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Although they seem unlikely, slip and fall accidents are far more common than you realize. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents account for over 8 million emergency room visits each year and are the leading cause of workplace accidents and missed work days.
Furthermore, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1-in-3 elderly people will have a fall each year. Of those, only half of slip and fall victims tell their doctors. However, many slip and fall accidents result in serious injury. In fact, 1-in-5 will result in a severe issue, such as a broken bone or a head injury.
Aside from severe medical problems slip and fall accidents can cause, they can also be expensive to treat. The U.S. spends roughly $34 billion every year on slip and fall medical treatment.
You may be wondering if your slip and fall accident was due to someone else’s negligence. In many cases, slips and falls are simply accidents. However, slipping cases can also involve premises liability and injuries caused by a negligent property owner, land owner, maintenance crew, management company, or occupant. In most cases, property owners have a responsibility to keep their property free from dangerous conditions at all times. In general, there are three different distinctions of visitors that can affect slip and fall cases:
As can be seen from above, the rules dictating liability for slips and falls can change depending on the relationship between the person injured and where it happens. In general, everyone from private individuals to business entities has a duty to act in a reasonably responsible way toward other people. That means cleaning up spills, keeping entryways free of obstructions, and other common-sense behaviors. When a person doesn’t fulfill this duty, he or she may be considered negligent.
For example, if you tripped on a broken section of walkway outside your local grocery store or there was a spill, the owner could be held responsible for your injuries. It was his or her duty to make sure the pathway to the business was safe, and failure to do so indicates negligence. However, if you were trespassing on someone’s property or went into the restricted area of a store, these same protections may not be afforded to you.
Every state handles negligence differently, and it can sometimes be hard to prove because there are many factors at play. You could be partially responsible for your own accident, but the other party may be even more to blame.
Luckily, in California, you are allowed to collect compensation, even if you are somewhat at fault. This is called “comparative negligence.” Depending on how liable you are for your own accident, your compensation will be reduced by that amount. For example, if you are 20% at fault, you will only collect the remaining 80% of the total compensation. If you are 70% at fault, you’ll only collect 30%, and so on.
It’s imperative that you work with an attorney who specializes in slip and fall cases. Your counsel’s job is to decrease your own fault in the accident, while increasing the amount of your total damages.
Damages are any expenses you incurred as a result of the accident and injury. In slip and fall cases, this usually includes medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, property damage, and pain and suffering. Your attorney will try to maximize the amount of each damage award to get you the most compensation possible.
DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo has the expertise you need to win your slip and fall case. We have a long history of success in personal injury lawsuits. Proving the other party’s negligence can be difficult depending on the circumstances, but we have the skills and resources to do so. In fact, we’ve been working with clients in Orange County and the surrounding community since 1979. Contact us today to begin building your case.