous conditions on the premises. Depending on the type of property and the circumstances of the accident, one or more of the following parties might be responsible:
- Commercial property owner
- Tenant or renter
- Property management company
- Business owner
- Parent company
- Contractor with some responsibility for the premises (e.g. maintenance or security)
To hold them accountable, we need to prove one of three conditions:
- The property owner or manager caused the dangerous condition.
- The property owner or manager knew of the dangerous condition and did not address it.
- The property owner or manager should have known of the dangerous condition and did not address it.
When determining liability in slip and fall cases, California courts use the “reasonable care” doctrine. It doesn’t explicitly matter whether you were on the premises by the owner’s invitation or with the owner’s knowledge; even trespassers have legal rights. Rather, the court must assess whether the property owner or manager exercised “reasonable care” to keep the premises safe. They may consider the location of the property, the likelihood of harm, the owner’s knowledge of the danger, and how much control they had over the dangerous condition, among other relevant factors.
That means winning a slip and fall case is highly dependent on evidence. We need to reconstruct what happened, how, and why to make the case that the property owner didn’t take reasonable care. The sooner you get an experienced attorney on your side, the more effectively we can make that case.
A legal team that fiercely advocates for slip and fall victims
If you were hurt by dangerous conditions on someone else’s property, their liability insurance should pay for your costs. To the insurance company, though, your pain is just exposure to their bottom line, and they will use pressure tactics, intimidation, and manipulation to find excuses to pay you as little as possible. To them, it’s all business. To us, you’re a person in need of help, and we will put our energy and resources into advocating for your rights.
That starts with an in-depth investigation to get to the bottom of your slip and fall. We pore over evidence and often hire expert witnesses to help us reconstruct what happened. Just as importantly, we need to build a case for the full amount of compensation you deserve for your losses, including past and future medical expenses, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and more. We have relationships with experts, such as doctors and economists, who can help us tell that story to a San Jose jury.
Many of our cases settle out of court, because when the insurance companies see we’re prepared to take them to trial, they usually pay up. They know our reputation and our record of results. If they won’t cooperate, though, we are always ready to go to court. We know the courts, judges, and juries in Santa Clara County, and we are committed to getting meaningful results for our clients.
We are also sensitive to the sometimes-delicate nature of slip and fall matters. Often, the person responsible for your injury is also a friend, relative, or beloved local business. Remember, our goal isn’t to take your friend’s money; it’s to get their insurance company to pay out the coverage they have already paid premiums for. In most cases, we’re able to resolve slip and fall matters by dealing primarily with the insurance company, not the responsible party directly.
You can afford a level playing field
The insurance companies have extensive resources to help them deny compensation to injured people. We can match them shot for shot because we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay us anything out of pocket, and our firm advances the costs needed to move your case forward. If we win, our fee is a percentage of the money we recover for you; if we don’t win, we don’t get paid. Working this way allows us to protect your rights regardless of your ability to pay.
Our goal is not just to get financial compensation, but to help you rebuild your life, and that requires advocacy both inside and outside the courtroom. We will refer you to excellent doctors in the San Jose area, the same ones we’d see if we had a similar injury. We can connect you with career counselors, disability specialists, and other professionals who can help you move forward. There are more challenges ahead after a slip and fall, but we promise to guide you and walk with you every step of the way.
The key is to act quickly. In California, you have up to two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit, but we need to start our investigation and secure evidence much sooner than that. Don’t go it alone when you’ve been hurt. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced San Jose slip and fall attorney today.