Who is Responsible for My Slip and Fall Accident?
So imagine you are shopping at a Walmart store and you accidentally step into a puddle of water, lose your balance and come tumbling down onto the floor. You are badly hurt and have multiple injuries including a broken ankle and back and neck strain. So what should you do?
First of all, you should immediately look to see if the source of the puddle of water was a spill or due to a leak perhaps from a nearby freezer or refrigerator? If you have a cell phone or camera take a photograph of the scene to prove this before an employee rushes over and cleans up the evidence. Also take shots of any visible injuries. Report the accident to a manger or employee and have them call for paramedics. Make sure you get the employee’s name and ask them for a copy of the incident report. If there were any witnesses present you should also ask them for their contact information.
After you are seen by a doctor contact a personal injury attorney for assistance. The attorney will immediately contact the store to preserve evidence and request a copy of any video that may have captured the accident. The attorney will also help you get the necessary followup care you need to ensure the best possible recovery and compensation for your losses.
Thousands of people suffer injuries in slip and fall or falling object accidents every year throughout California when they trip on stairs, slip on a floor, boxes fall on top of them or through many other circumstances.
Many victims of slip and fall accidents are older adults who are more unstable than younger people. According to 2013 statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as many as one in every three older adults fall every year, roughly 30,000 die of injuries due to falls and roughly 734,000 people were hospitalized with serious injuries
People can suffer very serious injuries in these types of falls or accidents. Typical injuries may be a head injury or Traumatic Brain Injury, back or neck injuries, fractures to the knees, legs, hips, pelvis, spine, hands and arms, as well as lacerations.
Who is Liable for Slip and Fall Accidents?
It’s easy to blame someone else, but the fact is the store or property owner is not always liable for your injuries. The business must be found negligent and their negligence has to be the reason why you were hurt. The standard of proof requires that the owner do what is reasonable under the circumstances to prevent people from being hurt on their premises. For example, if a business has an entry with a worn out carpet that customers routinely trip on and one day someone gets hurt, it may be the owner was negligent for not replacing or removing the hazard.
Sometimes the one responsible for the slip and fall accident is the person who fell. If a person is wearing shoes that are worn out, ill-fitting flip flops or stilettos, the insurance company may try to place the blame for the accident on them. Also, pedestrians are required under California law to watch out for their own safety and avoid potential hazards. If you are distracted and not paying attention to where you are walking you may not see signs warning of a potential fall.
Most people who are hurt in this type of accident just want to get necessary medical care and to recoup their losses. They may also be losing income as they recover from this type of accident. Finding out who the liable party is will be determined, however, based on the specific facts of each individual case. We all have a responsibility to be careful and look where we are going, but as a rule of thumb the property owner could be held responsible if they failed to repair a damaged or worn out surface, warn people about slippery surfaces, clean up a spill they knew about or allow people to have access to a dangerous condition.
Attorney James Johnson has handled many slip and fall cases over the years and he suggests victims of this type of accident do not delay seeking treatment or help from an attorney. Call us and tell us about what happened and we can give you an honest evaluation of your potential case as well as options for moving forward.
“These cases can be difficult to prove, but even more so if you attempt to resolve one without an attorney,” said James Johnson, a personal injury attorney and founder of Johnson Attorneys Group. “I don’t charge any fees for a consultation and you won’t pay my fees if I don’t win you a settlement.”
For a free consultation with Attorney James Johnson, contact us at 800-235-6801.