Slip, trip and fall accidents cause thousands of Californians pain, suffering and disability each year. A large portion of these accidents are due to negligent care by property owners, lessees or others who are temporarily in charge of property or buildings. Over one million people nationwide are injured in these types of accidents yearly, and approximately 17,000 of those people die.
At the workplace, slip, trip and fall accident injuries account for as high as 15 percent of all job-related injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) from slip and fall accidents are present in about 46% of fatal falls by older persons. These accidents cause more injuries and deaths to older persons in nursing homes than do other types of accidents.
Slip and fall accidents are divided into two categories: same-level and elevated falls. Falls from heights are apt to cause greater injury to head, neck, spinal column and limbs, but same-level falls also are painful and may involve more twisting injuries to limbs and the spine. Construction workers have a high number of serious slip, trip and fall accidents on the job, especially when working at heights.
California Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
The primary issue to prove when you work with a California Slip and Fall Accident Attorney is negligence. A property or building owner, lessee, renter or user is expected to exercise due care, that of a reasonable person, to keep and maintain safe conditions for all persons who may use or visit that property or building. This includes state, county and city government agencies.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a slip, trip or fall accident, your want to have an experienced California Slip and Fall Attorney represent your case. These legal professionals know what to look for, what to ask for, and how to prove a case of negligence. They have expert witnesses to call in to examine evidence, predict monetary damages and estimate other financial costs to the victim. As a plaintiff, you have a far better chance of winning your case and getting a higher compensation award when you do work with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney.
Personal Injury Accidents – Slip and Fall
A variety of injuries are included under California Personal Injury Law, but there is a two year time limit for claims. Slip and Fall is a category that refers primarily to injuries that occurred when a person slipped, tripped or fell because of some hazardous surface condition that was allowed to go without repair, unmarked or unnoticed by a person in charge of the premises. Under premises liability, anyone who owns or otherwise controls the premises where the accident occurred is responsible for injuries that are due to the condition of the premises. They are expected to use reasonable care to maintain surfaces where people may walk or otherwise use the premises. If there is a hazard, it should be clearly marked, repaired or replaced, so no one gets hurt.
California Personal Injury Attorney
In cases that involve injury or death caused by a slip, trip or fall, the job of a California Personal Injury Attorney is to track down responsibility/ownership/control of the premises, prove negligent behavior and fight aggressively for fair compensation for their client. It is important to call your Slip and Fall Attorney right away, because there is a two year time limit for claims. If you are making a claim against a California state, county or city government agency, the time limit for filing is only six months from the date of your accident.
The attorney looks into all aspects of the accident, including medical and injury reports. They will interview witnesses, get expert analysis of the event and compile a strong case to present at settlement hearings or in courtroom litigation on behalf of their client. They uncover additional information that relates to a case about the premises, care of the property and liability/responsibility. Another important element of your case is whether or not you are partially at fault. California has a “pure comparative negligence rule” that would reduce your award by a percentage amount related to your actions that may have played a part in your injury.
Payment for these legal services is usually on a contingency fee basis. The client pays for minor legal expenses as they accrue, but the major costs are only charged when the case is won and the client has received their monetary compensation. This allows the victim to relax and recover from their injuries, while the attorney does all the necessary paperwork, research and presentations. Most Personal Injury cases are settled prior to court, because it is more beneficial to the defendant to avoid a jury trial. Juries tend to levy higher awards and penalties in many cases.
Slip and Fall Accident Causes & Injuries
Injuries from slip and fall accidents happen anywhere and have many different causes. Property owners are supposed to foresee problems that might occur and attempt to either mark hazards or fix the problems that could cause someone to slip, trip or fall down.
Typical causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Slippery objects on floors – food or spills in a grocery store that are not marked or cleaned up, loose papers, objects that roll – like a pen or pencil, tools or small parts
- Loose objects – mats, carpets and other items that slide or contain a bump or folded corner, items with wheels, broken tiles
- Weather-related problems – icy spots, snow covered walkways that are not shoveled
- Surface issues – bumpy and uneven walkways, driveways, decks or parking lots; potholes, broken stairs or steps, rough surfaces, loose gravel or debris
- Equipment failures – ladders, scaffolding
Injuries that result from a fall range from minor to fatal:
- Bruising, scrapes or cuts
- Broken bones, fractures, twists, sprains
- Head or Brain injuries – concussion, puncture wound, skull or neck bone damage, death
- Spinal column – injuries can lead to paralysis or death
Short or long-term disability can be the result of a fall accident. Elderly people or those with infirmities or handicaps are especially susceptible to slip, trip and fall accident injuries. They also are more likely to die from those falls.
Filing Personal Injury Claims for Slip and Fall Accidents
When filing Personal Injury Claims for Slip and Fall Accidents, your attorney will include all documented medical problems and your injury reports. They also will investigate and interview witnesses to help determine premises liability.
Premises Liability Issues – The attorney will seek answers to many questions a judge would ask.
- Was the problem foreseeable?
- Did the premise controller take any action to try to prevent injury?
- Did the plaintiff bear partial responsibility?
- Was the hazard marked?
- Who was responsible for prevention of hazardous areas?
- Was the victim a guest, invited or a trespasser?
- What is the normal procedure for this defendant to care for the property?
- Was the property controller previously aware of the problem?
Filing the Claim – Your Personal Injury Attorney will do this for you, in a timely manner with all information properly entered and submitted. If you have related issues, such as Workers’ Compensation claims, they can also handle those matters for you.
Claims – Slip and Fall Accident Claims include many costs related to the accident, from work loss and medical care to funeral and burial costs when there is a fatality. A Personal Injury Attorney can help you obtain higher awards and settlement compensation, and speed up the process. They also are ready to stand up for your rights with litigation if the case moves into a courtroom.
Being injured because someone was negligent causes much pain, suffering and financial expense. Be sure to contact your Attorney immediately; do not discuss your case with any insurance representatives or you could jeopardize your case potential. You deserve justice; your California Personal Injury Attorney is the right professional to help you and your loved ones with recovery.