Accidents do happen, but sometimes we are the unwilling victims of bad infrastructure, bad terrain or unattended issues that can cause accidents. When you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to obtain compensations for slip and fall accidents.
After an accident, you may want to consider if the fault can be attributed to the owner of the real estate property where the accident happened. Slip and fall accidents in L.A. are a common cause of emergency medical injuries and can cause injuries that will debilitate the victim for a long time, like a broken limb, fractured bones or, in serious cases, even skull fractures.
Although the owner of the property where the accident took place cannot be accused of negligence in all cases, it is worth it to contact a slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles and find out if your case can be considered as a slip and fall accident.
What is the first step for obtaining compensations after a slip and fall injury?
The first step after having treated the injuries resulted from a slip and fall is to inform the owner of the property of your intentions towards taking legal action. When a person is injured in a slip and fall accident in L.A., in order to receive compensations for the injuries, the negligence of the owner must be proved in court. However, due to reasonable causes, this is not always the case. Our slip and fall lawyers in Los Angelescan help you assess a particular case and determine if the property’s owner can be accused of negligence. In certain cases, negligence cannot be proven: for example if the objects that caused the slip and fall were in an obvious place and the injured party was simply not paying attention.
When is the owner of the premises liable for a slip and fall accident?
The cases in which the owner of the property can be accused of causing a slip and fall accident are if:
-the general condition of the property was dangerous;
-the owner should have taken care of the precarious condition of the property;
-the owner has received complaints before and had time to fix the issues.
In these particular cases, the land or property owner can be accused of negligence, however, both parties will carry some degree of responsibility for the accident. Work accidents in California are not considered slip and fall accidents and workers should address the case within the legal coverage provided by the worker’s compensation laws.
What are the injuries that can be compensated for?
There are various degrees of injuries in slip and fall accidents. These can include a broken limb or head trauma or the more serious spinal cord injuries in the victim falls on his back. Elderly individuals can be more prone to sustaining serious slip and fall injuries.
To find out more about slip and fall injuries, we invite you to watch this video presented by our slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles:
What compensations can you obtain for a slip and fall accident in L.A.?
Our slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles will help you make a solid case and obtain compensation for injuries caused by a slip and fall accident that was caused by evident negligence. According to the particularities of the case and the extent of the injuries, you may be able to obtain compensation for:
-the medical bills for treating the slip and fall injury;
-any future loss of wages or another form of payment caused by the inability to work because of the injury;
-the repair of property damaged during the fall;
-permanent disabilities caused by the accident;
Using our personal injury calculator can be a useful first step for estimating the value of your compensation. You will need to know the costs of the medical bills and at least have an estimate for the other costs that are included. This is why it is recommended to first follow through with the medical treatment and talk to your treating physician about any other future costs (of any). An estimate provided by a physician will be useful for the final calculation.
Freelancers and individuals who are engaged in a project-based work can include lost income opportunities when estimating the future lost wages as a direct inability to work after the fall accident.
It is useful to know the difference in the types of damages that you can obtain in personal injury cases. Broadly speaking, these are special compensatory damages (monetary compensation for the medical bills, loss of earnings and other expenses) and general compensatory damages (for pain and suffering and emotional distress). Proving negligence and how the slip and fall accident directly caused the damage is very important and this is when our slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles can help you.
A special situation occurs when the fall is fatal for the individual. As seen below in the highlighted statistics, this can take place in case of elderly individuals, however it may also happen in other cases such as in workplace accidents that can involve a fatal fall from a scaffolding, for example. In these unfortunate scenarios, the victim’s surviving family has the right to seek compensation for the medical death prior to the death (if applicable), the funeral expenses, loss of financial contribution and support as well as loss of companionship.
If you need more details on these types of compensatory damages, please reach out to our slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles.
How much is a settlement for a slip and fall accident?
The settlement amount is calculated according to the degree of the injuries and can range from a few hundred dollars to other, much larger amounts, especially in catastrophic injury cases. The settlement in a slip and fall accident can also be established without having to go to court. These out-of-court negotiations will usually take place with an insurance company representative. A personal injury lawyer can help you during this negotiation phase. If the attorneys and the insurance company can agree upon a reasonable amount for the compensations, then the case is no longer taken to court. It is important to request the services of a personal injury lawyer right away because insurance companies will usually try to convince you to agree to a smaller amount for your claims.
How much time do you have to sue for a slip and fall accident?
California has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident. After this time, it is unlikely that the case will be taken to court.
Liability in slip and fall accidents
A plaintiff’s slip and fall claim is based on whether or not he can prove that the property owner is to blame. In these types of cases, the situation will commonly be reduced to proving one of two scenarios:
- the owner of the premises should have paid more attention to the upkeep of the area and should have excised reasonable care to prevent and/or recognize a dangerous condition but he failed to do so;
- the owner of the premises caused the effective dangerous condition by placing hazardous obstacle and not signaling it and it would have been very easy for someone to be injured in those conditions.
The defendant can be the owner of the premises himself or one of his employees, of the task of keeping the premises safe was specifically entrusted to him. Determining the party or parties at fault is an important step and a slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles can give you the needed help at this stage.
Proving negligence in slip and fall accidents
In order to prove a slip and fall accident, one must be able to show that the defendant’s actions directly caused the fall and the injuries. Several types of evidence are very useful for this purpose, including medical records and/or statements, pictures from the location, eyewitness testimonies, etc. One of the slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles can help you consider the main questions you should be able to answer when building your slip and fall case, including issues like: did the hazardous situation exist for a long time or if the landlord did take some action to remove it.
Because California has a pure comparative negligence rule, in any personal injury accident the defendant can argue that the plaintiff is also to blame for the accident to some degree. However, according to this rule, the plaintiff can still claim compensation even if he is indeed to blame.
If the plaintiff is also found guilty for the accident (for example not paying attention to certain warning signs or conditions or engaging in risky behavior themselves) then the final compensation amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault.
Facts about falls and other important information
The data provided by the Center for Disease Control highlights the fact that slip and fall accidents are common and, in fact, millions of people fall each year in the United States. Understandably, not all of these falls are severe and not all cases are suitable for applying for compensation with the help of our slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles, however, the data reveals that these common accidents deserve attention.
Some of the most important fall rates in the U.S. reveal the following:
fall death rates have increased by 30% from 2007 to 2016 for older adults;
one out of five falls caused severe injuries such as head injuries or broken bones;
3 million older individuals area treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries each year;
over 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall injury and in most cases these are head injuries or hip fractures;
more than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling sideways.
Each year, more than one in four adults aged 65 and older falls. Falls are the number one cause of injuries for older citizens and these types of injuries are also significant in terms of Medicare costs, with more than 31 billion $ each year.
Seeking adequate medical aid is important after being injured in a slip or a fall, especially for older individuals who are at higher risk of severe injury and developing complications. When the injury is a severe one, such as a head injury, it will make it difficult for the person to engage in everyday activities or even live on their own. This is important for older persons and it may be useful to talk to our slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles to see if and how you can receive compensation for pain and suffering as well as emotional and/or mental anguish after the accident.
Prevention is key when discussing slip and fall accidents, and older individuals can take a number of steps, among which taking regular medical checkups in order to make sure that their overall health condition is a satisfactory one. On the other hand, businesses and property owners also play a vital role in ensuring the decrease in the number of cases by avoiding causing dangerous situations through negligence.
Slip and fall injuries cause various degrees of injuries and affect individuals of all ages, despite persons of 65 years and older being the most prone to accidents. If you have been involved in a fall that was not your fault or you were only partially to blame, you can be entitled to receive compensation.
Marc Y. Lazo is specialized in personal injury cases as well as in complex business and commercial litigation. He has tried numerous cases to successful verdict and has obtained multiple six-figure judgments in both state and federal court.