CALIFORNIA SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT ATTORNEY - TRIP & FALL LAWYER
MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754
About 20% of falls result in a serious injury. More than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year because of injuries sustained in a fall. Head injuries and broken bones are the most common outcomes of falls that result in hospitalizations. Seniors are particularly likely to suffer from hip fractures.
Not all fall injuries require hospitalization. Millions of people each year are treated in emergency departments and urgent care facilities after falling. They are often placed in a cast to stabilize fractures or to treat joint injuries.
Falls are often the result of another person's negligent conduct. Negligence can contribute to slipping on a wet surface, to tripping on an obstacle, or to falling from a height. Personal injury lawyers help victims of negligent acts make claims for the compensation they deserve.
Wet Surfaces Contribute to California Fall Injuries
Slip-and-fall accidents usually occur because a floor or other walking surface is wet or slippery. Businesses and property owners have a legal obligation to protect patrons and visitors from known or foreseeable dangers caused by property hazards, including slippery floors.
Produce aisles in supermarkets are notorious for water spills. Supermarkets spray water on produce to maintain freshness. That water commonly reaches the floor, causing customers to slip in the produce aisle. Supermarkets are especially liable for the condition of their floors, due to the nature of the business: the entire layout of the store urges individuals to look up, and focus on a sale here, or this price there, and hence, the ground is not the priority.
Product spills in supermarkets and other businesses also create slipping hazards. Leaking bottles of liquid detergent, soft drinks, or any other liquid product can spill when containers are damaged or opened as they fall from shelves. Stores have a duty to use reasonable efforts to detect and clean spills and to warn customers when employees know that the floor is wet.
Store and mall entryways are often wet on rainy days, as customers shed rainwater from jackets and umbrellas. Business owners may be negligent if they fail to install mats or other flooring materials that absorb the water.
Dance floors may become slippery when patrons spill drinks. Club employees should police the dance floor to make sure that customers are not carrying drinks into the dance area.
Oil change facilities can be hazardous to customers when mechanics track oil into the customer service area. Auto repair businesses also have a duty to keep floors free from oil, antifreeze, and other liquids.
Flooring Materials Contribute to California Fall Injuries
Flooring surfaces in heavily traveled areas, including hallways in office buildings and aisles in stores, should be made from slip-resistant flooring materials. Businesses that try to save money by installing less expensive floors may be liable when customers slip and fall.
Improper cleaning of floors can also contribute to falls. Slip-resistant flooring must usually be cleaned with products that will not degrade the floor's protective properties. Companies that use the wrong cleaning supplies can cause their floors to become dangerous.
Tripping Hazards Contribute to California Fall Injuries
Cords stretched across floors are the classic tripping hazard. Other examples include merchandise projecting from a lower store shelf, merchandise left in a store aisle, a change in elevation between two flooring surfaces that isn't clearly marked, and frayed carpeting.
Tripping hazards are common outside of malls. They include uneven sections of sidewalks that lead to the mall entrance and potholes in the parking lot. Loose grates and drain covers can also contribute to falls. Inadequate parking lot lighting often enhances the risk of tripping after dark.
Stairs and Escalators Contribute to California Fall Injuries
Every stairway, whether in a store, an office building, or a private residence, should have at least one handrail. When handrails are missing, loose, or difficult to grip, falls on stairs may be the responsibility of the property owner.
Falls from escalators occur when improper maintenance prevents the escalator from moving smoothly. A gap between the flooring and the place where the treads disappear beneath the flooring can catch loose clothing, causing the customer to fall.
California Fall Injuries
Falls can cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. A head injury can cause a fatal brain hemorrhage. Other consequences of a serious concussion might include memory loss, cognitive impairments, personality changes, frequent dizziness, and a loss of balance.
About 95% of hip fractures are caused by a fall. Older people are particularly likely to suffer hip fractures when they fall. Broken fingers commonly result from holding out an arm in an effort to protect the body from a fall.
Extending an arm during a fall can also lead to elbow injuries. Falling after stepping in a pothole or tripping over an obstacle can cause ankle and knee injuries. Tears in the soft tissues that make it possible for ankles, knees, and elbows to move often require surgical repair and months of injury rehabilitation.
California Slip-and-Fall Attorney
When a property owner breaches the duty to keep property safe for visitors and guests, the injury victim usually has grounds to make an insurance claim or sue in court. California slip-and-fall lawyer Michael Rehm can help accident victims understand how to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, permanent disabilities, and pain and suffering. To speak directly with Attorney Rehm, call (800) 978-0754.