Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents are alarmingly common in Irvine and across the United States. These incidents commonly occur when property owners fail to maintain safe floors and sidewalks in public areas, exposing visitors to wet spots, trip hazards, poorly lit walkways, and other dangerous conditions.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. A slip and fall attorney could help you stand up for your rights and get the settlement you deserve. Read on to learn more about slip and fall accidents and the legal options available for victims.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents are covered under a category of personal injury law known as “premises liability.” Under this legal concept, business owners and homeowners have a “duty of care” to properly maintain buildings, homes, walkways, and parking lots on their property, ensuring that visitors can safely travel them.
If you suffer a slip and fall injury while visiting another person’s or entity’s property, you have the right to sue the owner for damages. However, for the lawsuit to be successful, you must prove that the owner’s negligence was responsible for the accident.
With that in mind, here are four steps to take if you or a loved one are involved in a slip and fall accident:
1. Seek Medical Treatment
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. A doctor’s exam and diagnostic tests, including X-rays, can provide important evidence if you choose to seek compensation from the property owner. Be sure to tell medical staff about any pain or discomfort you feel, even if you believe it’s minor.
2. Document Everything
Be sure to take photos of the accident scene and your injuries, and remember to obtain the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of everyone who witnessed the incident. In addition, write down everything you can remember about the events that led up to the accident and the exact details of the accident itself. Finally, store the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time of your fall in a safe place. They might be needed as evidence in the event of a lawsuit.
3. Report the Fall
Report the details of your fall to the business manager, property owner, or landlord as soon as possible. Ask for the incident to be documented in a written report, and request a personal copy of the report. Do not accept blame for the accident or give any extensive statements until you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer.
4. Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney
Personal injury cases are complicated and subject to certain time limitations. A slip and fall lawyer could help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights.
Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
Falls are the top cause of non-fatal injuries requiring medical treatment nationwide. In 2016, approximately 9.2 million slip, trip, and fall victims visited emergency rooms across the U.S. In 2015, fall-related accidents claimed the lives of around 33,000 people.
Slips, trips, and falls are:
- The leading cause of death for adults aged 65 and older
- The top cause of all work-related injuries
- Responsible for 50% of all accidental deaths in private homes
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, defective flooring materials in businesses and homes cause more than 2 million fall injuries each year. Meanwhile, statistics show that women are more likely to suffer slip and fall injuries, but men are more likely to suffer fatal work-related falls.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the national slip and fall death rate will increase to 61 deaths per 100,000 people by 2030 if safety protocols aren’t improved. That number calculates to seven slip and fall deaths per hour. In 2007, the annual slip and fall death rate was 47 per 100,000 people.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Several factors can cause trip and fall accidents, but there are a few common culprits, including:
- Icy or snowy sidewalks
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Wet or oily floors
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Loose, unanchored rugs or mats
- Changes in floor levels
- Uncovered cables
- Poorly lit sidewalks, walkways, or stairs
- Improperly cleaned spills or debris
- Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can occur when you hit your head on the floor or another object during a fall. Head injuries can be minor, moderate, or severe, leading to a variety of long-term medical issues, including memory problems, coordination difficulties, and depression.
Cuts and Bruises
It is common to suffer scrapes, cuts, and bruises when you fall onto the floor or pavement. If you happen to strike a sharp object while falling, you could also suffer deep gashes or penetrating injuries.
Muscle Strains and Sprains
During slip and fall accidents, it is natural to tense your muscles or twist your body to prevent injury. However, these actions can lead to pulled muscles, stretched tendons, or torn ligaments.
When slipping, you may instinctively stretch out your arms to break your fall, leading to fractured arms, hands, or wrists. It is also common to break your legs, ankles, or feet during a fall. Soft tissues surrounding broken bones may also suffer damage.
It is common to land on your knees during a fall, causing you to dislocate or fracture your patella. You could also tear your knee ligaments if you land in certain positions.
Bruised or Fractured Tailbone
Falling backward onto your tailbone can cause painful bruising or fractures. A severe jolt to your backside could also cause spinal damage.
Hip fractures are the most common form of injury for older fall victims. Unfortunately, they are also the most deadly form of injury for individuals over the age of 65. If you are 65 or older and suffer a hip fracture, you will likely need intensive medical treatments to recover.
Why Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you might be owed compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more. However, personal injury law is complex, and slip and fall cases can be challenging to prove. Without the help of a slip and fall lawyer, you could make a costly legal mistake that harms your ability to obtain a fair settlement.
A slip and fall attorney could help you:
- Collect evidence
- Prove fault
- Establish damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Understand your rights
- Meet statute of limitations deadlines