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Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries

by Christian Scranton

As personal injury lawyers here in California, we see our fair share of clients that have suffered injuries from a classic slip and fall. There are many reasons our clients end up in this situation, and the injuries sustained can be as varied as the causes behind them. Let’s take a closer look at what can cause slip and fall injuries.

Even the safest of floor surfaces can be made dangerous if something is spilled. Business premises where liquids are commonly handled must have a system in place to ensure that both staff and visitors can walk around freely without any risk of stepping on spilled water, cleaning liquid or oil. Special care must be paid when especially viscous liquids are used, such as lubricant or frying oil.

Trip hazards
Cables and plastic cable ties are among the most common trip hazards. It’s very easy to miss a trailing cable, particularly if they are the same color as the flooring. Even loose mats or rugs can pose a trip hazard, as one wrong step should not be enough to cause significant injury.

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Recently cleaned floors
It’s great to know that businesses and workplaces are keeping things clean, but a freshly mopped or waxed floor can be a real hazard. It is essential that businesses use wet floor signs or cordon off especially slippy areas to keep people safe: we walk very differently after seeing a wet floor sign, so it’s important that we are given this warning.

Uneven or damaged flooring
In busy areas, it’s understandable for damage to occur. However, issues like torn carpeting can be very dangerous and must be repaired as soon as possible. This could even apply to potholes in a parking lot—walking back to your car in the dark, it can be almost impossible to see even a large difference in height where you’re not expecting it.

Unsuitable surfaces
If a surface is intended or expected to get wet, for example, it must be safe when wet. Any establishment installing high-gloss tiles in an area next to a foundation must ensure that the area is inaccessible or treated in a way that prevents accidents.

Poor lighting
Even if a business or workplace has gone out of its way to ensure that flooring is safe and suitable, poor lighting can undo all their hard work. Even a perfectly safe staircase can become a dangerous hazard if it isn’t properly lit. All it takes is one missed step and you could be seriously hurt.

No matter what the cause of your slip and fall injury, we may be able to help you. Our slip and fall personal injury lawyers cover the vast majority of California, from Albany to Vacaville, and have extensive experience in settling negligence cases. Get in touch with us to work out if you have a case.

1. What is California’s statute of limitations for slip and fall injury claims?

In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including slip and fall injuries, is typically two years from the date of the injury. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you fail to do so within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

2. How does California determine fault in slip and fall cases?

California follows a “comparative negligence” system. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for your injury, your settlement may be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 but were found 20% at fault, you would receive $80,000.

3. What types of damages can I recover from a slip and fall lawsuit in California?

In California, victims of slip and fall injuries can seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses: This covers bills for hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and other treatments.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for the income you lost while recovering.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Future medical costs: If your injuries require ongoing care.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If your injuries hinder your ability to work in the future.

4. How important is it to gather evidence after a slip and fall accident in California?

It’s crucial. Gathering evidence immediately after the incident can greatly influence the outcome of your claim. This can include photographs of the scene, witness statements, video surveillance, and incident reports. Documenting the hazardous condition that caused your fall can provide substantial evidence to support your claim and establish negligence.

5. Do I need an attorney to pursue a slip and fall settlement or lawsuit in California?

While it’s not mandatory, it’s highly recommended. Slip and fall cases can be complex, and an experienced slip and fall attorney will understand California’s laws and legal procedures. They can negotiate with insurance companies, gather crucial evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

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