A slip and fall accident may sound harmless, but while some may only result in minor bruising, others can produce serious injuries. When this type of accident occurs on another individual's or business's property, you may be entitled to compensation. Let our Los Angeles slip and fall attorneys evaluate your case for free. Contact Greenberg & Ruby, LLP today.
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SLIP AND FALL / TRIP AND FALL ACCIDENT OVERVIEW
Trip & Fall or Slip & Fall are terms referring to insurance claims or lawsuits filed when an individual is injured from a fall in the workplace or on someone else's property under circumstances that could have been prevented by those legally responsible for maintaining safety.
All property owners are legally required to keep their property safe for any and all visitors, invitees and in some cases even trespassers. The government, considered the property owner of public areas such as sidewalks in residential neighborhoods, also has a responsibility to maintain clean and hazard-free walkways and roadways. When private property owners or the government fail to maintain reasonable standards of safety and eliminate known hazards then they can be held liable for any serious injuries that occur as a result of those hazards. If your trip and fall accident occurs at work, you should contact a Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer.
Similarly, any visitor to private or public property or any pedestrian using public sidewalks is legally required to exercise reasonable care to ensure his or her own safety. For this reason, slip and fall or trip and fall injuries are often considered to be the partial fault of the injured party.
TYPES OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, slip & fall accidents fall into two basic categories: elevated falls and same-level falls.
Elevated falls occur when an individual falls from a height of 6 feet or higher. An elevated fall is more serious than a same-level fall and tends to cause more severe injuries. Fortunately, more than 60% of all reported elevated falls occur from a height of less than 10 feet; elevated falls in general are rare as compared to same-level falls.
Same-level falls do not involve falling from a great height but rather occur when an individual trips or slips and collides with an object, working surface or the ground as a result. Same-level falls are most often the result of damaged pavement, sidewalk and roadways or a wet or slippery floor.
TYPES OF SLIP & FALL / TRIP & FALL INJURIES
Injuries may include severe traumas such as head and brain injuries, back injuries and in rare cases dismemberment or amputation and even death. These sorts of accidents may also result in broken bones, fractured bones, lost teeth, broken noses, contusions and internal injuries. Besides the pain and suffering of a physical injury other damages and losses may include the expenses of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and lost wages both present and future.
HOW SLIP & FALL / TRIP & FALL ACCIDENTS OCCUR
Trip, slip and fall accidents may occur almost anywhere: sidewalks, parking lots, construction sites, office buildings, supermarkets and restaurants are just a few examples. Approximately 60% of injuries due to trip and fall accidents are caused by or involve public walkways in which the pavement is uneven or hazardous in some way. As public sidewalks are considered the responsibility of the government, claimants have a small window of six months to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires.
The majority of indoor slip & fall accidents occur as a result of slippery floors. Certain types of flooring material are slippery by nature, such as polished marble or granite, but are not considered to be unreasonably dangerous by law. Rather, floors may be considered dangerously slippery when wet from waxing or polishing, cleaning, spills or leaks. If the property owner is negligent and does not provide appropriate warnings of wet conditions or clean spills or leaks in a timely manner then they may be considered partially or fully responsible for any injuries as a result of a slip.
Outdoor trip & fall and slip & fall accidents can occur for many reasons. If an area that has uneven pavement, cracks in the sidewalk or other hazards and is not adequately illuminated when someone trips and injures him or herself as a result of the low visibility, then those responsible for maintaining the appropriate lighting can be held at fault. However, injuries from obvious cracks or potholes and walkways may be considered the fault of the injured party for failure to apply reasonable care while walking.
LIABILITY IN A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT
Depending on your case's circumstances, you may be eligible to pursue compensation from the property owner or other liable parties to cover your losses. In order to prove your case, the following must be established:
- You were owed a duty of reasonable care from the property owner.
- The property owner failed to provide reasonable care.
- You were involved in an accident as a result of this failure.
- The accident resulted in physical harm to yourself.
In some instances you may be found to be partially responsible for your own injury. Fortunately, in California you can still receive personal injury payment. You and the property owner will each be assigned percentages of fault, and your award will be reduced by your amount.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall at work, then you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim for medical care and a portion of your lost wages.
SLIP & FALL/TRIP & FALL ACCIDENT STATISTICS
- It is estimated by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control that approximately 7 million individuals are injured annually in the United States from unreported slip & fall accidents.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 1 million individuals are injured in trip, slip and fall injuries and approximately 17,000 individuals die as result of those injuries.
- 15% of fatal work place accidents are caused by trips, slips and falls, making them the second leading cause of incidental occupational deaths, after fatal motor vehicle accidents.
- 15% to 20% of all workers compensation costs go to resolving trip slip and fall claims.
- 20% to 30% of all victims of slip & fall accidents suffer injuries such as head trauma, hip fractures and bruising that are moderates to serious.
- Spine, pelvis, hip, leg, upper arm, forearm and hand fractures are the most common injuries from slip & fall accidents.
- Slip & fall accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
- 46% of fatal falls among the older population are due to traumatic brain injuries from slip & fall accidents.
WHY YOU NEED A SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEY
Most often, negligent parties or their insurers will not accept liability for your slip and fall accident injury, but will put the blame on you. A slip and fall attorney will make it their top priority to protect you when that is the case and fight for the compensation you are warranted. That will include:
- Investigating: A lawyer will conduct a detailed investigation to determine who the liable parties are and collect evidence to support it.
- Identifying Sources of Compensation: In addition to the property owner or your employer, there may be other parties that should be held responsible for your injury. For example, the manufacturer of a defective product.
- Negotiate Maximum Payment: After a thorough assessment of your case's value, a slip and fall lawyer will be able to skillfully handle settlement negotiations with the insurance companies on your behalf. This will protect you from settling for an unfairly low amount. On the other hand, if your workers' compensation claim is denied, your attorney can assist you with appealing that decision.
- Take the Case to Trial: When a fair settlement amount cannot be reached, your lawyer will fight for you at trial.
Get Help From a Proven, Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer TODAY
In Los Angeles, you generally have two years from the date of the slip and fall incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. That may sound long, but building a case takes time. The slip and fall accident lawyers at Greenberg & Ruby, LLP want to begin working on your claim as soon as possible. Contact them today for your free consultation.