Slip and fall accidents happen when you least expect them and sometimes end up being more dangerous or devastating than it can at first appear. You may trip or slip on someone else’s property because of a hazard that wasn’t apparent, and these accidents can result in serious injuries.
A slip and fall accident sometimes happens in a public place such as a store which had a slippery floor, torn carpet or uneven flooring. On someone else’s property, you may fall because of poorly lit walkways or lack of handrails. In parking lots, slip and fall accidents happen because of potholes, snow, rain, ice or spilled liquid such as oil or gas.
Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents
While a slip and fall can cause injuries to someone of any age, they can be especially dangerous for elderly adults who are very susceptible to broken bones. If you or a loved one is injured because of an unexpected hazard on someone else’s property, you may end up needing extensive medical care or rehabilitation. This can result in the need for ongoing medical care and costly medical bills.
Injuries that can occur because of a fall include:
- Fractures of hips or ankles. Hip fractures can be devastating to elderly adults because they may require surgery and/or hospitalization.
- Head injuries – Bad falls may result in a traumatic brain injury, which could impact the quality of your life on a long-term or permanent basis. Head injuries can also cause concussions or skull fractures.
- Back and spinal cord injuries – The impact of a fall can cause a slipped disc or fractured vertebrae. In severe falls, the spinal cord may be damaged, which could lead to permanent paralysis.
- Sprains or strains – These are less severe injuries but may still lead to long-term pain, time out of work and the need for physical therapy.
Injuries from slip and fall accidents can vary in severity. Some people experience scrapes and bruises, while others suffer injuries that impact their lives on a long-term or permanent basis. Long-term problems caused by a fall are especially likely if the victim is an elderly person.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you or a loved one has fallen on someone else’s property or a public area or parking lot in California, you should file an accident report. If there were any witnesses, try to get statements from them regarding what they saw.
Document detailed information about what caused the fall. Make note of weather conditions, hazards that weren’t noticeable, and information about lighting. Take pictures if you can which shows the location and anything that may help clarify the circumstances of the accident.
Determining Who Was at Fault
What happened to you may or may not have been the fault of the property owner. You might think it was obvious that there was a problem that the owner should have noticed such as poor lighting, no handrail, or broken stairs, but it’s not always easy to prove.
It will need to be determined whether a reasonable person would have noticed the hazard and whether the property owner actually had time to address the problem before the accident occurred. It will also need to be determined whether your own carelessness contributed to the accident in any way.
Another question that will come up is how long the hazard existed before you ended up falling. If the property owner typically keeps up the property, but a spill happened that he never had a chance to address, he won’t be found liable.
Find Out if You Have a Case
It’s always best to discuss an accident with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you do have a case. Contact Kuvara Law Firm using the form on this page, and we will get back to you promptly.