California Slip & Fall Injury Attorneys
Life has ups and downs and unfortunately occasionally accidents happen, but all property owners are responsible for maintaining safe premises for everyone. If you’ve been injured, Me Lawyers can help you to understand your rights and expectations for compensation so you can cover expenses and move forward with healing and recovery. For more detail on the specifics covered by this service, see below.
What is covered?
If you’ve suffered an injury from slipping and falling at work or on private property, we can help you to recover compensation for medical care, lost income, emotional distress plus any other damages so you can move forward with healing and recovery. Reach out for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Accidents – Causes and Injuries
Slip and fall accidents happen for a variety of reasons and though they may not look like they’re serious in most cases, they can lead to severe injuries. Most slip and fall accidents occur inside stores, though they can also occur on sidewalks or in parking lots. When someone is severely injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, they may be owed compensation by the liable party. In these instances, it’s a good idea to reach out to a lawyer for help.
Liquids on the Ground
Spills can happen at any time. Anyone can spill a drink, the floor can get wet from people coming inside from the rain, or bottles to be purchased can be dropped and burst open. When liquid is on the floor, the store should be in the position to notice quickly, place a wet floor sign over the spill, and then clean it immediately. If this doesn’t happen, it’s possible for someone to not see the spill, especially if they’re pushing a shopping cart, and end up slipping and falling.
Not Cleaning the Floors
When the floors aren’t cleaned frequently or properly, they can end up covered with dirt, oils, and other debris that can end up slippery or sticky. This buildup can end up causing someone to slip and fall, as a result. Consider a floor that has a high volume of traffic, but that is only cleaned weekly. On top of looking gross, the floors are going to be sticky, which can cause people to go off balance and end up falling.
Grease on the Floors
Grease, oils, and other spills on the floor are incredibly slippery. Depending on the clarity of the grease or oil, the spill can be difficult to notice, especially when someone is not looking down at the floor as they walk. Most people look at what’s ahead of them or what’s on the shelves, so they may not notice a spill like this until it is too late. Due to how slippery the floor will be, this could end up causing the person to fall hard, which can lead to severe injuries.
Waxed or Mopped Floors
Freshly waxed or mopped floors are slippery. It is best to do the floors after the store has closed or, for stores open 24 hours a day, during the slowest parts of the night. No matter when the floors are cleaned, if there are any customers in the store, there should be signs marking the wet floors. Aisles can also be blocked off if needed while the floors dry to keep customers from walking on them.
Food or Other Items
Food or other items on the floor can cause someone to slip or trip. This commonly happens in restaurants as well as retail stores. Any foods can end up slippery when someone walks on them, and other items can cause someone to lose their balance if they step on it or trip if the item is large enough. This leads to the potential for severe injuries depending on how the person falls.
Inadequate lighting, which can be common in restaurants, means it’s more difficult for people to see what’s on the floor. This leads to a higher potential for injuries, as people cannot avoid obstacles that may be in their path or see liquids that have spilled. Though this is common in restaurants, it’s also something that can happen in any store if the lights are out or in parking lots at night if there aren’t lights to create a well-lit walkway and parking lot.
Poor construction can include steps that aren’t tall enough or are too tall, lips between parts of the store that are unexpected by those who walk through the area, slopes that are too steep, and other potential problems. While these occur during construction or renovations, they are still a hazard even years later. Proper signage can help prevent falls, but the best option is for stores with these issues to correct them.
Electrical Cords in Walkway
Electrical cords that go across a walkway, even temporarily, can be a tripping hazard. When vacuuming the floors or using any other electrical equipment that needs to be plugged in, stores should avoid pulling the cord across walkways or block off the area until the cleaning is done. Even if the cord is underneath a rug, it still can be a tripping hazard and could lead to someone falling and being injured.
Rugs can help cut down on slip and falls from rainy weather as well as add to the aesthetics of the building, but it is important to make sure they are completely flat. If the rug is rolled up at one end or folded over, it could end up being a tripping hazard. Many people have experienced tripping over a rug that isn’t in place correctly. Though this doesn’t always lead to severe injuries, it can if the person can’t regain their balance.
Cracks in the Walkway
A crack in and of itself isn’t likely to cause too many problems. If the concrete or flooring shifts, however, it can create an uneven surface that could lead to people tripping and falling. If the flooring or concrete starts to separate at the crack, people can trip over it. When the separation becomes large enough or develops into a pothole, someone can end up twisting their ankle in the open area, causing them to be injured and possibly fall.
No or Poor Handles on Stairs
Stairs are required to have bars for people to hold when they walk up or down them. If the bar is loose, too low, too high, or nonexistent, it’s not going to help people walk up and down the stairs. This will increase the potential for someone to fall on the stairs, which can lead to severe injuries or death if they end up falling down the stairs. Businesses should always check to make sure the handles are in good condition and cannot be pulled from the wall if someone starts to fall so they can catch themselves before falling further down the stairs.
Can Serious Injuries Result?
Most people have slipped or tripped and fallen in their life and been fine, so it can be hard to imagine how severe injuries can result from this type of accident. The reality is, however, that serious injuries can result based on how someone falls. It’s not just the elderly who can be severely injured, either. Minor injuries can include cuts and scrapes, knee injuries, muscle strains, and wrist fractures. More severe injuries can include hip fractures, broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, nerve damage, and spinal cord injuries. If someone falls and hits their head, it could result in a traumatic brain injury, even if it didn’t look like the fall was that bad.
There are actually a large number of ways for people to be injured by slipping or tripping within stores, in parking lots, or while walking on sidewalks. No matter if it’s a residential or commercial area, if you were injured because you slipped and fell due to someone else’s negligence, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. Contact our law office today to learn more about the compensation you could receive and to start getting help filing a claim to receive a settlement.
FAQs About Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can be complicated to handle, so it’s always a good idea to work with a lawyer. While you’re waiting for a consultation, however, read the below frequently asked questions. They might help give you some of the answers you’re looking for before you get a chance to get more detailed responses from the lawyer.
What Counts as a Slip and Fall Accident?
Any time someone slips, trips, or otherwise falls as a result of another party’s negligence can be considered a slip and fall accident. This includes tripping over items in the walkway, slipping on liquids, falling because of a pothole in the parking lot, and a lot more.
Who Can be Severely Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Anyone, no matter their age or physical abilities, can be injured in a slip and fall accident. Severe injuries do not only happen to the elderly or to people who have trouble walking. They happen to any kind of person and can happen in any location.
What Happens if Someone is Severely Injured?
If someone is severely injured in this type of accident, they will want to seek medical attention immediately and may need to go with emergency services to the emergency room. They should not fill out or sign any paperwork the company provides them with, as this could be a trick to get them to agree to release the company from liability. After seeking medical care, the person should contact a lawyer and look into gaining compensation for the injuries.
Is The Injured Person Owed Compensation for the Injuries?
If someone is injured in a slip and fall and the accident occurred due to the negligence or direct action of someone else, the person who caused the injuries may be held liable. If so, they owe compensation to the person who was injured in the slip and fall. It can, however, get complicated to determine and prove liability, which is one way a lawyer can help.
How Can I Get Compensation After a Slip and Fall?
Compensation is obtained by filing a claim with the liable party or their insurance company. The liable party can be a business owner, a property owner, a homeowner, or anyone else who contributed to the accident through negligence or by acting in a way that caused the injured person to fall.
What Expenses Will be Covered With a Settlement?
Common expenses covered in a settlement include medical costs, future medical bills, lost wages, the loss of future wages, and more. The legal fees for the injured person should also be covered in the settlement, so they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.
How Can I Make Sure the Settlement is Big Enough?
To make sure the settlement is big enough to cover all current and future expenses resulting from the accident, the injured person should work with a lawyer. Lawyers understand what can and cannot be covered in compensation, how to tell how much the compensation for everything should be, and how to negotiate with the liable party or insurance company for a higher amount.
Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer From the Company?
The liable party or their insurance company will try to offer the lowest settlement possible at first. Though the number might seem large, you are likely owed more than they are offering. By talking to a lawyer, you can find out how much the case is worth and whether accepting the offer is a good idea.
Should I Talk to the Company About What Happened?
No. Do not talk to the company about the accident or fill out any paperwork they might provide. They will look for ways to get out of being held liable, including taking anything said out of context or trying to get you to sign paperwork releasing them from liability.
Can I Post on Social Media About My Experience?
No. It is not a good idea to talk about an ongoing case on social media. Even if everything said is true, it could lead to a lawsuit for slander, which complicates the slip and fall case further. Plus, anything said on social media could be used against you in the case, leading to a lower settlement or to being denied a settlement.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, the above FAQs should give you a little more information about what to expect and why hiring a lawyer is important. Take the time to set up a consultation with our law firm to learn more about your options moving forward and to get help gaining compensation for your injuries.
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ME Lawyers provide legal representation to international citizens in a multilingual, collaborative environment. We help those in need of legal services understand the legal system, demystify the jargon and simplify the experience without leaving you out of the conversation. Our team knows security, safety, and enthusiastic support are important to you - and we’re passionate about working together to achieve the best results.
Hey! Mike here. ME Lawyers was founded by me, Michael Emrani (M.E. – makes sense now, right?) Coming from a family of immigrants, I saw firsthand that hard work and integrity are cornerstones of success. It's with this foundation I approach our clients and cases. Working among other lawyers and law firms, I knew I could provide a better experience and deliver on my promise of "no more crooked, corporate lawyers" who try to pinch every penny possible from your pocket.
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