People can slip and fall because of puddles of water, uneven stairs, or any other dangerous condition. These accidents can happen anywhere from a grocery store to a shopping mall. Many people—especially those who are over the age of 65—sustain serious injuries in slip and fall accidents.
Slip and fall victims may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Slip and Fall Liability
Many people assume that the property owner is automatically held liable in slip and fall accidents, but that’s not the case. It’s true that property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their properties, but the plaintiff still must be able to prove:
- The defendant owned, controlled, or leased the property at the time of the accident.
- The defendant was negligent while using or maintaining safe conditions on the property.
- The plaintiff was harmed while on the property.
- The defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm.
Out of these four elements, proving that the property owner acted negligently is the most difficult. To do this, you must be able to show that one of the following occurred:
- The property owner (or one of his employees) created the hazardous condition.
- The property owner (or one of his employees) knew about the hazardous condition, but did not make an effort to fix it.
- The property owner (or one of his employees) should have known about the hazardous condition because a “reasonable” property owner would have known about it.
The concept of comparative negligence often comes up in slip and fall cases. California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means the plaintiff may still be awarded compensation in a slip and fall case even if he is partly to blame for his injuries. But, the amount that he receives will be reduced based on his role in the accident. For example, let’s say the court finds that the plaintiff was 30% responsible and the defendant was 70% responsible for the slip and fall accident. This means the plaintiff would only receive 70% of the compensation awarded to him instead of the full 100%.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Victims can sustain various injuries in a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common injuries are:
The vast majority of reported hip fractures in the United States are caused by some type of fall. Hip fracture victims typically require surgery along with months of therapy and rehabilitation.
Many people hit their heads on the ground or other objects during a slip and fall accident. Some slip and fall victims may only suffer from a mild concussion as a result of the accident, but others may develop a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury.
It’s fairly easily to damage the vertebrae in your back during a slip and fall. Slipped discs, herniated discs, and spinal cord damage is also common among those who have been involved in a slip and fall accident.
Your body does not have time to react and readjust itself during a slip and fall, so it’s very likely that you could sprain your ankle on your way down.
Your shoulder can become dislocated as a result of a slip and fall accident. It’s also possible to injure the brachial plexus cluster of nerves that is located near the shoulder. If your injure these nerves, you could experience lingering pain in your arm, shoulder, and hand for quite some time after the accident.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s imperative that you speak with an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Justice For Slip and Fall Victims
Don’t hesitate to contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley immediately following a slip and fall accident to discuss your case. Proving liability in a slip and fall accident can be complex, so you must turn your case over to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to recover the compensation you deserve.