Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are quite common in Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, the Insurance Information Institute says there are nearly 3 million falls each year, which includes 14,000 fatalities and 4,000 ground-level slips. These incidents occur in malls, grocery stores, private homes, sports arenas, colleges, gas stations, office buildings, hotels, parking garages, swimming pool areas and potentially anywhere people go.
Slip, trip and fall accidents fall under a category of negligence law known as premises liability law, which holds property owners accountable for failing to safely maintain their premises. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that all property owners take steps to minimize their risk of being sued for slip and fall accidents, including:
- Ensuring all hallways, stairwells, parking lots and service areas are well-lit
- Clearly marking, lighting and removing obstacles from exits
- Building stair treads of uniform height and width with handrails, steps and landings in good condition
- Keeping neat storage areas
- Laying down smooth and tight carpeting
- Clearly marking any changes in floor level and keeping walkways in good condition
- Addressing all spills immediately
- Cleaning and flattening slip-resistant door mats, especially in bad weather
- Repairing potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces in parking lots
- Removing snow and ice from parking lots
- Adequately lighting outdoor areas
Determining liability in trip, slip and fall accidents
In order to prevail in a slip and fall or trip and fall injury, negligence must be established on the part of the property owner.
California law looks at three things in particular:
- Was the cause of the accident not obvious to the victim and preventable?
- Was the dangerous condition under the control of the property owner?
- Did the property owner know of a dangerous condition but fail to take action?
Other questions worthy of examination include:
- Did you fall over a defective area of carpet, floor or ground that had been there a while?
- Were regular cleaning, maintenance and repair procedures in place?
- If you tripped over an object, was there a legitimate reason for it to be there?
- Could the area have been clearly marked to warn of danger or altered to remove the hazard?
- Did poor lighting contribute to the accident?
An experienced slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles will help uncover contributing circumstances to your accident. Even if your own carelessness was partly to blame, you may still be entitled to some compensation. Most cases result in a satisfactory out-of-court settlement with the property owners and/or their insurance companies. If a negotiated settlement cannot be attained, your attorney will pursue a court award by trial.
Common slip and fall injuries that merit litigation
”Slip and fall” injuries from insufficient friction between the bottom of one’s shoes and an oily, greasy, muddy, icy or otherwise slick floor surface may include:
- Wrist sprains or fractures as the victim tumbles backward and tries to break the fall with the hands
- Contusions, lesions or fractures to the pelvis, back, spine, head or elbows
“Trip and fall” injuries from stumbling on protruding objects, bunched up carpeting, hidden electrical or phone wires, other hidden objects or uneven surfaces may include:
- Fractures or sprains to the hand, wrist, arm, head, leg, ankle, or pelvis from a forward fall
- Facial and skull injuries, including damaged teeth, nose, cheeks and forehead
In the worst cases, family members of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim.
Sidewalk accidents in California
Often, California city officials are held liable for damaged sidewalk that results in trip and fall accidents. In 2014, the city of Glendale paid an elderly couple $30,000 for injuries sustained tripping over raised pavement. The husband dislocated his pinky finger and damaged his back, and the wife injured her rotator cuff, in addition to sustaining bruises to her knees and elbows.
In another case from 2012, the city of Glendale paid a man $125,000 after he fell over a raised sidewalk, permanently injuring his left eye. These are just a few examples of cases where individuals were awarded compensation for preventable injuries due to property negligence.
Compensation available in slip & fall cases
The Salamati Law Firm helps slip and fall accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Home modifications to account for disability
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Punitive damages
Free legal consultation
Call 800-957-9898 for a free, no-obligation consultation today. Experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys review your case for free. We serve all of California, providing aggressive representation to get you maximum compensation for your slip and fall injuries.
Slip and Fall Litigation Resources:
- Insurance Information Institute – Controlling Liability Risks http://www.iii.org/publications/insuring-your-business-small-business-owners-guide-to-insurance/risk-management/controlling-liability-risks
- LA Times – The Legal Chutes and Ladders of a Slip and Fall Case http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/27/local/me-41603
- LA Times – City settles slip-and-fall case for $30K http://www.latimes.com/tn-gnp-city-settles-slipandfall-case-for-30k-20140125-story.html
- LA Times – City reaches $125K settlement with man who fell on sidewalk http://www.latimes.com/tn-gnp-0303-city-reaches-125k-settlement-with-man-who-fell-on-sidewalk-story.html