A slip trip or fall accident can occur anytime, anywhere – causing serious injury or even death. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one of five falls causes a serious head injury or broken bone, with over 800,00 people are hospitalized each year because of a fall injury.
The National Safety Council reports that falls are the third leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 32,000 fatalities in 2014.
Falls are usually preventable, with common locations including doorways, ramps, uneven surfaces, ladders, and stairs. More often than not, a slip-and-fall accident occurs because the owner, manager, operator, or renter of a commercial or residential property ignored a dangerous condition on his or her property.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident that could have been prevented, you may have a claim against the responsible party. Slip and fall injury claims often fall under premises liability law, which provides that property owners and managers have a duty to keep their premises free from dangerous conditions that could potentially harm visiting guests. If they fail to discover or remediate a property hazard and a slip and fall accident occurs, they may be liable for their guest’s injuries and damages.
As mentioned above, falls are a leading cause of injury and death. Common injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents include dislocations, head and brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, other neck and back problems, and hip injuries. These injuries frequently result in significant medical bills and lost wages due to missed work. Sometimes extensive medical care, such as surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation are necessary after a serious fall.
Negligent property maintenance is a common cause of slip, trip, and fall incidents. Property owners are required to maintain their property and prevent falls caused by dangers, such as broken railings, worn and uneven flooring, and crumbling steps. Slippery conditions due to spilled liquids, leaky coolers, and recently mopped floors are also common factors in premises liability accidents.
Property owners often say that they were unaware of a dangerous condition on their property or that they recently found out about the danger and haven’t had a chance to repair or remediate the hazard. Part of a property owner’s duty of care is to regularly inspect their premises to discover any property dangers.
After discovering the danger, they have a reasonable amount of time to take care of the problem, but they also must warn visitors about any current dangerous conditions. For example, after mopping up a spill in a retail store, a sign should be posted to warn customers that the floor may be slippery.
Property owners often generally defend premises liability cases by alleging that the visitor’s injuries were caused by his or her own negligence. Defendants may argue that the condition was open and obvious, and it was the injured party’s fault for failing to avoid the danger. Even if you were partially at fault for the slip and fall accident, however, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
California’s comparative fault laws are favorable to injury victims. After each side presents their case in a personal injury action, fault is determined and apportioned between the parties. Once the plaintiff’s injuries and damages are calculated, the trial award is reduced by the plaintiff’s allocated percentage of fault.
At CaseyGerry, we have specialized in personal injury law for more than 70 years and have helped numerous fall victims and their families cope with debilitating loss. We take our cases on a contingency fee basis so that you do not pay for out-of-pocket attorneys’ fees. You will not pay for legal services until we have helped you secure compensation for your injuries and damages. For more information or a consultation on your case please contact us.