California Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents cost Americans billions of dollars a year and claim tens of thousands of lives. According to epidemiological surveys, hip fractures among elderly patients due to slip and fall accidents alone account for thousands of hospital admissions per year.
The experienced California slip and fall lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of helping injured victims and their families obtain fair and full compensation for their damages and losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, please contact us for a free comprehensive consultation at 949-203-3814.
Passionate Attorneys, Proven Results
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have a stellar track record for fighting for the rights of slip and fall personal injury victims in California. We are A+ Better Business Bureau rated and we boast a 96% success rate. We invite you to check out some of our professional achievements and client settlements. All told, we have recovered over $250 million in settlements and verdicts. We offer free, zero obligation consultations for slip and fall accident claimants.
A slip-and-fall accident may result in serious or even catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Slip-and fall victims may have to spend several days in the hospital and possibly months in rehabilitation and physical therapy. They may also incur tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and even more in lost wages due to time they must take off work to recuperate from their injuries. If you have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.
What is A "Slip and Fall" Injury?
A "slip and fall" injury is one that is caused when a person falls down, slips, or trips due to the unsafe condition of the property owned or controlled by another individual or business. It may include a fall caused by water, ice, snow, or a foreign object. Other times, falls may be caused by slippery or uneven sidewalks or pavement. No matter what the cause of the fall, the fall must have been caused by the negligence of another in order to have a claim for which the property owner or possessor will be responsible for the damages caused by your injury from the fall.
Slip and fall is a broad category that is used to describe one of four kinds of fall down accidents:
(1) Trip and fall, occurs when a foreign object is in the pathway
(2) Stump and fall, occurs when an impediment is on the walking surface, such as an unexpected bump
(3) Step and fall, occurs when an unexpected hole, such as an uncovered manhole, is in the walkway
(4) Slip and fall, occurs when the surface of the floor causes you to slip
Some common causes of slip and fall accidents are as follows:
- Slippery or uneven sidewalks, cobblestones, or pavement
- Steeply sloping driveways
- Slippery floor surfaces or floor coverings
- Oil, grease, water, liquids, or food on the floor
- Uneven stairs or inadequate stair rails
- Mats or rugs which become unanchored or loose
- Rain, snow, or ice
- Blocked store aisles
- Bridge construction hazards, including falling debris
- Unsafe balconies or railings
- Poor lighting
If you have been injured because of one of the hazards listed above you may have a slip and fall case.
Measures to Take After a Slip and Fall
The actions you take after being injured on someone else's property will directly affect your ability to receive financial compensation for your medical bills and other related damages. Immediately after falling, take a moment to assess the situation. Have you been hurt? Can you move without causing additional injuries? If you are only suffering from a minor bump that will not require medical attention, you should report the hazardous condition to the property owner to prevent future incidents. If, however, you have suffered a significant injury, there are a number of steps you should take to protect your rights:
- Call for help. If you have hurt you head, neck, back or legs, you should not risk getting up. Stay where you are and call out for help. If you have a cell phone, call 911.
- Notify the authorities. An ambulance should be called and the authorities should be notified that an injury accident occurred on the premises.
- File a report with management. If the accident occurred at a place of business, the property manager should be told right away. Ask to fill out an injury report and obtain a copy of the report before you leave.
- Collect contact information. Request the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident. If you choose to file a claim, it could prove useful to have first-hand reports that back up your account of what caused the accident.
- Take photos. If you have a camera or a smart phone, take photos of where the accident occurred. Make sure to photograph the hazardous conditions. Was the floor wet? Did you trip on debris? Was the carpeting uneven? Did you trip on a broken stair? Were there signs, cones or caution tape around the location? If not, take a wide enough photo to show that no warnings were posted. It is also advisable to photograph your injuries.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Seeing a doctor right away will increase your chances of a full recovery. Furthermore, your medical records are legal documents that can be used in court to prove that you were injured.
- Keep your records. It is important to keep organized records of all the financial losses you have suffered after being injured. Keep track of your medical expenses as well as your prescription drug bills, lost wages and other related damages.
- Maintain a journal. If you sustained a serious injury, you may be able to receive financial compensation for the pain and suffering you undergo during the recovery process. Keep a daily journal of your struggles since being injured. Are there important activities that you are no longer able to participate in because of your injuries? How has your life and livelihood been affected? Are you more stressed, depressed or fatigued since the accident? Have you had to hire a housekeeper or a gardener because you have been unable to cook or maintain the house? These are important pieces of information you would be well advised to document.
Liability in Slip-and-Fall Cases
Caliofnria Property owners and managers are responsible for keeping walkways clear and dry. They must repair damaged steps and railings. They are required to post warning signs around areas that are under repair. Property owners must also act within a reasonable amount of time to fix a hazardous location. Failure to do so is a form of negligence.
In order to determine liability for a slip and fall accident, injured victims in California must prove that:
- The owner created the hazardous condition.
- The owner knew the condition existed and failed to fix it.
- The condition existed for a long enough period of time that the owner should have discovered it and corrected it before the slip-and-fall accident occurred.
In order to hold someone responsible for your "slip and fall" losses, there must have been a "dangerous condition" that caused your fall. The dangerous condition must be specifically identified. A reasonable person seeing the condition must judge it to be unreasonably dangerous. The condition cannot be so obvious that a reasonable person would have appreciated the condition and avoided it.
In order to collect damages for your California "slip and fall" injury the responsible party will need to have the ability to pay a judgment. This usually means they have "premises liability" insurance or they have assets so substantial that they can pay the judgment themselves (like a major grocery store chain). A homeless person who creates a dangerous condition on the sidewalk that causes you a serious "slip and fall" injury is not going to compensate you for the losses you have sustained.
What You Will Need to Prove to Win
In order for you to prevail on your slip and fall case one of the most important things you will have to prove is that the owner of the property where you fell either created, had prior knowledge of, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have gained knowledge of the hazardous condition and the negligence of the store. These are often the most difficult things to prove as well. This is due to the fact that the evidence that you need to prove these elements will often be in control of the store and will be more accessible to them.
What you want to show is that the store either had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition (they were told of the condition), that they had constructive knowledge (evidence that the store should have discovered the condition through reasonable care) or they created the dangerous condition. To establish constructive knowledge you want to show that the condition existed for a long enough time period where the owner or his/her employee should have known about if he/she had been acting in a reasonable manner (such as conducting timely inspections of the store).
Receiving Fair Compensation
It is common for property owners and insurance providers to deny responsibility for these types of accidents and for victims to struggle to get the compensation they need. An experienced California slip and fall lawyer will fight for the victim's right to fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, the cost of rehabilitation services and other related damages.
Our attorneys have won numerous awards for representing injury victims including Attorney of the Year several times. If you need quality representation without having to pay up front, consider talking with us. Our promise to our clients is that you will have all fees advanced for your case until the end. If you follow our advice and we don't win, you wont pay.
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