Imagine you’re walking on a wet floor at a grocery store; you don’t expect it, and you slip and fall. Slip-and-fall accidents are, unfortunately, all too common and can lead to more than just bruised pride.
Falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits per year, one of the leading causes of hospital visits. They’re also common in workplace injuries in California, with 19 percent of workplace fatalities coming from slips, trips, and falls.
If you or a family member has been injured in a slip and fall incident in California, contact the Scott Carr Law Firm. We are dedicated to helping victims pursue fair compensation to cover medical bills and other costs related to their injuries. You can reach the San Francisco office at 415-799-2229.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
It may not seem like a fall is a big deal, but falls can cause serious injuries and even deaths. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits (21.3 percent). Additionally, the National Safety Council’s data from 2020 shows that falls caused 7.4 percent of preventable deaths in California that year.
Broken bones are common fall-related injuries. A fall could also cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, skin abrasions, bruises, and/or internal injuries.
Here are some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall accidents:
- Damaged/uneven floors
- Broken/missing stair railings
- Unsecured cords or cables
- Improperly fenced construction sites
- Absence of warning signs for hazardous areas
If you sustain an injury after falling on someone else’s property, you may be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit. If a loved one dies from fall-related injuries, you may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
In either case, you must be able to prove that the property owner failed in their “duty of care” to the victim. In California, individuals that have a “duty of care” relating to their property are those who own, lease, control, or occupy the property. Sometimes, insurance providers or companies may be liable in a slip-and-fall case.
Negligence in California Slip-and-Fall Accidents
A property owner/manager is considered liable for a visitor’s slip-and-fall injuries if they were negligent in their care and maintenance of their property. In order to prove the defendant’s negligence in a premises liability case, you must be able to show the following:
- Your injuries were caused by an unsafe condition on the property
- The defendant (e.g. property owner) failed to repair the condition, protect visitors from it, or provide adequate warning of it
- The defendant should have realized that their action (or inaction) could result in injuries
If you can show that the property owner or manager was negligent, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries.
Compensation in a Slip-and-Fall Case
When you sue a liable party for compensation, there are two types of damages you may be awarded. Economic damages are related to the financial costs you have incurred from your injury:
- Lost wages
- Lowered earning capacity
- Medical bills
A jurymay also award non-economic damages for the non-financial consequences of your injuries:
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of sexual affection
California does not have caps on economic or non-economic damages.
Does California Require You to Retain a Lawyer?
California law doesn’t require you to hire a lawyer to file a premises liability or wrongful death lawsuit. There is, however, a statute of limitations for these legal actions: two years.
A lawyer can help you understand whether you’re eligible to file a lawsuit. They can also help you collect evidence and navigate the complicated California legal system to make sure you file your case before the statute of limitations runs out.
The Scott Carr Law Firm Helps Slip-and-Fall Victims
California requires property owners to comply with certain safety standards to prevent unnecessary injuries. If you slip and are injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, you may be able to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.
The Scott Carr Law Firm has the experience and expertise to help California victims and their families get financial compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence or careless actions. If you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property, schedule a free consultation. Call our San Francisco office at 415-799-2229.