Orange County And Riverside Slip & Fall Injury Attorneys On Your Side
Unfortunately, the term “slip and fall” has a somewhat negative connotation to many, indicating a false claim. In fact, this stereotype is far removed from the reality of slip and fall injuries. Every person has probably fallen down at one time or another, whether due to a slippery or uneven surface, an object in the walking path, or any number of other factors. Most of the time the injuries from a slip and fall are minor, consisting of more embarrassment than anything else—nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Other times, a slip and fall can result in serious, even life-altering injuries, and can be directly tied to negligence. These are the slip and fall injuries which could definitely require an experienced California slip and fall accident attorney to ensure you are not left with serious injuries, unable to work, and unable to even pay your medical expenses.
Thousands of people sustain injuries each year from a slip and fall accident, ranging from relatively minor injuries to extremely serious injuries. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, as many as one million visits to emergency rooms each year are the result of a slip and fall. Slip and fall accidents make up about 12 percent of all total fall accidents, and at least five percent of all of those who fall will suffer a bone fracture. Slip and fall accidents result in the highest number of occupational injuries for those over the age of 55, also causing the highest number of lost days at work and workers’ comp claims. Even when a slip and fall does not result in a fatality—which they can—the cost of emergency room visits, medical treatments, surgical procedures, rehabilitative therapies and time off from work can quickly add up.
More women actually suffer slip and fall accidents than men—although more men will experience a fall from a height. The shoes women wear could be one component of this issue, although women typically spend more time doing the shopping for the family, therefore are more likely to suffer a slip and fall in a grocery store, a big box store or a retail establishment. Another factor in slip and falls in public places lies in sheer size—the average super-sized grocery store now averages about 100,000 square feet (as opposed to about 10,000 to 15,000 a couple of decades ago), and statistically speaking, the more steps you take, the more likely you are to experience a slip and fall.
Experiencing a slip and fall injury is entirely unexpected and can leave you with injuries that affect you the rest of your life. The attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg understand these types of accidents and injuries and want to help you so that you can focus on recovering, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Where Do Slip and Falls Occur?
People generally do not fall because they are awkward or careless, rather they fall due to walk-surface issues. Torn or frayed carpeting or any type of flooring which is in disrepair can be the cause of a slip and fall in a public place, as can abrupt changes in flooring heights—a floor which suddenly drops off or has a small step up which is not readily apparent. Poor lighting can cause slip and falls, as can a wet or sticky floor. A significant number of falls occur in stairways, whether from steep stairs, narrow stairs, different stair heights, or uneven stair surfaces, plus the hand railing could be broken or rickety and the lighting could be poor in stairwells.
A public sidewalk or parking lot can have breaks or cracks to the point they cause slip and falls or potholes which can take you unaware. Inclement weather, particularly snow, ice, and rain, are also responsible for a number of slip and falls each year, particularly when the wet, slushy floors are not promptly cleaned up. Slip and falls typically occur in the following areas:
- Crowded areas
- Walk paths with objects in the path
- Any place with an uneven walk surface
- Parking lots
- Slippery floors
Grocery stores are one of the primary places slip and falls occur, although there are also significant numbers of slip and falls at restaurants, retail stores, restrooms, nightclubs and other public places. The injuries resulting from a slip and fall can be serious, particularly when a person who falls hits the back of his or her head on a hard surface. Broken hips, broken pelvic bones, back and spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, neck injuries, fractures and torn ligaments in the wrist, foot or leg are all common slip and fall injuries. While a slip and fall occurs in mere seconds, the physical pain and medical expenses which result from the slip and fall can last for months, years, or for the rest of your life. In many cases, the slip and fall and resulting injuries are the results of the property owner’s failure to maintain the property as required or sheer negligence. When your slip and fall is the result of another person’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation through filing a slip and fall accident claim.
Your Rights Regarding a Slip and Fall
Any time you are in a public place you have the right to be warned of any hazards which could result in a slip and fall accident. In other words, if a spill occurred in a grocery store, and employees have put up a sign warning of the spill, along with colored cones to draw your attention to the hazard, yet you proceed anyway, a resulting slip and fall might not rise to the level of negligence. If, however, the spill occurred over an hour ago and several employees have walked by the spill yet failed to clean it up or warn shoppers of the hazard, then the business could be held liable for a slip and fall with injuries.
Poor lighting in an area can effectively disguise defects in walk surfaces or other hazardous conditions, therefore any change in the “normal” walking environment must be clearly visible to those who will be walking in the area. If your slip and fall was due to a property owner who failed to exercise due care when a dangerous condition existed, the owner could be liable for injuries resulting from a slip and fall. In short, if it is reasonably foreseeable that negligence, or failure to take action could result in a slip and fall accident, then the responsibility for your slip and fall could lie with the property owner.
What to Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident
As with any accident, the very first thing you must attend to is your health. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you are unsure whether you are seriously hurt or not. Slip and fall accidents can often cause injuries to the neck, shoulder, back, knee or muscle and ligaments. More seriously, these falls can also cause spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Many times, the symptoms of traumatic brain injury are relatively subtle, therefore may not be immediately apparent. If your slip and fall caused you to hit your head, it is even more important that you seek immediate medical attention. Head injuries—even seemingly minor ones—always require prompt medical evaluation and treatment. Your slip and fall claim could be significantly damaged if you fail to see a doctor immediately after the accident then later realize you sustained serious injuries.
If at all possible, take photographs at the scene of your slip and fall, or have another person take the photos for you. Take the photographs from a variety of angles and distances in order to thoroughly document your slip and fall accident. If there are any witnesses to your slip and fall, get their contact information. Having corroboration regarding the cause of your slip and fall can be invaluable later on. Keep a journal detailing every single thing you can remember about your accident, as well as every medical treatment you receive as a result of your slip and fall injuries.
Getting the Help You Need After Your Slip and Fall
You could find yourself unable to work for a significant period of time because of your slip and fall injuries. This means that while you are trying to pay for medical treatments, you might not have money to pay your normal monthly expenses. You need to consider future medical expenses if your injuries will require ongoing treatment, as well as future lost wages, depending on how long you will be unable to work. Knowledgeable slip and fall accident attorneys from Greenberg & Greenberg fully understand every aspect of a slip and fall accident with injuries, and will work hard on your behalf to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
If negligence on the part of the property owner contributed to your injuries, the attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg will fiercely advocate for you to be compensated for you medical expenses, including your pain and suffering. Our goal at Greenberg & Greenberg is to fully compensate you for all of the expenses caused by the accident. Tremendous medical, legal, and personal expenses can occur in the aftermath of an accident. We will be your advocate in receiving reimbursement for those expenses.