Slip and Fall Accident in San Diego
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere — a sidewalk, a parking lot, a mall, a grocery store, or a restaurant. While many of these accidents result in nothing more than soreness and embarrassment, slips can also lead to serious and even fatal injuries. Slip and fall accidents can result in injuries serious enough to require hospitalization, surgery, long-term rehab, or lifelong disability and reduced range of motion.
Despite the very real danger of a slip and fall, victims often face intense scrutiny from insurance companies and corporations who may accuse you of causing your own accident, faking your injuries, or just being greedy. At The Law Office of Stephen Mitchell, we understand just how serious and traumatic a slip and fall accident can be and the significant medical bills and recovery you may be facing. A San Diego slip and fall lawyer can help you investigate your accident, establish liability, and seek the damages you deserve to pay for your expenses and recover.
Shocking Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
Slip and fall accidents are surprisingly common and can happen anywhere and to anyone. While older adults are most likely to suffer serious injuries in a fall, younger adults and children can also be hurt in a fall.
Slip and fall accidents are currently the second-leading cause of accidental death in the US after traffic accidents. Common injuries associated with these accidents include fractures or broken bones, knee injuries, spinal injuries, neck injuries, ligament tears, and head injuries.
Seniors are at the highest risk of suffering a serious injury or even a fatality from a fall. About 1,800 seniors are killed every year in a fall or fall-related injury in a nursing home. Nursing home residents account for one-fifth of fall-related fatalities among older adults. Every year, over 15,000 seniors are killed in falls and over 2 million are treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. One out of every 3 seniors experiences a fall every year.
Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Most San Diego slip and fall accidents are premises liability cases based on negligence. Under California law, property managers and owners have a legal duty to maintain a safe property for visitors and customers that is free of hazards. Property owners must warn and protect visitors from dangerous conditions that they know exist or should know exist.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, there are three factors that must be proved:
- The property owner had a duty of care, which means you had a right to be on the property.
- The property owner failed to uphold this duty by allowing dangerous conditions to exist.
- This failure of duty caused your injury.
While a slip and fall accident may seem very straightforward, these cases are notoriously complex because it can be difficult to prove the cause and effect as well as negligence. It will not be enough to prove that a property owner was negligent as you must also show that it led to your injury. Simply being injured on someone else’s property in a fall isn’t enough for a case, either, unless you can show the owner failed in their duty by failing to provide warning about a hazard or correcting a dangerous condition they should have known existed. Proving liability is also complicated because your award can be reduced if you are found comparatively negligent for your injuries.
Common Hazards That Cause Slip and Fall Accidents
Any dangerous condition can lead to a slip and fall accident. The following are some of the most common hazards that lead to premises liability claims:
- Slippery flooring, especially in retail stores, parking lots, or at entrances. The property owner can be liable if they do not take steps to address the hazard, such as patrolling the property for spills and cleaning them promptly, installing non-slip mats at entrances, and setting up warning signs for slippery areas.
- Insufficient lighting. Poor lighting conditions can be dangerous, especially in parking lots.
- Crumbling stairways, steps, parking lots, and sidewalks.
- Damaged handrails.
- Uneven surfaces like loose or torn carpet, potholes, or uneven bricks
- Ladders and scaffolding
Contact a San Diego Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer
Property owners have a duty to maintain a safe, well-lit property free of hazards, but this doesn’t mean slip and fall cases are easy, even when you are injured by an obvious hazard on someone else’s property. If you have been seriously injured in a trip or fall accident at a store, parking lot, business, restaurant, construction site, park, or elsewhere, it’s important to consult with an experienced San Diego slip and fall attorney as soon as possible to investigate your accident and protect your legal rights.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you review all aspects of your case to determine the cause of your accident, establish liability, and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company and/or at-fault party to seek maximum compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.
At The Law Office of Stephen Mitchell, we understand just how devastating slip and fall accidents can be and how overwhelming it can be to try to go up against an insurance company when you are struggling to recover from painful injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation with a slip and fall injury lawyer who can serve as your advocate during this difficult time and pursue the compensation you deserve.