One minute everything is normal, and the next you find yourself flat on your back or face wondering what happened. Slip and falls are not an uncommon experience and can occur anywhere from a fancy hotel to a broken sidewalk in downtown Lake Elsinore, but the resulting injuries can be anything but common. Broken bones and bruises may be expected, but other injuries can change lives and not be obvious to most victims. The Brain Association of California has found slip and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) out of any annually. In fact, each year 7 million slip and falls require hospitalization. If you were hurt during a slip and fall, speak to a Lake Elsinore Slip and Fall lawyer today to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Slip and Falls in Lake Elsinore
Lake Elsinore, a booming lakefront tourist town in western Riverside County, has a growing population of over 66,000 residents – a developing city which continually needs new homes, retail establishments, businesses, and restaurants popping up to support its restaurants. In terms of slip and fall risk, restaurants are particularly risky for both patrons and workers there. Over 60 percent of all reported service industry injuries were due to slip and falls. Lake Elsinore’s growing population and the infrastructure expanding to serve it provide a wide array of ways for a person to injure themselves through a slip and fall accident.
How Do Slip and Falls Occur?
In Lake Elsinore, slip and falls commonly arise due to improperly maintained properties or the presence of hazards that are not properly pointed out to people in the area. Workers and guests to properties are entitled to legal protections from property managers, owners, ad caretakers – a duty exists to use reasonable care to keep the property free of unsafe, hazardous conditions or else adequately warn of any unsafe conditions not obvious enough a reasonable person would recognize and avoid them.
Slip and falls commonly come from:
- Broken steps or flooring;
- Uneven pavement; and
- Slippery or cracked floors.
Slipping on these hazards can seriously injury a victim and require medical treatment including hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and potentially even lifelong changes and accommodations to deal with a debilitating or permanent injury. Slips and falls commonly result in:
- Broken bones;
- Brain and head injuries such as TBIs;
- Neck injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Facial injuries; and
- Dental injuries.
The physical injuries are not the only consequence of a slip and fall – missed work, lost wages, medical expenses, and lasting psychological trauma can all occur as well.
What Can I Recover?
If you file a slip and fall claim in civil court in Lake Elsinore, once you can prove the other party was negligent you may be able to recover compensation for harms you can prove in court if the defendant cannot raise a valid legal defense. Negligence is established once a victim can prove defendant had a legal duty of care to them, breached their duty by way of affirmative act or omission, and that defendant’s breach caused their damages.
For slip and falls caused by negligence, a victim may receive compensatory damages to make them whole for their injuries. Compensatory damages may be awarded for definite harms such as property damage, funeral expenses, and medical bills, but they may also be given to victims for more subjective harms including mental anguish, scarring, and loss of consortium.
Establishing negligence can be difficult, as it can be tricky to prove a legal duty of care exists and then tie the defendant’s conduct to a victim’s injuries. Causation and damages are also often contentious and hotly contested. These tricky aspects of slip and fall lawsuits makes relying on a Lake Elsinore slip and fall lawyer a wise idea.
What Steps Should I Take if I am Involved in a Slip and Fall?
If you are involved in a slip and fall, it’s critical to take a few simple actions to care for your health and the health of any legal claim you may pursue. Make sure you do not delay in taking these steps, as California has a 2-year statute of limitations for filing a slip and fall claim; meaning if you fail to file your civil claim within 2 years of the date your injury occurred, you will be barred by the statute and permanently forfeit your legal claim for recovery.
Get Medical Attention
Your health is important, so seek medical care as quickly as you can after the slip and fall. This is critical even if you don’t think you are hurt, as TBIs occur often in these cases and many times do not present with symptoms immediately when they occur. It is important to be evaluated to see if a TBI is present and if you require further monitoring. Adhere to treatment plans and medication directions exactly and attend every follow-up appointment.
Gather Evidence About Your Accident
Slip and fall injuries commonly occur at work – if this is the case, report it to management as soon as possible to begin the workers’ compensation process. Even if your slip and fall didn’t occur at work, document your accident in other ways:
- Report the slip and fall to the property caretaker;
- If possible, take pictures of what caused your accident and its location immediately;
- Take pictures of your injuries;
- If witnesses saw the accident, get their contact information; and
- If any reports were made regarding your injuries or the slip and fall, get a copy.
Record Your Damages
You will want to keep records showing your injuries and any financial damages you suffered as a result. These help when showing harm occurred from your slip and fall as well as establishing compensatory damages in the event you file a claim. Hospital bills, paystubs, receipts demonstrating expenses incurred for treatment, medicine, treatment, and accommodations for your injuries can all establish financial injuries resulting from the slip and fall.
Talk to a Slip and Fall Attorney
Contact the experienced Lake Elsinore Slip and Fall lawyers at Walton Law today if you were involved in a slip and fall accident. Time passes quickly and you have a statute of limitations looming, so speak with our skilled professionals to learn about your options. We have spent years representing victims like you and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients through compassionate, dedicated advocacy. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or online via our Contact Page to schedule a no-risk initial case review today. The consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we win your case. Let our qualified attorneys review your unique circumstances and help you start getting your life back on track today.