How a California Restaurant Patron Secured a $850K Judgment in His Slip-and-Fall Case

Too many times, people associate “slip-and-fall” accidents in a negative way. If this type of harm has never affected you, you may think of these accidents as ones involving trivially injured people exaggerating their injuries. The reality is actually very different. Slip-and-fall accidents often are very seriously harmful things. According to statistics published by the CDC, accidental falls were the #1 cause of injuries requiring hospital ER treatment in 2017. At almost 8.6 million incidents, the number of these falls was almost equal to the second, third and fourth causes combined.

Sounds pretty far from trivial, doesn’t it? So, the next time you’re hurt in a slip-and-fall, don’t dismiss it as nothing. Get the medical care necessary to protect your health and then get the legal representation you need to protect your rights by contacting an experienced San Mateo premises liability attorney.

J.P. was someone who suffered an obviously serious injury in a fall. While at an Asian buffet restaurant in Los Angeles County, J.P. went to the restroom. On his way back to his seat, J.P. slipped, fell and shattered his left knee in multiple places. After the accident, J.P. sued the restraint for premises liability. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC659957.)

This man’s case had no “smoking gun.” What J.P. needed, as a result, was a strong circumstantial case. Developing a winning circumstantial case often relies upon acquiring the right proof through the pre-trial discovery process and then knowing how to develop that pile of evidence into a persuasive and cohesive case.

J.P.’s legal team engaged in the necessary pre-trial discovery to get a considerable amount of evidence. They took or obtained helpful photographs of the hallway area where the accident occurred. They also made other discovery demands of the restaurant. (In many civil cases, pre-trial discovery techniques often take the form of things like depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents and requests for admissions.)

The injured man’s case at trial, then, was a well-rounded case. He had testimony from restaurant employees, he had photographs and he had the responses to his discovery requests. All of that helped to paint a picture supporting the central narrative of the injured man’s circumstantial case. That narrative theorized that, while J.P. was in the bathroom, a restaurant worker, who was headed to or from the kitchen, had spilled a certain amount of liquid and that trail of liquid had caused the hallway to become wet and slippery which, in turn, caused J.P.’s fall and shattered knee.

All of that persuasive circumstantial evidence convinced the jury, which unanimously found the restaurant negligent and awarded J.P. $850,000 in damages.

Whether your slip-and-fall accident caused broken bones, a head injury or some other form of harm, it is serious. It may mean that you will have to suffer through extensive medical treatment and rehab, prolonged (or permanent) pain and suffering and an extended absence from work. These serious harms require serious attention by seasoned legal pros. Contact the knowledgeable San Mateo premises liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our diligent attorneys are here to offer you the advice and advocacy you need to obtain the results you seek. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.