A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere and at any time. People who are injured in these accidents are often caught off guard by a hazardous condition, especially if they are on another person’s property or at a business. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to seek compensation to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, our compassionate attorneys understand how an accident can affect your physical and emotional well-being. Our experienced team believes that you are entitled to personalized legal representation. We can help you pursue the full compensation you need for your injuries and other losses after a slip and fall accident.
You deserve What’s Right. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation with one of our Orange County slip and fall attorneys.
Slip and Fall Laws in California
Most slip and fall accident cases are based on the legal concept of premises liability. California law allows a person who has been injured on someone else’s property the right to hold that property owner liable if the accident was caused by an unsafe condition that could have been foreseen and fixed.
To prevail in a claim, you must show that the property owner was liable for your injuries because the property owner knew about the unsafe condition and failed to correct it or failed to provide adequate warning.
Some of the factors the courts may use to determine if a property owner or other party was negligent in a premises liability case include:
- Whether the injured party knew or should have known about the hazard on the property
- How likely it is that someone would visit the property
- How likely it is that someone could be hurt on the property
- The likelihood of serious injury if someone is hurt on the property
- How hard it would be to minimize the injury risk from the hazard on the property
- How much control the injured party had over the hazard that created a risk of injury
One thing to remember in slip and fall cases is California’s shared fault laws. California uses a pure comparative negligence system, meaning that multiple parties can share fault for an accident, including the injured person.
If your actions contributed to the slip and fall accident, you can still seek compensation from the property owner. But the amount you receive would be reduced by your degree of fault. California allows you to pursue compensation for an accident even if you are at fault. You may seek financial relief even if the property owner was only partly to blame.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Usually Occur?
A slip and fall accident can happen almost anywhere.
Some of the most common places in Orange County where slip and fall accidents occur include:
- Grocery stores
- Retail stores
- Restaurants and bars
- Movie theaters
- Fitness centers and gyms
- Parking lots
- Parking garages
- Elevators and escalators
- Swimming pools
- Public parks
- Theme parks and amusement parks
- Sports venues
- Construction sites
- Assisted living facilities and nursing homes
- Rental properties
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Orange County, CA?
Various hazards can lead to slip and fall accidents.
Some of the most common causes of these accidents are:
- Slippery floors – Spilled drinks, water leaks, cleaning chemicals, and standing liquids can create a slick surface on the floor, leading to a slip and fall incident.
- Loose objects – Any small object or debris on the floor – such as children’s toys, empty boxes, and office equipment — may cause someone to lose their balance and fall.
- Stray electrical cords – Electrical cords should run along walls to minimize the chance of someone tripping over the cord and falling. If electrical cords cannot be kept along the walls, they should be covered and marked to keep visitors safe.
- Broken sidewalks and other pathways – Broken or cracked sidewalks are significant safety hazards. It is harder for people to maintain their balance on uneven pathways. Property owners are often responsible for maintaining the paths around their properties. They may be responsible for accidents caused by poor sidewalk maintenance.
- Sloped walkways that lack proper handrails – Climbing a sloped walkway to reach someone’s property can be extremely difficult without handrails, especially in poor weather conditions. People with disabilities are especially vulnerable to these slip and fall accidents in these circumstances and may suffer especially devastating injuries.
- Stairways that are not well maintained – Because stairways often have a steep incline, they can be major safety hazards if property owners do not maintain them. Broken or uneven steps can cause someone to lose their balance and fall, as can spilled liquids and other additional hazards.
- Construction site hazards – There are many things at construction sites that can pose a hazard, including open pits, cluttered work sites, spilled liquids, and uneven walkways. If you walk by a construction site and take a tumble, the property owner or construction company may be liable for your injuries.
- Swimming pools – Pools are a notorious slip and fall hazard because of the slick surfaces. A pool that does not have proper fencing or security features may pose a hazard to a small child who does not recognize the risk of falling in and drowning.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
The CDC reports more than 10.5 million fall injuries were treated at hospitals nationwide in one recent year.
Some of the most common injuries associated with falls include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Injuries to soft tissues
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Slip and Fall Claim Statute of Limitations in California
In most cases, you have two years from the date of a slip and fall accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in California. If you miss this deadline, your case will likely be dismissed, and you will be unable to pursue compensation in civil court. You should speak to an Orange County slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after an accident to allow the attorney to have as much time as possible to build your case and negotiate with insurers.
Slip and Fall Settlements
Most slip and fall accident cases end in an insurance settlement. The amount of your payment largely depends on the extent of your injuries and the degree of fault you bear for the accident.
Some of the losses you can seek compensation for after a slip and fall accident include:
- Medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages if you cannot work while you are recovering from your injuries
- Reduced future income if you suffer a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Damaged personal property
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in Orange County, CA?
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident in Orange County, here is what you need to do to give yourself the best chance of pursuing compensation for your injuries:
- Report the accident – Report the accident to the property owner or manager. It is best to put it in writing and keep a copy for yourself. A written record of the accident may help you prove that the accident did happen.
- Document the accident scene – Take pictures of the exact spot where you fell, any hazards that may have contributed to the accident, and your injuries. You should look for any eyewitnesses who can corroborate your account and any surveillance cameras that may have captured the fall.
- Seek medical treatment – You should see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you do not have any major injuries. A doctor can diagnose and treat your injuries and add them to your medical record.
- Write down what happened – Take some time to write down what happened as soon as possible. Be as detailed as you can. Your memories may fade in the weeks and months after the accident.
- Do not speak to any insurance companies – You may get a call from the property owner’s insurance company after the accident. An insurance adjuster may want you to accept a quick settlement. The insurance company’s offer will likely be far less than what you are owed. Let an attorney handle the settlement negotiations.
- Talk to a slip and fall attorney – Get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to review the details of the accident and discuss your legal rights.
Talk to a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Orange County, CA
Property owners should be financially responsible when their actions cause harm to others. The attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law are ready to help you pursue fair compensation after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact us today for a free consultation with an Orange County, CA slip and fall lawyer.