If you’ve been injured by tripping and falling, you may have a claim against the owner of the property. California imposes a duty on property owners to take reasonable action to ensure that their property is free from hazards. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for the injuries sustained by persons legally on their property. The laws for making premises liability claims when you’re injured in a trip and fall accident can be complicated, so it’s important to call an experienced Orange County trip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Trip and fall accidents are a leading cause of injuries in the United States, causing more than nine million emergency room visits a year. They are the most common cause of fractures, including 95% of hip fractures, and the leading cause of unintentional death. Fatalities from trip and fall accidents don’t always happen immediately, but can fractures can require invasive surgery that can be the beginning of the end for older adults. Soft tissue injuries from falls can also be debilitating, causing large out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages during treatment and recovery.
If you’ve been injured in a trip and fall accident, it’s worthwhile to consider whether it was caused by the negligence of the property owner. If the property owner failed to use reasonable care to keep their premises safe, you may be able to collect money damages. That’s why you should speak to an Orange County Trip and Fall Lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to determine whether you have a valid claim.
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Common Injuries From Trip and Fall Accidents
The types of injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident range from minor to catastrophic and it’s not always possible to know the long-term impacts of the injuries until months after the accident. These are some of the common injuries that people sustain in trip and fall accidents:
Hip, wrist, and ankle fractures are the most common types of broken bones caused by trip and fall accidents. Bones become more brittle as people age, making it more likely that an older person will sustain a fracture from a fall.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Minor soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains can heal on their own, but more serious soft tissue injuries such as torn ligaments can require months of therapy or even surgery. Soft tissue injuries to the wrists can make it impossible to cook, type, or even dress, and leg and foot injuries can require the use of a walker or even a wheelchair.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Head injuries can occur from a fall when a person’s head makes contact with the ground or other objects. All head injuries must be taken seriously because even small concussions require close observation. More serious TBIs can be life-changing events, causing loss of mobility, bodily control, memory, or cognitive abilities.
Lacerations and Abrasions
Most of these injuries only require superficial treatment, but in some cases, they can require surgery and skin grafts. Lacerations and abrasions on the face can sometimes heal as disfiguring scars. These cases should not be settled until it’s clear whether or not facial scarring will be permanent.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)
Back injuries such as bulging or herniated discs can require many months of physical therapy or chiropractic care to achieve pain reduction. Fractures and dislocations of the spinal cord can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, neurological impairment, and sensory disorders.
Neck, Shoulder, Knee, and Wrist Injuries
Even without fractures or tears, these injuries can become chronic and require long-term physical therapy, epidural injections, or even surgery. In some cases, even minor injuries can destroy a career, such as a wrist injury for a pianist, a knee injury for a tennis player, or a back injury for a carpenter.
How To Document a Trip and Fall Accident
In some cases, people get up and go home thinking they’re fine, but wake up the next morning to discover that their injuries are much more severe than they realized. The statute of limitations to file a claim for a trip and fall accident in California is two years, and a claim against a municipality must be filed within six months, so there’s still plenty of time to sue the responsible parties, but the case won’t be as strong if the proper steps weren’t taken right after the accident. If you trip and fall on somebody’s property, it’s important to report the accident to the owner or their representative.
For example, if you fall in a store, tell them you’d like to file a written report and ask for a copy. Take pictures of the scene of the accident that shows exactly where you fell and the dangerous condition that caused it. If a store employee or patron witnessed the accident and/or helped you get up, be sure to get their full name and contact information. All of this information will be useful to your premises liability lawyer should you have a case.
It’s also a good idea to request an ambulance to come to the scene to take you to the emergency room. An ambulance report will be evidence of where and when the accident happened, and that you were injured. Be sure to complain about all of your injuries when you get to the emergency room.
Compensation For Trip and Fall Accidents
If you’re injured in a trip and fall accident, you’re entitled to sue the responsible parties for compensation for your tangible and intangible losses. Your tangible losses are the cost of your:
- Ambulance and Hospital Treatment;
- Home Health Care;
- Residential Care;
- Accommodations for your home and vehicle;
- Travel costs to see doctors and
- Other out-of-pocket expenses caused by your injuries.
In addition to being reimbursed for your expenses, you’re also entitled to collect compensation for your lost earnings and lost earning capacity if your injuries cause you to be permanently disabled or to work in a lower-paying profession. If you’re a business owner, you can collect compensation for lost income for your business and/or the cost of hiring somebody to replace the services you can no longer perform for the business.
You are also entitled to collect compensation for the intangible impact of your injuries on your life. California has no cap on damages for trip and fall cases, so it’s possible to collect quite substantial monetary damages for:
- Pain and Suffering;
- Emotional Distress;
- Humiliation and
- Loss of companionship.
The best way to know what types of damages you’re likely to collect is to speak to an experienced Orange County trip and fall attorney. The Crockett Law Group is the leading personal injury law firm in Orange County, offering free consultations to new clients. Call (800) 900-9393 to schedule an appointment.
Call an Orange County Trip and Fall Lawyer at Crockett Law Group
Life after a serious accident can require readjustment, and having the money for the highest quality medical care and rehabilitation can make a huge difference in your ability to enjoy the rest of your life. That’s why you owe it to yourself and your family to hire the best Orange County trip and fall attorneys to handle your case. The Crockett Law Group is led by Super Lawyer Kevin Crockett, who takes pride in getting the largest possible settlements and verdicts for his clients. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.