Los Angeles Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
Slip and fall accidents are ordinarily grouped with trip and fall accidents. Surfaces and gravity play their roles in both types of accidents. Slip and falls and trip and falls are categorized in the area of injury law known as premises liability. Slips, trips, and resulting falls contribute to more than 15,000 deaths per year. Our Los Angeles slip and fall accident attorneys represent people who have been injured in a slip and falls or a trip and falls, along with the families of those who have died from them.
How Slip and Falls Occur
Slip and falls occur as a result of the foot of a person and its relationship to the surface the person is on. Southern California slip and falls, generally involve wet, oily or waxy floors while no warning signs are posted. Although the floor might appear to be safe for walking on, the clear composition of many substances can contribute to serious slip and fall injuries. Loose or unanchored rugs or mats might also result in a slip and fall, as could floors or other surfaces that don’t have the same amount of traction in different areas.
How Trip and Falls Occur
Trip and falls might occur with uneven surfaces or result from objects in the walking pathway. Trip and falls are often caused by:
- obstructions and/or poor lighting
- uneven sidewalk slabs
- holes in sidewalks or streets
- wrinkled carpeting or mats
- when a person steps from a higher elevation to a lower one
Whether slipping and falling or tripping and falling, the person is off balance for a split second and falls. We’re off balance for that split second every time we take a step. All it takes is a slip or trip in that fraction of a second of being off balance. Although most commonly occurring at work, these accidents also occur at big box stores and smaller businesses, at home and on publicly held property.
The location of any slip or trip and fall is important as it can define who the defendants should be in a lawsuit. Legal rules are in place for victims of accidents to obtain compensation for their injuries. Other rules operate to assure that owners and occupiers of property are not held to burdensome standards of care.
Who had control over the premises is also considered. The location of the accident helps our slip and fall lawyers in Los Angeles as well as courts to identify who might be liable. Big box stores and supermarkets are expected to respond quickly to conditions that might result in a slip or trip. Employees might create a dangerous condition in a big box store or supermarket.
Employee involvement immediately after the slip or trip might also be noted to determine who had control of the property when the injury occurred. A landlord or tenant might have control over the property but not even be aware of a condition brought on by somebody they never even knew was on their property.
In a slip and fall, a person usually falls backward, but in a trip and fall, they usually fall forward. Whether falling forward or backward, traumatic head and brain injuries can result from a slip or trip. Slips can be more dangerous to the back of the head because the skull isn’t as thick at its base and that’s where the brain and spinal cord meet.
Neck and back spinal injuries are more common in slips than trips. Even stopping a slip can cause an abrupt twisting of the spine resulting in very painful spinal injuries. Hip and pelvis fractures are also common because so many victims of slip and falls are elderly. As per trips and falls, it’s an instinct to try and break our forward falls with our hands and arms. Hand and wrist fractures are commonly experienced as are elbow and internal shoulder injuries involving the rotator cuff and labrum. These ordinarily require surgical repair.
Many people do not believe a slip and fall is a serious accident and that victims only suffer minor injuries. While it is true that not all slip and fall injuries are severe and that some people walk away from the accident unharmed, injuries to the knee are very common. A person may fall on their knee, shattering the kneecap and surrounding bones, or the knee may twist unnaturally during a fall.
Regardless of the type of damage the knee sustained, each injury is unique. However, four types of slip-and-fall knee injuries are common after a slip and fall. They include:
- Broken bones
- Sprained tendons or muscles
- Torn ligaments and
- ACL injuries
Proof of Fault
When determining liability, our Los Angeles slip, trip, and fall accident lawyers turn on whether the owner, occupier and/or person in charge of maintaining the property was negligent. The victim must show that the defendant(s) owed a duty to keep the premises safe from slips and trips and that they breached that duty. Then they’re required to show that the breach of duty caused the accident and that the accident was the proximate cause of their injuries. Finally, they must show damages. Those usually include hospital and medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering and permanency, if any. Other damages might also apply.
The Duty Issue
Some states adhere to other rules, but in California, duties aren’t imposed anymore on occupiers of land based on the injured person’s status as a licensee, invitee or trespasser. The purpose of the injured person’s presence on the land is no longer determinative, but it might be a contributing factor to the duty issue. It must be weighed along with other factors against the imposition of a duty on the occupier. The issue becomes whether the occupier of land acted as a reasonable person would have acted under the circumstances.
How a reasonable person would have acted is determined from the likelihood and probable seriousness of the injury to the plaintiff, the burden of removing, reducing or avoiding the dangerous condition, the property’s location, and the degree of control that the occupier had over the condition that created the risk. Our Los Angeles slip and fall attorneys can help with this process.
As per damages, the victim must show that some form of physical or financial injury occurred. A person who slips and falls in a grocery store and fractures their spine has a clearly defined injury as a direct and proximate result of the negligence of the occupier of that property. They also have medical bills and other damages they incurred.
On the other hand, a person who slips and falls in a grocery store, and then gets up and continues their shopping with no complaints of injury won’t succeed in a negligence case because they can’t show any damages. The occupier of the premises may well have breached a duty and caused a person to slip and fall, but there were not damages. Without damages, the negligence case fails.
If you suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall or trip and fall, you may be in a position to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages you incurred. These lawsuits help victims recover:
- the costs they incurred for medical bills
- lost earnings
- from pain and suffering
- permanent physical disability suffered as a result of the negligence of an occupier of real estate
Our slip and fall attorneys in Los Angeles hold negligent people accountable. Consultations with any of our attorneys are free. If your case is accepted in our offices, you pay no attorney fees unless we get financial compensation for you. Please call us today at 213-985-1120 or contact us online for your free consultation.
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