If a person sustains a slip and fall injury caused by the negligent actions of a property owner, then they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. No one should be left paying major medical bills and putting up with lost wages due to the fault of a property owner.
At ABDI & Associates, our team is standing by to help if you need a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer. We have the resources needed to fully investigate premises liability claims in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, and we know what it takes to help our clients recover full compensation for their losses. Not only does this include compensation for medical bills, but also for lost wages and pain and suffering damages. Do not hesitate to stand up for your rights against negligent property owners today.
Why Turn to ABDI & Associates for a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Claim?
At ABDI & Associates, you have a team that understands the importance of securing complete compensation after sustaining an injury caused by another party.
· We have an extensive history of success in recovering compensation on behalf of premises liability injury victims throughout California.
· We fully investigate every claim that we take so that we can stand up to aggressive insurance carriers and at-fault parties to recover total compensation for clients.
· We will not hesitate to take your claim all the way to a jury trial if that is what it takes to recover complete compensation on your behalf.
Why You Need a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Claim
Many individuals do not take slip and fall claims seriously enough. However, the reality is that a single slip and fall incident can lead to significant setbacks for a victim, both physically and financially. It is crucial to recover complete compensation for these injuries, and doing so is going to require assistance from a skilled attorney.
A lawyer’s role for a slip and fall claim in Los Angeles will be multifaceted and include:
· Investigating every aspect of the incident, which will include gathering evidence, speaking to eyewitnesses, and obtaining property owner training and safety records.
· Engaging in communications and negotiations with insurance carriers and legal teams for the at-fault party.
· Fully preparing to file a civil personal injury lawsuit in court to ensure that a client explores every option for recovering compensation.
A slip and fall injury victim needs to focus on recovering from their injuries and getting back to work, not handling every single detail of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit in court. An attorney should be the one to do that.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Los Angeles
Slip and fall accidents occur in a wide variety of ways in and around the Los Angeles area. An unfortunate reality is that these incidents happen when we least expect them, and they can happen just about anywhere. Slips and falls happen at work, they can happen when we go to the grocery store or the bank, and they can even happen in our neighbor’s driveway.
Here, we want to discuss some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in the Los Angeles area:
Wet surfaces are perhaps the most common cause of slip and fall accidents throughout LA. Wet floors and other surfaces can arise in a variety of locations, ranging from restaurants and convenience stores to office buildings or a bank. Some of the most common ways that wet floors arise include:
· Spilled drink or food on the floor
· Food or beverages falling from a grocery store shelf
· Recently mopped and waxed floors
· Wet entrances caused by rain
Property owners and employees have a duty to regularly inspect and maintain their areas. This includes looking for spills or other areas of moisture that could cause a slip and fall incident. Employees should either immediately clean up the wet area or cordon off the area with adequate markings until they can clean the area. “Wet Floor” signs should be used until the floor is dry.
Uneven or poorly maintained surfaces
Wet surfaces are not the only way that slip and fall incidents occur. A person can certainly slip and fall on uneven or poorly maintained surface areas. Uneven walking areas can occur in different ways around LA, ranging from the uneven pavement on sidewalks to obstacles in pedestrian walkways. Some of the most common causes of uneven or obstructed walking areas include:
· Cluttered floors and walkways
· Loose floorboards
· Parking lot potholes
· Crumbling sidewalks
· Carpeting that is torn
· Loose floor mats
· Poorly built or maintained stairs
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that every walkway is clear of obstacles and maintained properly for those who have a right to be on the premises.
Swimming pool areas
Swimming pools are certainly popular in commercial areas and private residences around Los Angeles. However, where there are swimming pools and hot tubs, there will also be slip and fall hazards. These hazards are obvious in many ways, including wet surfaces around the pool or hot tub. However, slip and fall incidents can also occur if there are defects in the surfaces surrounding a pool or hot tub that allow water to accumulate.
Improperly marked or unmarked dangerous conditions
All property owners should regularly inspect and maintain their premises to ensure there are no slip or trip and fall hazards anywhere. However, there will be instances where dangerous conditions arise that cannot be fixed right away. When this occurs, the property owner should clearly mark the area in order to warn others about the dangerous condition.
Slip and Fall Injuries Can be Devastating
Unfortunately, slip and fall injuries often result in significant setbacks for victims. A slip and fall can lead to:
· Fractured or dislocated arms, wrists, or fingers
· Broken hips or legs
· Whiplash injuries
· Lacerations or puncture wounds
· Severe bruising
· Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
Even relatively minor injuries can lead to significant medical bills after a slip and fall incident. However, for these more severe injuries, the setbacks can be detrimental. Individuals may need significant time to recover, and this can lead to astronomical medical bills as well as lost wages if a person cannot work while recovering.
Additionally, if the slip and fall injury leads to a decline in quality of life for a person, this can cause other types of injuries, including emotional and psychological trauma.
Types of Compensation Available in a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Case
There may be a range of compensation available to slip and fall accident victims in Los Angeles. By filing an insurance claim or a premises liability personal injury lawsuit, a person can recover a range of economic and non-economic damages if their claim is successful.
· Special damages. These are what we call economic damages, and this relates to the calculable expenses that occur after a slip and fall incident. These are calculable because we can gather up bills, receipts, pay stubs, and other hard data to show the specific loss period some of the most common slip and fall economic damages include:
o Emergency medical expenses
o Follow up doctor and hospital bills
o Physical therapy and rehabilitation
o Prescription medications or medical devices
o Lost income
o Out-of-pocket expenses
· General damages. These are also referred to as non-economic damages, and this relates to the more immeasurable expenses that a slip and fall accident victim is likely to sustain after the incident. These are more measurable because there are often no bills or receipts that can be added up to adequately measure a victim’s:
o Physical pain and suffering losses
o Emotional and psychological distress
o Loss of enjoyment of life
o Loss of consortium for a spouse or family
How Much Money Will You Receive for a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
There is no set amount of compensation awarded to slip and fall accident victims through an insurance settlement or a personal injury jury verdict. There are various factors that go into every single personal injury case that must be examined before a compensation amount is decided on. Some of the factors that could influence a slip and fall claim in Los Angeles include:
· The severity of the injury
· Whether or not a person is able to work while recovering
· The length of the recovery time
· Whether or not physical therapy or rehabilitation is needed
· Medical device or prescription medication costs
· Whether or not there was any shared fault for the slip and fall incident
Compensation awarded after a slip and fall could range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the factors involved.
The Four Elements of Negligence: How They Affect Your Los Angeles Slip and Fall Claim
In order for a personal injury claim to proceed forward and be successful, there are various elements that need to be in place. These four elements are imperative for every type of personal injury claim that gets filed, and we want to examine them in the context of a slip and fall incident.
1. Duty. Property owners have a duty of care that they owe to anyone who has a right to be on their premises. This applies to private residence owners as well as business owners and government property caretakers. When we say that property owners have a duty, we mean that they should regularly inspect and maintain their premises and warn guests of any known hazards that may be present if the hazard cannot be remedied immediately. There are various duties of care applied depending on the relationship between the property owner and the person on the property. Without getting into the details of licensees, invitees, and trespassers, we strongly encourage you to work with an attorney to understand whether or not a duty of care existed between yourself and the property owner.
2. Breach. After establishing That a duty of care was present between the plaintiff (the injury victim) and the defendant (the alleged negligent property owner), it is important to show that the defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff. A breach of duty can occur in a wide variety of ways. For slip and fall incidents, this could include failing to put up a wet floor sign after mopping or waxing the floor. This could also include allowing loose carpeting or obstacles inside pedestrian pathways.
3. Causation. After establishing that a breach of duty occurred, it needs to be shown that this breach directly caused the slip and fall incident and the injuries. In the process of establishing that a breach of duty occurred, it will typically be easier to find out whether or not the breach of duty caused the incident, but it is important to point out that just because a property owner breaches their duty of care does not necessarily mean that they will be at fault for the slip and fall incident. The evidence needs to show that the breach of duty more likely than not caused the slip and fall injuries.
4. Damages. Finally, it is important to show that the breach of duty caused the injuries and led to some sort of monetary loss for the slip and fall accident victim. This can include losses caused by medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.
What if You Are Partially Responsible For a Slip and Fall Incident?
It is not uncommon for defendants and their insurance carriers to try and place some or all of the blame for an incident on the injury victim. The goal with this type of defense is to limit the amount of compensation they have to payout overall. However, even if a person is partially responsible for their Los Angeles slip and fall accident injuries, they will still likely be able to recover compensation for their losses.
California operates under what is called a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that personal injury victims can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% responsible for their own injuries. This is very different from how other states handle shared fault, where individuals are typically prohibited from recovering compensation if they are 50% or 51% or more responsible for their injuries.
There is a caveat to a pure comparative negligence system, though. Individuals will receive reduced compensation based on their percentage of fault for the injuries. For example, let us suppose a person is in a grocery store in Los Angeles and slips on a broken jar of beets that have fallen off of the grocery store shelf.
Let us also suppose that this individual sustains a head injury that causes $100,000 worth of medical bills and other expenses. If the four elements of negligence are present in the case, we would generally assume that the individual would be able to recover full compensation for their medical bills and other expenses from the grocery store.
However, what if it is determined that the victim was 20% responsible for the incident because they were texting on their phone at the time of the incident occurred and failed to see the broken jar of beets? If a jury indeed finds the individual to be 20% at fault, they would receive $80,000 instead of the full $100,000 to account for their percentage of fault. The $20,000 less accounts for the 20% fault in this situation.
How Long do You Have to File Your Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
It is crucial for individuals to file their slip and fall accident claim as soon as possible. In California, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. Slip and fall victims in LA have a two-year time frame with which to file their lawsuit against the alleged negligent property owner. If they fail to file on time, they will likely lose the ability to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Steps to Take After Sustaining a Slip and Fall Injury
There are various steps that we encourage individuals to take after sustaining a slip and fall injury in Los Angeles:
1. Seek medical care. The number one priority after sustaining any injury is your well-being. You need to take an ambulance to the ER if the injury is an emergency or have someone take you to the doctor or an emergency room as soon as possible. A doctor needs to conduct an evaluation and determine the next steps moving forward. Even if you do not feel much pain, you need to let a doctor perform an evaluation.
2. Report the incident. Almost simultaneously, the injury needs to be reported to the person in charge of the property or an employee at the site. Most property owners, at least commercial and government property operators, have procedures in place for documenting slip and fall incidents.
3. Gather evidence. Gathering evidence may or may not be possible at the exact time the injury occurs, depending on the level of emergency. However, we always encourage individuals, their friends, or their family members to gather as much evidence as possible. This can include using a phone to take pictures of the cause of the slip and fall and the surrounding area. This also can include getting the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the incident. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable testimony for insurance carriers or at a personal injury trial.
4. Call an attorney. After receiving medical treatment, it is important to contact an attorney. Even if you are unsure of whether or not you have a viable case moving forward, it is better to let an attorney examine the facts and help you make that decision. There may be something about the claim that you are unaware of, but a legal advocate who has experience handling Los Angeles slip and fall claims can help you through this.
5. Continue medical treatment. It is crucial for slip and fall accident victims to continue all medical treatment prescribed by their doctor. If a person chooses to discontinue their care before their doctor says they have fully recovered, or at least recovered as much as they are going to with treatment, this could be taken as a sign by insurance carriers that the injury is not as severe as stated. Do not give the insurance carriers any reason to limit how much compensation they payout in a settlement.
Paying for a Slip and Fall Attorney in Los Angeles
After an individual sustains a slip and fall injury, it is not uncommon for them to avoid seeking out legal assistance. Often, injury victims are under the assumption that they cannot afford legal counsel to help with these issues, but that is not true. At ABDI & Associates, our team proudly handles premises liability and slip and fall claims on a contingency fee basis in the loss Angeles area. This means that clients will never pay a dime in legal fees until after we successfully recover the compensation they are entitled to for their losses. In fact, if we do not when your case, you will not pay any legal fees at all.
Call a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you care about has sustained a slip and fall accident injury in the Los Angeles area, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. At ABDI & Associates, our team is standing by to help investigate your slip and fall incident and hold property owners accountable for their actions. We understand what it takes to handle complex process liability claims and determine the fault of a property owner or operator. Let us help you recover complete compensation for your losses. When you need a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page, or you can call us at (888) 772-2529.