Orange County Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you’ve sustained a slip and fall injury, you’re not alone. Every year, about nine million non-fatal falls are treated in emergency rooms across the U.S., according to the National Safety Council. That’s about 30 percent of all unintentional injury related visits. Common injuries include sprains; breaks; and trauma to the wrists, hands, fingers, lower legs, ankles, feet, and toes. Many victims of slip and fall incidents incur traumatic brain injuries (TBI); falls are the leading cause of these debilitating injuries that can lead to impaired thinking or memory, difficulty with movement or sensation, and even issues with emotional function or behavior.
When you’re left with a traumatic injury due to someone else’s negligence—such as allowing a dangerous condition to exist like an abrupt change in flooring, an unstable surface, or a liquid spill—it’s natural to need help with the physical, emotional, and financial problems that result. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you assess the circumstances of your injury and may be able to recover damages that help pay for your medical expenses, time off work, and other associated costs. Call one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn for a free consultation. We are Orange County’s trusted firm for premises liability and slip and fall injuries.
Our Firm Gets Results
We see the sad impact of slip and fall accidents every day. These types of injuries impact not just the victim but entire families: those who witness the incident and those who must live with and assist hurt and debilitated loved ones for extended periods of time. We understand that each case is unique We can put our more than 40 years of expertise towards finding a solution for you, whether that’s getting a fair settlement or, if necessary, going to trial. Though it’s not possible to guarantee the outcome of each case, we have a track record of success with slip and fall cases, including:
- $5,000,000 settlement: A doctor slipped on a wet hospital floor that had no warning signage and fell, damaging his knee and back. His injuries required surgery and limited his ability to practice medicine.
- $995,000 settlement: A man grabbed for a stairway railing at a vacation rental; it gave way and he fell about 10 feet, hitting his head and sustaining a traumatic brain injury. His young daughter, who witnessed the fall, was awarded part of the settlement for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- $375,000 settlement: A man walking down bleachers at a school basketball game fell, suffering bilateral tendon tears that necessitated surgical repair. No handrails were inserted in the stairway and the metal inserts for the rails stuck up several inches and may have constituted a hazard.
- $305,000 settlement: A Thanksgiving Day guest tripped on loose tiles leading up to a homeowner’s walkway and fell, fracturing her hip and hurting her knees, back, and arms. The incident also caused the victim to have trouble sleeping and resulted in chronic pain and leg edema.
- $192,515.16 settlement: A woman walking through the parking lot of a hair salon fell into a hole of broken asphalt, breaking her leg.
- $122,500 settlement: A man walking through an entry gate into a residential complex fell into a hole left when a large concrete pilaster was knocked over three weeks earlier and not yet repaired. The victim broke his thumb, damaged tendons in his shoulder that required surgery to repair, and strained his back.
What Are Slip and Fall Injuries?
Sometimes called “premises liability” cases, a slip and fall injury happens when an individual slips, slides, falls, or trips and is hurt on someone else’s property. This type of personal injury claim is usually made when the property owner or manager did not take steps to remedy or clearly mark a potentially dangerous area.
We’ve seen cases ranging from an Italian tourist who tripped over a metal bracket attached to a tree on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and broke his leg, to a woman who fell over a raised portion of sidewalk in the city of Orange and hurt her wrist. Home to numerous tourist attractions and amusement parks, the Southern California region has been the site of many slip and fall claims that have been successfully litigated or settled in favor of the victim.
Examples of injuries you may have sustained in a slip and fall accident include:
- Head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI). You’ve fallen, hit your head, and sustained a concussion or more serious brain damage that makes it difficult to maintain your lifestyle or career.
- Broken bone. Even a slip at floor level can result in a fracture. Commonly, breaks or fractures impact wrists, elbows, legs, and hips.
- Tendon injury. The strong tissue fibers that connect muscle to bone can stretch or tear during a fall and must often be surgically repaired. Even after surgery, a tendon injury can impact your ability to maintain your previous activity levels.
- Back and spinal cord injury. The impact of a fall can strain muscles and ligaments or cause damage to the sensitive nerves around the spine. Extremely serious accidents can cause damage to vertebrae or breaks that impact mobility.
- Neck injury. Similar to back injuries, an injury to your neck can occur when you get a whiplash-type of strain or when you land on your head or neck, impacting the discs, nerves, muscles, and ligaments.
- Shoulder injury. When you fall, it’s common to put out your arms, but the resulting stress to the shoulder muscles can cause dislocation or tendon strain.
- Bruises and abrasions. Any sudden impact can lead to scrapes or bruising that, while not major, can still cause discomfort.
A slip and fall accident can result in several injuries that require medical attention. If you are involved in a potential premises liability claim, it’s vital to seek medical help, even if you feel like your injuries are minor.
Who Can Be at Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident?
A property owner is responsible for managing his or her property and avoiding conditions that could cause injury to another person. Any person or entity (like a city government) who owns property or is responsible for maintaining property can be held liable for a slip and fall injury. In addition to property owners, business owners, managers, and even regular employees who have been tasked with performing maintenance or putting up warnings and failed to do so, may be held liable for slip and fall incidents.
Slip and fall cases usually fall into one of three areas:
- The owner or manager of a residence or business did not take steps to clear up or repair an obvious issue that could easily have been fixed or marked. This could range from a liquid spill that makes flooring slick, items in the walkway that should have been moved, or a hole in the walking area that is not marked.
- Repairs were not made to an area where a reasonable person could expect to walk safely, such as a walkway, hallway, sidewalk or parking lot.
- Potential for hazard. Weather conditions make an area unsafe and there is no signage or caution. Or, the owner isn’t taking adequate steps to ensure a clear area, like emptying overflowing garbage cans or closing an area that is proven to be dangerous in similar situations.
If an individual who should identify a dangerous environment or situation doesn’t take steps to remedy the issue as soon as he or she becomes aware, or if he or she should reasonably have known about the safety issue, that person could be held liable for personal injuries that occur there.
What Kind of Damages Might Be Recovered When a Slip and Fall Injury Happens?
The initial medical bills you rack up for your slip and fall injury may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the financial damages you can incur when injured as a result of someone else’s lack of responsibility. You’ll likely have two types of damages that can be considered in your case: economic damages—or what you pay out of pocket that you would not have spent if you were not injured; and general damages, for non-economic harms that have resulted from the injury.
Economic damages may include:
- Ongoing expenses for continuing physical therapy or treatments like massage therapy that can aid long-term muscle damage.
- Costs for any medications that your doctor prescribes.
- Expenses for transportation to medical appointments and treatments, especially if you are unable to drive.
- Time off work for treatment. Even if your injuries are minor, you may not be able to perform all your job duties like lifting or standing. You may lose salary related to your time away from work, from having to work less, or perform at a reduced level.
- Costs for hiring others perform household services you can no longer do, like mowing the lawn or caring for your kids.
Examples of general damages include:
- Compensation for the pain and suffering you had to experience, including the social ramifications of managing chronic injuries, scarring, or disfigurement.
- Ongoing emotional problems, like stress or anxiety related to the accident.
- Issues with your spouse based on your injuries, or inability to perform household or marital duties.
- Emotional distress that your family members who witnessed the accident may have. It’s not uncommon for children to have anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, or other symptoms after they see a parent or loved one get hurt. You may also have permanently or temporarily lost your ability to maintain the same levels of activity that you did, so you’re unable to play catch, go to the playground, or engage in other parenting activities.
You may be able to recover both economic and general damages for your claim, depending on the circumstances and the severity of your injuries.
How Do Those Liable Try to Get Out of Paying Their Fair Share?
Because premises liability has some gray areas, it’s not uncommon for defendants to claim that the victim was responsible for some or all of his injuries. Property owners may claim that there was adequate warning signage, or that the plaintiff was otherwise impaired through another physical issue, illness, or intake of an intoxicating substance.
It’s vital that you contact an experienced physical injury lawyer to offer you support and guidance as soon as you can following your injury. This can help you avoid issues with property owners asking you to sign away your rights or making changes to their property that may blur the lines of who’s responsible for your injury. Before your rights are impacted, have a qualified and compassionate attorney on your side who can fight for compensation for your injuries.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost Me?
If you’re concerned about having the money to pay a lawyer, don’t let that keep you from seeking legal representation for your slip and fall injury. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we always offer free consultations, where we can discuss your case and decide the best way to proceed. With a personal injury case like a slip and fall accident, most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, where attorney fees and costs are recovered from any settlement or judgment you receive.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured
If you’re injured in a premises liability case where you’ve slipped, tripped, or fallen, it’s important to have a compassionate and competent legal partner who can work hard to get you the compensation you may be due.
Call today at 866-434-1424 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn and enjoy the relief of having us on your side.