Few injuries are more common than those caused by slips and falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits each year in the United States, averaging more than eight million incidents annually.
Falls are also one of the leading causes of workplace deaths and disabilities. People 55 and older are more likely to be injured by a fall while on the job than any other cause.
As the data shows, slip and falls are both pervasive and dangerous. While bone fractures are the most common injury related to a slip and fall, brain and spinal injuries also occur with great frequency. Falls are one of the leading causes of both traumatic brain injury and severe spinal cord injury. Every year, thousands of people die or become paralyzed as the result of a serious fall — and injury that’s often caused by the negligence of someone else.
Fortunately, California law protects those who have been injured in such a scenario.
How and Why Slip and Falls Occur
Slip and fall injuries are distressingly common and often sadly avoidable. Too often the negligence of property owners or employers plays a critical role in slip and fall cases. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and falls account for 26-percent of all costs associated with worker’s compensation claims. Certain industries, such as trucking and construction, are especially vulnerable to slip and fall injuries.
Many of these injuries occur when customers, employees or those passing by slip on a surface that has been improperly maintained. In many cases this may mean a wet floor, a floor, sidewalk or walkway with cracks or an uneven surface.
In California, legal liability for these injuries is typically present when the property owner permitted unsafe conditions to exist and failed to take steps to address the problem. For example, if an employee repeatedly reported a hazardous floor condition, and no steps were taken to address the problem, liability may exist should another person be injured by falling.
If you’ve been injured by a slip and fall, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect yourself. After seeking necessary medical treatment, speak to any witnesses who may have seen the accident, as their testimony could be critically important in establishing the facts of your case.
It’s also important to document the scene of the accident. If any cracks, slick spots or hazards exist, photograph or video them. If there is any evidence that normal safety protocols were not followed, take note of such deviations. If you have any medical bills that arise as the result of your injury, carefully document them.
By being thorough in the aftermath of your injury, you can help lay the groundwork for litigation to compensate you for your injuries.
Finding the Right Slip and Fall Attorney
Establishing negligence is the key to any slip and fall case so it’s essential that you have an experienced legal advocate on your side.
By working with a law firm specializing in the often complex area of personal injury litigation, you can help ensure that you are justly compensated for the injuries you’ve suffered.