Are you a victim of a slip and fall accident? You have the right to seek financial compensation.
Glendale, CA Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
When you enter a business or visit another person’s property, you expect the conditions to be reasonably safe. However, this is not always the case, and accidents can happen every day. Dangerous conditions regularly cause people to slip and fall. Many people may view slip and fall accidents as generally unremarkable, but they can actually lead to serious and even life-threatening injuries. If an accident at someone else’s home, office, school, store, government building, or any other location causes you to slip and fall, you may have a claim for your medical expenses, lost earnings, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Financial liability for slip and fall accidents is part of a subset of personal injury law called premises liability. Premises liability also covers other types of injuries that occur on public or private property such as falling merchandise injuries at big box stores, accidental drownings, and animal attacks. These cases can be complex and require representation by experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. To learn more about your rights to recover money in a slip and fall accident claim, call Dordulian Law Group for a free consultation today at 818-322-4056.
Five Types of Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall Accidents
Wet and Slippery Floors: Wet and slippery floors are the leading cause of slip and fall accidents that result in injury or death. Grocery stores and supermarkets have a high incidence of accidents due to dropped wet or liquid merchandise. Even after a “wet cleanup” or “mop up job” has taken place, the floor can remain slippery. A grocery store should place a visible warning such as a wet floor sign until the environment is completely dry. Some contaminants besides water that may cause someone to slip include spilled coffee, detergents/soaps, cooking grease from a deep fryer, oil, or wax.
Cluttered Floors: Something like an electric cord or phone cord running across the floor is a simple hazard that can cause someone to fall and be seriously injured. Clutter could be anything that is left in a walkway which could cause someone to fall such as small garbage cans placed in a pathway, or ladders propped against a wall.
Damaged Floors or Loose Floor Components: Missing, loose, or broken tiles can create uneven flooring, easily causing someone to trip and fall. Business owners have a responsibility to inspect their properties frequently and fix dangerous conditions when they become aware of them. If the owner of the business knew a hazard existed and failed to take any action, they may be liable.
Poor Lighting: Lighting in a business, parking garage, or parking lot allows people to see unsafe conditions, uneven pavement, accumulation of liquid, and foreign substances, and navigate those situations safely. Good lighting is basic and necessary for all businesses. Property owners or lessees have a responsibility to provide adequate lighting and address any outages.
Cracks or Gaps in Sidewalks or Walkways: Uneven walkway surfaces can be very hazardous. Even a one-inch gap in the concrete can be enough to catch a shoe and cause someone to fall. Business owners must be vigilant about removing and reducing hazards. In environments where people are distracted by children or pets, someone may not see a hazard in a walkway.
Icy walkways are also a major cause of slip and fall accidents in certain areas of the country. In Los Angeles, icy conditions are relatively rare, although water from rain may create dangerous and slippery conditions.
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Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
Injuries from a fall can range from minor, serious, or life-threatening depending on the type of fall, the location of the injury, the age of the victim, and the overall health of the victim. Injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident in California frequently include:
Broken bones: Fractures to the ankle or wrist are common fall-related injuries. For people over 65, falls account for 87% of bone fracture injuries. A “Fall Onto Outstretched Hand” injury is commonly referred to as a FOOSH fracture. FOOSH fractures may require surgery, physical therapy, and extended rest. Ankle injuries are one type of injury that insurance companies like to downplay, but are very serious. Healing from a severe ankle fracture like a trimalleolar fracture can take more than 12 weeks.
Bruises and contusions: Bruising is a common result of a fall impact. While most bruises heal over time with rest, severe bruises can cause permanent tissue damage, chronic numbness, loss of function, or loss of muscle strength.
Dislocated shoulders: A blow causing the top of your arm to pop out of its socket can cause a painful dislocated shoulder injury. The shoulder is an unstable joint, and prone to slipping out of place. Surgery may be needed if nerves or blood vessels are damaged.
Knee injuries: The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the body, and plays an important role in supporting weight. Knee injuries from a fall include fractures, dislocations, ligament injuries, meniscal tears, and tendon tears. Surgery and extended rest may be necessary to regain function following a knee injury.
Lacerations: Falling can cause cuts and scratches from landing on a sharp surface or reaching out to try and break a fall. Older adults who are more prone to falls are also more vulnerable to lacerations, bleeding, and infections.
Nerve or spine damage: Any numbness, change in function, or significant weakness below what’s referred to in medical terminology as the patient’s “level of injury” could indicate a spinal cord injury. In older adults, the force needed to cause a spinal injury is significantly less, and even a minor accident can cause bones to break more easily. Treatment will be decided based on the severity of symptoms and the location of the injury. In some cases, injuries may be permanent.
Sprained wrists or ankles: Wrist and ankles sprains are common injuries when ligaments are stretched beyond their limits. Sprains are graded depending on the degree of the injury:
Grade 1 sprain – mild (ligament is stretched but not torn)
Grade 2 sprain – moderate (ligament is partially torn)
Grade 3 sprain – severe (ligament is completely torn)
Strained muscles: A strain is similar to a sprain, but involves a muscle or tendon instead of a ligament. In a fall, a muscle may be overstretched and either partially or completely torn. Hamstring and lower back strains are the most common types of muscle strains. Strain injuries may require pain management and lengthy rehabilitation.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): A blow to the head during a fall can cause a serious TBI. Physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments can last for months or be permanent.
Don’t wait to file a claim for your slip and fall injury. Contact our top-rated, expert slip and fall attorneys online or by phone today.
With any fall-related injury, receiving prompt medical treatment is important. Do not delay seeking medical attention in an effort to “tough it out” and see if you feel better. Your visit to an urgent care center or hospital emergency room is necessary for your health, and can also be an important piece of evidence in your premises liability claim.
Slip and Fall Accident Facts
The following statistics are provided by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a non-profit organization whose mission is, “to aid in the prevention of slips, trips, and falls through education, research, and standards development”:
Falls account for more than 8 million emergency room visits annually
5% of all people who fall suffer a fracture
Over 60% of nursing home residents fall every year
Is Soft-Surface Flooring to Blame for Your Slip and Fall Accident?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million injuries every year. Business owners may use carpet or rugs with the intent to reduce slip risks, while posing a new slip or trip risk. Defects in soft-surface flooring may include:
Damaged, frayed, or loose carpeting
Slip & Fall Facts/Statistics:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) confirms that floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million slip and fall injuries each year.
Every year in the United States, one of every three seniors over age of 65 will experience a fall (and half of those individuals will be repeat fallers).
Falls constitute 40% of all nursing home admissions and over 60% of nursing homes residents will fall annually.
Falls are the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 70 years or older.
Falls are dramatically increasing, with the CDC reporting that in 2005, more than 15,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall (a dramatic increase from 7,700 just a decade earlier).
According to CDC data, approximately 1.8 million people over the age of 65 were treated in an emergency room as a result of a fall.
Causes of slip and falls:
In addition to wearing the wrong footwear, specific behaviors can lead to slips, trips, and falls. Some of those behaviors include:
Walking too fast or running In normal walking
Rapid changes in direction
Not watching where one is going
Carrying materials which obstruct view
Wearing sunglasses in low-light areas
Failure to use handrails.
If you are about to experience a fall, the recommended procedures are:
Tuck your chin in, turn your head, and throw an arm up. It is better-to land on your arm than on your head.
While falling, twist or roll your body to the side (better to land on your buttocks and side than on your back).
Keep your wrists, elbows, and knees bent.
Do not try to break the fall with your hands or elbows.
When falling, the objective is to have as many square inches of your body contact the surface as possible (i.e. spreading out the impact of the fall).
Who is Responsible for Slip and Fall Accident Injuries?
The owner of a property or business is not automatically liable if an accident occurs and you are injured on their premises. For example, if the owner of a supermarket warned you about a recently cleaned up spill by posting a large “Caution: Wet Floor” sign that you did not see or heed because you were walking around a business while FaceTiming a friend, the property owner would likely not be liable for your injuries. However, if the property owner refused to turn on lights in a parking lot because they wanted to cut costs, they may be liable if you tripped on an uneven surface or pothole.
In California, when a slip and fall accident occurs, the court will look at whether or not the property owner used reasonable care to keep a property safe. Reasonable care could include fixing observed hazards, limiting customer access to high-risk areas, providing warnings to guests, and conducting inspections. Many grocery stores require courtesy clerks to walk the floor every 30 minutes and then sign a log documenting that they completed the “walk around” and inspection. This policy could be used as evidence of reasonable measures to keep a property safe.
Yes – In fact, slip and fall accidents actually represent the primary reason for employees needing to take time off work due to injury. The workers’ compensation system was developed to shield employers from being sued when their employees are injured on the job. In California, every business must have some form of workers’ compensation insurance to compensate injured employees. As an employee, workers’ compensation is available if you are injured due to your own fault, your employee’s fault, or no one’s fault.
If you slip and fall on the job, there are some instances where you could also pursue a premises liability claim against a third party. For example, if your employer sends you to a particular location to deliver a product and you experience a slip and fall accident there (perhaps due to the floor being cleaned with a product that caused the surface to become slippery), you may have a premises liability claim. These “crossover,” or third-party premises liability claims, can be complex, but Dordulian Law Group’s attorneys are experienced in such legal matters. We have successfully handled countless slip and fall accident and premises liability cases, helping our clients recover over $100 million in damages through the years. Some examples of our successful results in premises liability claims include:
$3.25 million settlement for a fall leading to a spinal cord injury
$1.95 million settlement for a client who suffered a severe head injury at work
$1.25 million settlement for a client who suffered a trip and fall at work
$1.1 million settlement for a client who suffered a serious injury at a trampoline park
What to Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident
After an accident occurs, you should take the following steps:
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. With any situation involving a fracture, head injury, or spinal cord injury, the time immediately following the accident is critical. Medical staff can stabilize your injury and arrange for appropriate specialists to provide the medical attention you require. Always follow through with health a care provider’s follow-up recommendations.
Inform the business or property owner that the accident occurred. Ask them to provide their insurance information so that you can notify your insurance company. Be sure to provide these details to your DLG slip and fall attorney so they may follow-up.
Document how the injury occurred and how you were injured. Write down all the information you can recall regarding how the accident occurred, including as much specific detail as possible. Take photographs of the scene, or ask someone to help you take photos if you are severely injured. This should be done as quickly as possible, as the environment where you fell can be quickly cleaned up, picked up, or repaired following an accident.
Contact a DLG slip and fall lawyer to submit a claim. You can submit a claim yourself, but without the help of an experienced DLG attorney, you may be forfeiting millions of dollars that you are entitled to receive for your injuries. A skilled and experienced Los Angeles slip and fall accident attorney from Dordulian Law Group can ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Contacting a DLG slip and fall/premises liability lawyer as quickly as possible following your accident will ensure evidence is properly preserved and your claim is filed within the statute of limitations.
If you’ve been injured at work, contact our certified workers’ compensation specialists online or by phone for a free consultation today.
Slip and fall settlements 2018-2020
Across the country, verdicts and settlements reached in slip and fall accidents have emphasized the importance of building maintenance and safety. Some outcomes that have made headlines over the years include:
Examples of Major Slip and Fall Accident Case Outcomes Against Retailers and Institutions
An $11.6 million settlement was reached for a University of Pennsylvania student who fell 20 feet through a wood-covered skylight opening. She suffered massive injuries and tragically became a paraplegic.
An Alabama jury awarded $7.5 million to a man who broke his hip when he fell trying to procure a watermelon out of a container at Walmart. His foot accidentally became caught in a palette, causing him to suddenly fall. At the trial, jurors were shown the store’s surveillance camera footage. The footage revealed that several additional shoppers had experienced the exact same type of accident – getting a foot caught in a palette – prior to said man’s injury.
A California jury ordered Starbucks to pay a chiropractor and his family $7.5 million after he slipped on a freshly mopped area of the store’s floor. The man fell and hit his head, sustaining multiple injuries.
A Pennsylvania jury ordered a property owner to pay $4 million to a man who fell down an unmarked step and struck his eye on a chair, leaving him blind.
A Nevada jury ordered Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas to pay $1.3 million to George Wallace, a well-known comedian who ruptured a tendon when he accidentally became entangled in stage wiring while performing at a holiday party. Before the trial, Bellagio had the opportunity to settle the case for less than what the jury awarded.
“After contacting several law firms, I was impressed with this firm. Rafi and S. Dordulian really listened and assisted me. Rafi kept the line of communication open as well as, giving excellent advice. He made you feel at ease and comfortable as a good friend would. There was sincere concern shown to the issues I was having. If I needed an attorney again, Sam would be my first call.” Elvera T.
DLG has recovered more than $100 million for personal injury victims like you. For over two decades we’ve managed to sustain a 98% success rate in trials. Take a moment to view some of our recent cases and results. At DLG, we are proud to have reached positive outcomes for so many injured clients, helping them get back on their feet and recover under what are often difficult circumstances.
Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Fees
If you’re hesitant to reach out about your case because you think that slip and fall accident lawyer fees are out of your reach, think again. At Dordulian Law Group, we’re so committed to your cause that we’re willing to work on contingency if we take your case. That means that unless we secure a settlement for you, you won’t owe us a penny. It’s important to us that high quality legal representation is available to everyone — not just those who can afford an hourly lawyer fee.
Talk to a California Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer at DLG About Your Potential Case
DLG doesn’t collect a fee unless we recover money for you. If we don’t win, you do not pay – it’s that simple. Our slip and fall accident lawyers are aggressive advocates for injury victims. We are happy to discuss your potential case and answer any questions you may have via a free consultation. To speak with an experienced and dedicated DLG slip and fall attorney, call us today at (800) 880-777 or contact us online.
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