Orange County Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
One minute, you are shopping at Albertsons, and the next, you are on the ground in pain after you slipped and fell on something slippery on the aisle floor.
Falls can lead to various injuries like broken bones, sprains, and traumatic brain injuries. A fall is a serious accident, though many people downplay it. Never underestimate your slip and fall injuries and losses. When someone is negligent, disregards a dangerous condition, and causes your injury, you should take legal action.
Injury victims will need help with the impending financial losses and the physical and emotional toll these injuries have, and our Orange County slip and fall accident attorneys from Bentley & More LLP, can help with the legal process.
Slip and fall and premises liability
Slip and falls lead to about one million emergency room visits each year. These injuries happen when someone slides, slips, or trips and falls on someone else’s property. Slip and falls land in a category of personal injury law called premises liability. Victims must often file a claim with the property owner, business owner, or manager.
Within the claim, you must prove that the property owner did not take steps to address a potentially dangerous condition. Their negligence makes them responsible for your injuries, barring some exceptions.
Who can sue for a slip and fall?
Another critical consideration for slip and fall claims is the legal status of the injured party on the property. The basis of a claim falls on the duty of care the property owner has to people legally on the property.
In most instances, you will fall into one of three categories when you enter a property: trespasser, licensee, or invitee. Property owners are responsible for keeping the premises reasonably safe in areas where they expect someone to enter as a licensee or visitor. For example, businesses must ensure floors are free of tripping hazards, stairways are stable, and there aren’t any slick or wet surfaces.
Sometimes, a trespasser can also file a claim for slip and fall injuries, but these cases are more complex and challenging to prove. Have our attorneys evaluate your rights in this situation.
Injuries you can suffer
Slip and fall accidents are unpredictable and, therefore, injuries vary. While two people can fall similarly, it does not mean they will suffer the same injuries. Your health and physical condition can also affect the severity of the injury.
Examples of injuries victims suffer include:
- Head injuries: Sometimes manifesting as concussions, and traumatic brain injuries can lead to significant lifestyle changes and disabilities
- Back and spinal cord trauma: Your nerves, muscles, and ligaments can suffer damage that impacts your mobility. Spinal cord damage can result in paralysis
- Neck injury: Impacts can cause damage to your discs, nerves, ligaments, and muscles. These injuries are similar to back injuries and can lead to permanent ones
- Abrasions: Cuts and bruises might seem minor, but chemicals or debris can infect a cut
- Shoulder injuries: Trying to catch your fall, you put out your arms, which causes stress on your shoulders and can cause dislocation or tendon damage
- Broken bones: Often happening on elbows, legs, wrists, and hips
This list is not exhaustive. Additionally, you may suffer emotional or psychological trauma due to the fall or resulting injuries. Discuss your specific injuries and options with an Orange County slip and fall accident attorney.
Liability for slip and fall
Property owners are responsible for maintaining their premises and addressing any potential hazards that can cause guests to injure themselves. Managers, business owners, property owners, and others can be liable for slip and falls.
Weather conditions can make an area unsafe, and property owners should prepare for these conditions. Suppose there is a storm coming; a property owner can take precautions to avoid slippery floors. These actions can prevent a catastrophe.
Walkways, hallways, parking lots, and sidewalks are treacherous areas when regular maintenance is lacking. When these areas need repairs and property owners fail to complete them, they are responsible for any resulting accidents.
There are many other examples of situations that can lead to an injury. You will need a slip and fall accident lawyer in Orange County to investigate the circumstances and what a property owner or manager did or did not do to cause the condition.
Common causes of slip and fall injuries
Slip and falls can happen anywhere, but some places are more susceptible to these risks than others. As we mentioned, property owners are responsible for maintaining and securing the property. If their failure to do so leaves you injured, they should be responsible.
Slip and falls are common with spilled liquids at a store. With extensive foot traffic in groceries and other large stores, there is plenty of room for error. When an unknown party spills something on the floor, and you walk by unknowingly and fall, the property owner is responsible. However, you must show that the manager or property owner was aware of or should have been aware of the spill. Evidence that can help prove the presence of the spill and reasonable knowledge are market sweeping logs, cleaning records, eyewitness testimony, and more.
Rain and sprinklers can help maintain the grass and shrubbery around a property but can also lead to dangerous conditions. When a walkway becomes wet or slippery, plaintiffs must prove that the wet surface created a perilous situation. We often think of slippery floors inside, but outdoor walkways should also have proper maintenance to avoid fall hazards.
Falls from heights
Often happening in workplaces but also common in shopping malls, stadiums, and other multi-story buildings, falls down the stairs or from heights can often lead to lifelong injuries. The maintenance of these areas is the responsibility of the property owner, and they must place signage on the broken handrails and other hazards until repairs are complete.
Inadequate safety training
All businesses must train employees to carefully inspect and maintain the property and report hazardous conditions. These preventative measures can result in fewer slip and fall accidents and a reasonably safe environment. However, if an employer fails to train their staff, it can be a form of negligence if someone gets hurt. Each staff member should know and meet their responsibilities to keep the premises safe. If they do not, the employer should be liable.
Recoverable damages from slip and fall injuries
Your initial medical bills can be extensive, but that is only the beginning of slip and fall losses. More medical bills will likely come. You can also have other costs from the injury, such as lost income and out-of-pocket expenses.
You want to recover financial compensation for these losses, so file an insurance claim with the help of a slip and fall accident attorney in Orange County from Bentley & More LLP.
Slip and fall victims can seek economic and non-economic compensation.
Economic damages can consist of ongoing expenses for medical attention like massages, physical therapy, and doctors’ visits. Any medications you need will also be in this category. Transportation and household services costs are also expensive and must be a part of these claims. Time off work is another significant expense you will incur from a slip and fall accident.
Some non-economic damages you can seek include pain and suffering, anxiety disorders, emotional distress, and pressure on your intimate relationships.
Do property owners have defenses?
Yes, property owners can use various defenses to try to avoid paying you what your case is worth. One common excuse they will use is that the fall was the victim’s fault or the business had adequate warnings of hazards. They might try to allege that you were distracted, intoxicated, or that your pain is from a preexisting condition. These allegations are an attempt to avoid liability, even if the accident was obviously not your fault.
Victims often feel shocked at the allegations the insurance company will throw at them. The depths they will go to reduce or deny a claim is sometimes appalling. Do not let the insurance company or property owner infringe on your rights. You have legal options, and while you’re healing, you should work with Orange County slip and fall accident attorneys to prove the insurance company wrong and seek fair compensation. We handle all communications so you do not have to hear false allegations of your responsibility for the accident.
Challenges of proving slip and fall cases
Aside from the defenses available to property owners, there are other challenges that victims can come across. Delaying a medical examination can hinder your slip and fall claim. The truth is that some injuries do not appear immediately, but a prompt medical evaluation can only help your case.
Another hurdle is reporting the injury and working with the insurance company. You have no obligation to communicate with the insurance company without a lawyer. The insurer might harp on you to give a recorded statement and try to convince you not to hire an Orange County slip and fall accident attorney. Do not believe them.
Slip and fall deadlines
The clock starts ticking the moment you fall. You generally have two years in California to file a premises liability claim. A few, rare exceptions apply to the two-year statute of limitations. Even though two years might seem like a long time to file a claim, you must move quickly.
There are also several options to resolve the case out of court before a lawsuit is necessary. Most claims settle without a trial, but that is a possibility to prepare for if the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate.
The legal process is long, and there are other actions you might need to take before filing a lawsuit. Having an Orange County slip and fall accident attorney fighting for your compensation immediately can increase your chances of a fair outcome.
Evidence for your slip and fall claim
Proving negligence is essential for your slip and fall case. Depending on the damages you seek and how the accident occurred, you will need evidence. Videos from the property and eyewitness testimony are invaluable evidence you can present when possible. Your medical records are also vital to demonstrate your fall-related injuries.
Medical experts can attest to your injuries and their impact on your life. Expert witnesses are also beneficial for slip and fall cases because economists can help prove loss of income and future earnings.
Slip and fall victims can access evidence and expert witnesses with the help of an Orange County slip and fall accident attorney. Bentley & More LLP has a network of experts at our disposal to help with your legal claim.
Contingency fees are beneficial
There are some reasons that slip and fall victims choose not to hire legal assistance. One reason is they believe the property owner or the insurance company will take care of them and offer a fair settlement. This is false.
Another reason is concern about the costs of hiring a slip and fall lawyer in Orange County. Having money shouldn’t determine if you can get legal representation. Bentley & More LLP, offers free initial consultations so you can get the information you need to decide if moving forward with a claim is viable.
If you suffered an injury on someone’s property, you need legal representation to stand a chance against the other party’s legal team. If we proceed with a claim, we work on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay any upfront fees, and we will only take a percentage of your settlement as our fees if you win. Discuss your options and costs by calling us today.
Call an Orange County slip and fall lawyer today
If you fall on someone else’s property, you must get medical attention and then call the experienced slip and fall lawyers from Bentley & More LLP, for a free consultation. We want to help you get through this and help you seek fair compensation. Reach out to a Orange County personal injury lawyer. We also encourage attorney referrals if you have a solid case out of your practice field. Contact us today at (949) 617-0938 to discuss your options.
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