Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyers in Orange County
Slip-and-fall accidents are a common cause of premises liability claims. As the name indicates, these cases involve the victim slipping, falling, and receiving a serious injury as a result. While people trip and scrape their knees every day, a slip-and-fall is far more serious. As a result, victims of a slip-and-fall accident can file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties to recover damages incurred from their injuries.
However, when it comes to premises liability, your ability to file a civil lawsuit depends on a number of factors. To understand it properly, it's important to first discuss slip-and-fall accidents in more depth.
Someone can slip and fall in almost any setting: walking around the house, exercising, grocery shopping, or during countless other activities. But a slip-and-fall accident becomes an issue of premises liability when it occurs on:
- Someone else’s property
- Where the property owner has a “duty of care” to all patrons.
This encompasses a wide range of different environments, including:
- Shopping Centers: Malls and other retail locations are common sites for slip-and-fall accidents. Frequently, employees may leave floors wet without proper safety signs. When a customer slips on that surface, she could suffer broken bones, head trauma, and other severe injuries.
- Restaurants: Employees at a restaurant should make sure that every diner has a safe and enjoyable experience. When food or drink is spilled over the floor and goes unnoticed, an unsuspecting customer can quickly become a victim.
- Hotels: Nobody wants to be dealing with a serious fall injury when they're on vacation. Unfortunately, this can happen almost anywhere on a hotel's property, including the bathroom, parking lot, stairways, and balconies.
- Apartment Buildings: Apartment buildings have numerous places where someone could suffer from a fall. For example, if the property manager has not kept up with the building's maintenance needs, a tenant could be injured on the stairs, in walkways, on the elevators, and other areas.
Depending on the place of business, someone can fall for many different reasons, such as:
- Wet surfaces: Walking on slippery surfaces can cause severe injuries. When a place of business has a wet floor, it is required to post a safety sign or block off the area to warn customers. If employees neglect to do this, it can have dire consequences.
- Hazardous weather: Take extra caution whenever you walk anywhere with rainy, icy, or windy conditions. Slip-and-fall accidents are especially dangerous when property owners neglect to properly salt the sidewalks outside their establishments.
- Poor lighting: If a place of business has inadequate lighting, it's easy for a victim to be unaware of any nearby dangerous conditions.
- Inadequate employee training: In all workplaces, employers have an obligation to properly train employees and ensure they can adequately perform their duties. When these duties involve lifting or doing any sort of constant motion, like jobs found in warehouses or retail stores, improper employee training can increase the risk of suffering from a slip-and-fall.
At first, the question of liability after a fall may seem straightforward. If the business owner neglected to keep customers safe, they should be held liable. While this is generally true, the laws surrounding premises liability are far more complex.
California has a statute of limitations when it comes to slip-and-fall accidents that could prevent certain victims from recovering their damages. Victims have up to two years after the accident to file a civil lawsuit. If the case involves property damage, like your watch getting damaged in the fall, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit.
In order to prove your case, it must be shown that the defendant neglected his or her “duty of care.” It must also be proven that this negligence directly resulted in your injuries. With many premises liability cases, the accident could have been caused by both the actions of the defendant and the plaintiff. The state of California has what is called “comparative negligence,” and it means that the potential damages you can recover in a civil lawsuit can be reduced if your actions contributed to the accident.
The rules surrounding premises liability are complex and can become frustrating. That's why you need the help of a seasoned, experienced, and talented Orange County premises liability attorney who can help you navigate this complicated legal environment so you can receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Slip-and-fall accidents always come as a surprise. You may be on vacation, going grocery shopping, or buying a present for someone at a store, and all of a sudden, you are reeling from a serious bodily injury. The team at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie is committed to helping all victims of Orange County and Costa Mesa slip-and-fall accidents receive financial compensation that covers their medical expenses, lost income, and even their emotional pain following the accident. If you or a loved one has fallen and been seriously injured, it's critical that you don't wait. Call our office at (949) 752-7474 for a free consultation.
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