Slip and fall accidents are common injury-causing incidents stemming from dangerous conditions on a property that can happen anywhere from a Temecula city street to a bed-and-breakfast in rural Montana. However, just because slip and fall incidents are common doesn’t mean they are trivial.
- Nationally, they are responsible for nearly 8 million hospital visits every year and cost American employers almost $70 billion annually.
- Nearly half of all household accidental deaths result from a fall.
- These accidents are the primary cause of missed workdays in America.
- Slip and falls result in 60 percent of the injuries reported by service industry employees nationally and top Temecula’s list of reported workplace injuries.
Though they may look comical to some bystanders, serious and long-lasting injuries can occur in the blink of an eye. If you are injured, you should contact a Temecula attorney experienced with slip and fall injuries to learn your options and choose the best path to recover just compensation.
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Temecula slip and fall injuries can fall under the umbrella of premises liability – liability based on a property owner or caretaker’s legal duty to take reasonable care to ensure their premises is free from hazardous conditions in an effort to ensure the safety of individuals on the property. However, not all slip and fall injuries result in liability. Liability only arises if the accident and injury were due to the property owner or caretaker’s negligence.
Slip and fall accidents can happen on any type of properties and for any number of reasons. Just as not all slip and fall accidents are the result of an owner or caretaker’s negligence, not all dangerous conditions are so obvious that a reasonable person should have avoided them. Common causes of slip and falls are:
- Inadequate stair railings;
- Cracked, uneven stairs;
- Loose or lifted carpet;
- Cracked or missing tiles;
- Uneven floors; and
- Wet floors.
If you are injured do not assume you should have noticed and avoided the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall. Consult an experienced Temecula slip and fall attorney who can provide a professional evaluation of your situation and, if there is any question of fault, explain the legal process and take immediate action for you.
How Do I Recover Damages for a Slip and Fall Injury in Temecula?
Slip and fall accidents commonly cause fractures (especially of the extremities), brain injuries, broken teeth and other dental damage, neck injuries, and back injuries. Not only can these injuries require immediate medical attention, they can result in the need for hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy and rehabilitation. Additionally, other serious consequences can result from a slip and fall injury – lost wages, inability to work, medical equipment needed during convalescence or even permanently to cope with permanent or long-term disability may face victims.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you probably wonder the amount of damages your case may be worth. If you can prove negligence on the part of another party caused the slip and fall and your injuries, you may recover for damages you can substantiate in court. Judges or juries may award different types of damages – some based on proof intended to compensate, and some to punish bad behavior.
Intended to make an injury victim whole, compensatory damages may be either economic or noneconomic. Economic compensatory damages, such as past and future medical expenses and lost wages, can be substantiated by records such as medical bills and paystubs. Noneconomic compensatory damages, on the other hand, do not have a concrete dollar value – they are meant to compensate victims for mental and psychological harms such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium.
Victims of slip and fall accidents may also be eligible for an additional type of damages – punitive damages – intended to punish the defendant’s reprehensible behavior and discourage them and others from repeating it. To recover punitive damages, a victim must first be eligible to receive compensatory damages. Once satisfying this requirement, if they can prove their injuries occurred because the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression then a judge or jury may decide to award punitive damages in an amount of their discretion.
What Should I Do if I am Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you suffered a slip and fall injury in Temecula, there are several steps you should take to attend to your health and preserve your legal rights. Most importantly, do not delay – slip and fall personal injury claims are bound by a 2-year California statute of limitations. If you do not file a claim within 2 years of the date you suffered your injury, you will be barred from filing suit and will lose your ability to recover.
Seek medical attention immediately following a slip and fall – even if you believe you were only minorly injured. Some injuries have a delay before symptoms appear, so it is imperative to be examined by a doctor, be monitored, and abide by all treatment recommendations given by medical personnel. Document your injuries. Also, remember to keep records of your treatments and expenses incurred, and make sure to keep all medical appointments and follow-up care. Finally, begin keeping track of how the injury is impacting you, such days you miss work.
Report Incident and Collect Evidence
If you are injured at work, report it immediately to your manager to begin a worker’s compensation claim as promptly as possible. If you are injured on private property, notify the building owner or manager and take photographs of the condition or hazard that caused your injury if possible. Collect the information of any witnesses to your accident.
Consult an Attorney
It is highly advisable you consult the experienced Temecula slip and fall attorneys at Walton Law as soon as possible. Time is not of your side, and you need to speak with a professional who can help you protect your legal rights, evaluate your situation, and aid you in choosing the best way to proceed to receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Contact us at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to set up your no-risk, confidential initial case review today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The consultation has no obligation and you pay nothing unless we win your case. Our skilled attorneys will review your unique case and advocate aggressively for you to obtain the best possible results.