Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and can be caused by many different factors. The term “slip and fall” describes any accident that involves slipping, tripping, or falling. Even though these accidents happen all the time, they can be serious. In fact, in the United States, there are more than 8 million emergency room visits related to these accidents each year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. The Crockett Law Group can answer questions about your accident and can make sure that your rights are fully protected. Schedule a free consultation with a Victorville slip and fall lawyer by calling (800) 900-9393 or using our online form.
What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Accidents?
Although slip and fall accidents are common, these accidents are often preventable. Both homeowners and businesses are expected to take certain precautions to keep their property safe. Common causes of accidents include but are not limited to:
Structural Defects or Lack of Upkeep
California’s premises liability laws state property owners are required to maintain their property and address issues that could contribute to accidents. This could include potholes, damaged carpeting or floor tiles, potholes, cracked sidewalks, or uneven steps.
Lack of Lighting
Poor lighting can make it difficult to see hazards, which can increase the risk of accidents. All public properties are required to provide proper lighting by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It’s particularly common for accidents to occur when walkways or hallways are not lit.
Faulty Escalators or Staircases
Both escalators and stairways can pose a serious risk to users if they are not properly maintained. Potential issues include missing handrails, broken steps, loose screws, too much space between steps, obstructions, or uneven stairs. Seniors are at particularly high risk for staircase and escalator falls.
Over half of all slip and fall accidents in the United States are caused by wet or slick surfaces. Commercial property owners need to ensure that all wet surfaces are clearly labeled so that potential hazards can be avoided. Nearly any type of wet surface can lead to a fall, including wet floors, stairways, and walkways.
Virtually any type of spilled liquid can be a hazard. That’s why stores, offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and other commercial properties must clean spills as quickly as possible. After mopping up spilled liquids, employees should put up signs so that people can see that the floor is wet.
All kinds of debris, including trash, cardboard boxes, tree branches, and other hazards can cause people to trip and fall. Commercial property owners are required to clean up debris quickly or provide warnings so that people are fully aware of any obstructions.
Although there’s no way to control the weather, property owners are expected to take steps to address weather-related hazards, including salting ice and shoveling snow. California law does not require property owners to remove snow and ice after recent bad weather, but they are expected to address snow and ice that has accumulated.
A Lack of Precautions
It’s possible to reduce the likelihood of hazardous conditions by taking certain precautions. Installing gutters, storm drains, or anti-slip devices can significantly improve the safety of an area. The risk of an
As mentioned previously, it’s necessary to put up signs or restrict access to areas when there are hazardous conditions that could lead to an accident. If the appropriate signs are not in place, accidents are much more likely.
How Can a Victorville Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me With My Case?
While it isn’t necessary to hire a lawyer to assist you with your slip and fall case, it can be difficult to handle a case on your own. Establishing fault can be challenging, especially since the property owner is likely to fight back against your claim.
If you do choose to work with an attorney, it’s far more likely that your case will be successful. A lawyer can provide you with legal advice, calculate the damages you’re owed, and work to prove negligence. Instead of dealing with paperwork and handling settlement negotiations on your own, you should hire an experienced professional that can provide you with valuable support.
It’s best to consult with a lawyer as soon as you can, even if you’re not sure that you want to file a claim. Discussing your case with an attorney can give you a better idea of what your options are. If you do choose to move forward with your case, you’ll have guidance throughout the process.
Recovering damages in a slip and fall case can be an uphill value, especially if you’re going up against a company that has a large legal team. Don’t let yourself miss out on a settlement that you’re legally entitled to. Talk to the Crockett Law Group so that you can decide what you should do next.
What Steps Can Be Taken to Help a Slip and Fall Case?
Taking the right steps after a fall can make it much easier to establish fault. The right response can also increase the compensation you’re entitled to. If possible, you’ll want to take these steps immediately after your accident.
Photos can clearly establish what caused your slip and fall. Photograph any factors that may have contributed to the accident, including spilled liquids, cracked flooring, or other hazards. While it’s best to capture images on the day your accident occurred, you can also return to the scene the next day to take more pictures.
Report the Incident
In order to prove that your accident occurred, you’ll need to report the incident to the property owner or manager. Ask them to provide you with a copy of the incident report. Don’t sign documents or provide a recorded statement without the approval of your attorney.
Talk to Witnesses
Speak with anyone that witnessed your fall. Ask for names and contact information. That way, you’ll be able to ask for statements later on.
Seek Medical Attention
You should obtain medical treatment for injuries caused by the accident right away. If necessary, you may want to call 911. A healthcare professional can provide valuable documentation for your injury and can ensure that you receive the treatment you need.
Ask the Property Owner to Address the Problem
When notifying the property owner or manager of your injury, you should inform them of the cause of your accident. If possible, you should try to protect others from being injured by the hazards that contributed to your injury.
Call a Lawyer
The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Reach out to the Crockett Law Group so that we can guide you through the necessary steps to pursue compensation. If you obtain legal representation early on, it’ll be much easier to gather evidence that supports your claim.
How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Be Proven?
In order to hold a property owner responsible for injuries caused by a slip and fall accident, you’ll need to prove both negligence and liability. You must demonstrate that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident.
You’ll need to show that the hazardous condition existed long enough for the property owner to be aware of the hazard and take steps to address it. You should identify factors that contributed to the incident, such as poor lighting.
In addition to showing that the property owner is at fault, you’ll want to demonstrate that you weren’t liable for the accident. You’ll want to establish that you had lawful access to the area where the accident occurred and that you weren’t aware of the hazardous conditions. You should demonstrate that the property owner did not take safety measures, such as putting up warning signs.
It’s important to remember that property owners are not legally responsible for all injuries that occur on their property. For your claim to succeed, you’ll need to show that the property owner failed to meet legal obligations to keep the property free of hazardous conditions. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the more likely it is that you’ll be successful.
How Is Liability Determined in a Victorville, California Slip and Fall Case?
In California, property owners owe people that enter their property a duty of care. People that lease or manage a property have the same responsibility. In order to determine liability, you’ll need to show that the parties responsible for caring for the property did not take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents.
To establish liability, you’ll need to show that the factor that caused your accident meets the standards of a hazardous condition. This will require you to show that the accident could have be prevented if the responsible parties took reasonable precautions.
In order to prove fault in a slip and fall case, you’ll need to show that:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care.
- The accident was caused by a hazardous condition.
- The defendant was aware or should have been aware of the hazardous condition.
- The hazard led to injuries.
Property owners use many different defenses against liability claims, such as stating that a reasonable person should have noticed the hazard or claiming that the victim was not paying attention to their surroundings. However, because California has pure comparative negligence laws, victims can collect damages even if they are partially liable for the accident.
When determining fault, it’s also important to ask the right kinds of questions. How long was the hazardous condition present? Did the property owner have enough time to address the hazard? Even if the victim is not at fault, the property owner may not be legally liable.
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Case Worth?
The worth of a slip and fall claim in California can vary significantly. Some of the factors that can impact the value of your claim include:
- The seriousness of your injuries
- Your medical expenses
- The impact your injury has had on your life and wages
- Incidental expenses you’ve incurred because of your injury
As previously mentioned, it’s possible to be compensated for a personal injury even if you are partially at fault. With that said, your settlement will be reduced if you hold some liability for your injury. This is another factor that can influence how much you receive in total.
The best way to estimate the total value of your claim is to consult with an experienced Victorville slip and fall lawyer. An attorney can evaluate your case and determine what you should be compensated for. If you do work with a lawyer, it’s likely that you’ll receive a much larger settlement.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in California?
In California, all personal injury claims have a two-year deadline. The clock will begin to run on the date that your accident occurs. If you fail to file a slip and fall claim within this time period, you’ll lose the right to seek damages.
If your accident occurs in a government building, the deadline for filing a claim is much shorter. Claims must be filed with the appropriate administrative agency within six months. If the initial claim is rejected, you can file a civil claim within two years of the date of the accident.
There are some exceptions to this deadline, such as cases where the victim was physically or mentally incapacitated for an extended period of time. Still, it’s best to work with a lawyer to ensure that your claim is filed as soon as possible.
Speak to an Experienced Victorville Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents happen all the time, but they still have the potential to be very serious. Something as minor as a spilled beverage could cause devastating injuries, including broken bones, brain injuries, knee damage, and muscle strains. An injury can lead to numerous expenses, such as medical bills and loss of income.
Because the consequences of a slip and fall accident can be severe, and because it can be hard to prove liability, you’ll want to make sure that you have legal representation. The Crockett Law Group has extensive experience with personal injury cases, which allows us to provide you with aggressive legal representation. Call (800) 900-9393 today to meet with a skilled Victorville slip and fall lawyer.