Slip-and-fall accidents have the potential to result in serious injuries that may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Proving liability in a slip-and-fall case can be a challenging process. It is important to understand what causes these types of accidents, which can happen anywhere at any time. Depending upon the circumstances of the incident, victims of Laguna Niguel slip-and-fall accidents may be able to seek compensation for their losses.
Indoor Slip-and-Fall Accidents
There are many hazardous conditions that can result in a slip-and-fall accident. A few of the most common causes of indoor slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Spilled liquids: Wet floors can result in sudden and violent falls. It is the responsibility of property owners and managers to act quickly to clean up slick areas. Were the wet conditions reported to an employee? For how long did the property manager know about the wet floor before he or she had it cleaned up? Were visitors warned about the spill?
- Recently cleaned floor: Workers who have recently mopped a floor must post wet floor signs. Otherwise, pedestrians may walk over the wet conditions without knowing that they are in danger of slipping. Soap, wax and water are the cause of thousands of injuries each year. It is crucial that visitors and workers are aware of slippery walkways and hallways so that they can walk carefully or avoid the hazardous conditions altogether.
- Uneven floors: Some walkways are simply not safe. If not properly maintained, walkways, paths and hallways may become cracked or uneven. Individuals can trip or stumble over these types of conditions.
- Debris: It is easy to trip over debris. Boxes, papers, folders and items left lying on the floor or along hallways can cause individuals to trip and fall.
- Torn carpets: Bumps, tears and dips in a carpet can cause tripping accidents. These types of conditions should be repaired or covered right away.
- Poor lighting: Some falling accidents are the result of inadequate lighting. All areas that may have pedestrians should have substantial lighting. Pedestrians who cannot see the floor or what's on the floor are more likely to slip and fall.
- Dangerous stairs: Broken, cracked and wet staircases can be extremely dangerous. Staircases should have properly secured rails, and cracked steps need to be repaired right away.
Outdoor Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Falling accidents can occur outside as well. These types of incidents commonly involve damaged walkways. For example, a cracked sidewalk or pathway should be repaired right away. Poorly assembled and maintained paving stones can result in trip-and-fall accidents. Wet smooth sidewalks can result in slip-and-fall incidents. Sudden dips or rises can cause a pedestrian to lose his or her balance. Potholes, curbs, steps and areas where water collects should be clearly marked. All outdoor stairs should have sturdy railings capable of supporting pedestrians who need help getting up and down the steps. A failure to provide safe conditions outside a property is a form of negligence that can result in liability issues for the property owner. In cases involving public property or the public right-of-way, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the property can be held liable. Under California law, personal injury claims against governmental agencies must be filed within six months of the incident.
Protecting Victims' Rights
Property owners can prevent slip-and-fall accidents by staying on top of the hazardous conditions on their premises. Workers should immediately clean up wet areas, signs should be put up around hazardous conditions and damaged areas should be repaired as soon as possible. Pedestrians can help prevent such accidents by remaining attentive. However, when a slip-trip-and-fall accident occurs as a result of someone else's negligence, it is important that you protect your rights.
The experienced Laguna Niguel slip-and-fall lawyers at this law firm can help prove fault and liability in slip-and-fall cases. We have more than three decades of experience representing the rights of injured victims and their families. To find out how we can help you seek and obtain fair compensation for your losses, please contact our offices to schedule your free consultation.