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Isaac Torres and his family lost their home in foreclosure in 2008. They moved into a nearby apartment building in order to begin their new lives. In January of 2010, Mr. Torres slipped and fell down the stairs at the rear of the building. Like many slip and fall injury cases, he sustained back injuries including a lumbar strain and damage to a disk.
Mr. Torres filed a lawsuit against the owner of the apartment building for negligence. Mr. Torres’ personal injury attorney presented evidence that the apartment owner failed to keep the stairs clean and free from slippery algae. He also presented evidence that the apartment owner did not install the handrail that is required under the law as specified in the building code. Mr. Torres’ attorney also offered evidence to prove that the injuries caused pain so intense that he was unable to continue his job as a houseman for a wealthy family.
After a 14 day trial, a jury determined that the apartment owner was negligent under the law and that the failure to keep the stairs clean caused the accident and the injuries to Mr. Torres. The jury awarded Mr. Torres $1,070,801 for economic loss. This amount included $850,000 for future loss of earnings while he is unable to work.
After the trial, Mr. Torres’ attorney said “If the defendant had provided the minimum protection of a building code required handrail, at a cost of less than $100, and one hour of time, this lawsuit would never have been necessary. And, Mr. Torres would still be working in the job he cherished and held for 10 years.”
Mr. Torres and his family had to return to Mexico until they were able to save enough money to return to California. His attorney indicated that Mr. Torres was looking for a similar job in the same neighborhood so that his children could attend school in that school district. Mr. and Mrs. Torres have 4 children. The significant amount awarded by the jury will help the family get started again.
This case demonstrates why it is important to consult with an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney immediately after being injured in an accident. Attorneys that specialize in accident law know that they must conduct an investigation immediately before the evidence of negligence and critical witnesses disappear or have trouble remembering what they saw. It is also important to get the victim to an experienced and cooperative doctor that knows how to treat these types of injuries. Accident lawyers know that the best doctors in these cases are those that know that it is important to properly document the injuries, the treatment and the results of necessary exams. These doctors are also capable of writing detailed medical reports and to testify in court if necessary to prove what the victim went through.
California law provides many rights and remedies for people that are injured in accidents. Injury attorneys almost always are willing to take cases without asking their clients to pay them directly. They only get paid if they win the case. ¡NO SE DEJE! ®