Slip and Fall Lawyer
You are deep in thought when, without warning, your feet slip out from under you with a whoosh of air, and you land hard on an unforgiving surface. These types of slips and falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the United States. Often, the injured individual winds up paying the bill for the lapse in attention that caused the injuries, but many times, somebody else should pay. Where the accident occurred and whether someone’s negligence led to the unsafe conditions that caused the fall are the determining factors for slip and fall liability. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, and you think you may have a case, your best strategy is to consult with a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall
After suffering injuries due to a slip and fall accident, you should immediately get checked out at an emergency room or your doctor’s office. If your injuries are severe, this would naturally be your first thought, but if you feel okay, you might neglect this critical step. Resist the urge to shrug off your accident, and seek medical help. You may have injuries that are not readily apparent, especially if you bumped your head or twisted as you fell, or you could be dealing with anything from a mild concussion to a spinal injury. In these situations, you could go to bed feeling fine but wake up unable to move.
If you do decide to seek compensation from the party liable for your accident, having a medical record that lists your injuries can be an essential piece of evidence, either in settlement negotiations or a court of law. Therefore, for the sake of your health and your future financial solvency, seeing a doctor to find out the extent of your injuries and getting the medical attention you need is essential.
In addition to seeking medical attention, you or your slip and fall lawyer should speak to the manager or property owner of the location where your accident occurred as soon as possible. For example, if you slipped on a spill in the grocery store, let the manager know what happened. If you fell on some ice outside a friend’s apartment, notify the office staff. This establishes a date and time for your accident and puts ownership on notice that you intend to follow up once you have had the chance to evaluate what happened.
Keep in mind that you or your representative should remain impartial and not infer or accept blame for what occurred. Do not confront the manager or property owner with accusations. Your slip and fall lawyers will handle all of that later in a professional fashion. Above all, do not accept an initial offer from the liable parties or their insurance company, but speak with your personal injury attorney first.
Also, if possible, document the accident immediately afterward. If you are on your way to the hospital, ask a friend or your attorney to take care of this step. The documentation should include
- A detailed account of the incident, including location specifics and any mitigating factors such as stormy weather or a power outage
- Photos of the scene
- The names and contact information from witnesses to the accident and accounts of what they saw
As soon as possible after your injury, get in touch with a law firm that specializes in accident liability to find out what your options are. Because there is no charge for your initial consultation, you have nothing to lose, and you may find out that you are legally entitled to financial compensation for your losses.
Statistics, Causes, and Facts
Statistics show that slip and fall injuries are no laughing matter, yet on the positive side, only one in five falls results in a serious injury. On the other hand, slipping and falling generate more than eight million emergency room visits annually, accounting for more than 20 percent of all visits. Slip and fall accidents are problematic in the workplace, in public places like shopping malls, and at private residences alike, and as such, these accidents all fall under the general legal category of premises liability. Some of the recent statistics about this type of accident tell a dramatic tale:
- Most traumatic brain injuries are the result of falling.
- More than 800,000 adults over age 65 are hospitalized each year for injuries from falls, primarily hip fractures or head injuries.
- On average, a typical serious fall injury costs $30,000 or more.
- Five percent of slip and fall accidents cause broken bones.
- Falls account for the majority of time lost from work due to accidents.
- With each decade, a person’s risk of slip and fall injuries rises.
- Most slip and fall accidents occur on a single level rather than from an elevation.
Additionally, people over the age of 65 are at higher risk for slipping and falling than younger individuals. Other conditions that heighten your risk of this type of accident include
- Weakness in the legs
- Balance problems
- Poor vision
- Deficiency of vitamin D
- Inappropriate or painful shoes
- Use of some prescription medications
If any of these conditions are apparent, they may provide the liable party’s attorneys with an opportunity to try to reduce their client’s legal responsibility for your accident. However, by taking proactive steps to mitigate your risk of a slip and fall, you put yourself in a stronger position, both physically and legally, should an accident occur. For example, staying fit through physical training helps with your lower body strength, and you can improve and maintain your balance through activities such as yoga and tai chi. In addition, if you have poor vision, be sure to wear corrective lenses whenever you leave home.
Depending on when, where, and how it happens, a slip and fall can result in a number of different injuries, ranging from mild to severe. You could sustain any one of the following or a combination of two or more from an accidental fall:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as muscle strain, a torn ligament, or a sprained wrist
- Head injuries, from mild concussions that heal quickly to traumatic brain injuries that may cause permanent disability
- Skin injuries, including cuts, scrapes, or chemical burns
- Spinal cord injuries that could result in chronic pain, partial paralysis, or full paralysis
- Bone fractures
Why Hire an Attorney? – Proving Liability
You must prove that your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or intent in order for them to be legally eligible for compensation. In a personal injury case, you will likely be up against a team of attorneys representing the other party, and eventually, you may find yourself in court. Unless you are an expert in such cases, you need the help of experienced slip and fall lawyers to obtain the full damage award you are entitled to by law.
The first opponents you face will be out to save their clients as much money as possible: insurance adjusters who have a wealth of experience doing just that. The chances are very good that their first offer will be insufficient to cover your current and future injury-associated expenses. You need a strong legal advocate whose negotiating skills are equal to the task.
Since a premises liability case hinges on somebody’s negligence or intent, sometimes, the circumstances surrounding an identical incident determine whether you are entitled to compensation. For example, if you drop a jar of pickles in a grocery store aisle and immediately slip on the liquid, your accident is due to no one’s negligence but your own. However, if you slip on a spill that happened earlier that no one cleaned up, the store’s management has been negligent and is likely liable for your accident.
Once you and your slip and fall attorney have established negligence, you must provide evidence that validates damages, such as
- Medical expenses
- Time lost from work
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability, if applicable
- Loss of future earnings
For each item, you need documentation such as bills, receipts, tax returns, and medical records from your doctor. Your personal injury lawyer has the necessary experience to calculate your current and future losses and prove your legal entitlement to compensation. Although part of your ultimate settlement will go to your slip and fall lawyers as payment for services rendered, most people find that it is well worth the cost to obtain the full compensation to which they are entitled.
The Help You Need in California
If you suffer a slip and fall accident in California, Rizio Liberty Lipinsky can help. We specialize in personal injury, as well as slip and fall cases, and pride ourselves on getting our clients full compensation for accidents caused by someone else. We understand what you are dealing with in the aftermath of an injury accident, and we offer compassionate representation with your best interests at heart. Get in touch today by calling 1-888-292-8888 or submitting our contact form, and schedule your free consultation.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.