Knowing Your Rights After A Slip-And-Fall Injury
The minute you step off of your property, you are on someone else’s property and if you are there legally (not trespassing), you are owed a duty of care by the property owner, manager or another person responsible for maintaining the property. Slip-and-fall cases are sometimes mocked as being frivolous lawsuits and the people who do not think of them as serious have never sustained serious injuries in a fall and they have not seen the injuries that our slip-and-fall attorneys have seen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries from birth until age 9 is unintentional falls. For people age 10 to 24, the second-highest leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries is unintentional falls. And from age 25 to over 65 unintentional falls is the number one cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Sometimes falls can be nothing more than a couple of bruises and a little embarrassment, but often, resulting injuries are very serious and if the fall was caused by a property owner’s negligence, he or she should be held accountable.
Common Fall Injuries
Common slip-and-fall injuries include torn ligaments, broken bones, dislocations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, back injuries and hip injuries. Slip-and-fall injuries often require medical care and follow up care, missed work, and other life disruptions such as a temporary or long-term inability to drive and difficulty in caring for children or doing regular household work.
Causes Of Trip-Slip-And-Falls
Dangerous conditions causing slips, trips, and falls include the following:
- Floor surface irregularities such as loose planks, cracked tiles and catches in rugs and carpets.
- Outdoor surface irregularities including pavement cracks, potholes, and uneven walkway surfaces.
- Walkway obstructions and tripping hazards such as loose cords and other unexpected items in walkways.
- Wet floors due to spills, recent cleaning, water tracked in from shoes and umbrellas, or other slippery substances.
- Broken or irregular stairs and railings.
- Inadequate lighting and burned out light bulbs making walkway and stairway visibility difficult.
Defendants will often allege that the plaintiff’s own negligence caused his or her injury in an effort to reduce liability. Comparative negligence may include things such as failing to recognize an open and obvious dangerous condition, failure to heed the defendant’s warning about a dangerous condition, or otherwise failing to exercise reasonable care. A finding of comparative negligence does not preclude a plaintiff’s recovery in most cases. Generally, a plaintiff may recover for injuries and damages he or she sustained, but that amount will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.
Dedicated Representation From Beginning To End
At The Hayes Law Firm, we know those fall injuries can be severe and life-changing and if your fall was caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Our personal injury attorneys will review your claim, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and try your case in court if needed, to help secure a full and fair recovery.
A slip-and-fall accident, which causes bodily injury to an estimated million people in our country each year, occurs when a person loses their balance due to slipping on slippery or other dangerous surfaces.
When this type of accident occurs on someone else’s property, the victim is entitled to pursue compensation under premises liability law in California. Although back injuries are considered the most common type of injury among victims of slip and fall, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are also quite prevalent.
Although there are laws in place in California to help injured victims in premises liability cases to recover damages from the at-fault property owner or occupier, proving that your accident was caused by the property owner’s fault can be complex, especially if you are not represented by an attorney.
How Many People Can Be Sued In A Slip-And-Fall Lawsuit?
You can name more than one defendants in your slip-and-fall lawsuit to pursue compensation. There could be several parties who were responsible for your injury on someone else’s property. More often than not, the following parties can be held accountable in premises liability cases:
- Property owner
- Property occupier
- Third parties
- Construction company
- The owner’s employees
It is recommended to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to establish fault in your case and determine how many parties can be held liable for your injuries and all the entailing damages and losses.
Can I Estimate My Own Damages And Losses In A Slip-And-Fall Case?
For someone with a lack of legal knowledge and absolutely no experience in handling legal cases, it would be difficult to estimate his or her damages and losses accurately. Typically, only a slip-and-fall attorney with vast experience in handling similar cases can be expected to calculate all available tangible and non-tangible losses and damage incurred in a slip-and-fall accident.
A lawyer can get you the compensation for the things you were not aware of and would not have calculated on your own such as the diminished quality of life, anxiety, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of hope and many more.
Insurance companies know that victims of slip-and-fall accidents have very little understanding of the various types of losses and damages that they can seek compensation for.
I Slipped And Fell At My Apartment Complex, Who Can Be Sued?
Many slip-and-fall accidents occur at apartment complexes. When the accident is caused by a dangerous condition at the apartment complex, the victim can file a premises liability claim either against the landlord or the management company, depending on whose negligence or violation of a building code was responsible for the injury.
Some of you might wonder which hazards at an apartment complex can be considered “a dangerous condition.” Our slip-and-fall lawyer at The Hayes Law Firm has outlined the hazards that could make a staircase dangerous for tenants and guests:
- Lack of adequate lighting.
- The slippery surface of the staircase.
- Missing or inadequate guardrail.
- Debris in the stairwell.
- Worn out carpeting.
- The staircase does not comply with the building code.
In premises liability cases against apartment complexes, the importance of witness statements from tenants as well as photos and videos showing the hazard cannot be overstated.