When you or someone close to you experiences a slip and fall accident, calling the Law Offices of David Azizi as soon as possible is important to collect the compensation you deserve. Set up a free consultation to review your case by calling (800) 991-5292. We are available 24 hours a day since accidents are not limited to the hours from 9:00 to 5:00. In addition, if you cannot come to see us, we can come to your hospital room or your home.
What You Need to Know About Your Slip & Fall Accident
Did you know that more than one million visits made to hospital emergency rooms annually are due to slip and falls accidents, according to a National Floor Safety Institute* report? That is roughly 12 percent of all fall-related ER visits. While most slip and fall accidents are not fatal, they represent the longest amount of time lost from work. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission** reported that flooring accounts for over 2 million injuries per year due to falls. Falls are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities among those 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Incidence of Slip and Fall Accidents
Did you know that more than one million visits made to hospital emergency rooms annually are due to slip and falls accidents, according to a National Floor Safety Institute report? That is roughly 12 percent of all fall-related ER visits. While most slip and fall accidents are not fatal, they represent the longest amount of time lost from work. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that flooring accounts for over 2 million injuries per year due to falls. Falls are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities among those 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
The first determination you or others will make is whether you need to be taken to the E.R. by ambulance. For instance, if you hit your head and were unconscious for even a moment, emergency transport will undoubtedly be ordered.
If less serious injuries occur, you may be able to:
- Report the accident to the manager or store owner.
- If you have a cell phone, take a picture of the reason you fell. This will help you document what happened. Capture whether signage or mats were present, warning of the slippery floor.
- Check to see if anyone witnessed your accident. Ask for the person’s name, phone number and address. Some witnesses may not have seen you fall but may be cognizant of your injuries. Get their information too.
- You will probably speak to several store employees. Get their names, positions in the store and ID numbers. If they wear a badge, the information should be displayed.
- You may be asked to fill out an incident report form. This is an excellent way to put down the facts of the accident.
- If you fill out an accident incident report, ask for a copy. Wait until it is finished and the manager/owner has filled out his or her section.
- Notice if a video camera was located near the accident site. Many stores have multiple cameras with 360-degree vision fixed on areas of the store. Take a picture of the video camera, and tell your attorney about it. He or she can use the footage to prove what you say is true.
What to Do Once You’ve Left the Store
- If you did not need to be transported to the hospital, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes the adrenalin pumping in your veins immediately after a slip and fall accident masks symptoms. Your doctor can make sure nothing is missed. In addition, the doctor’s notes document any injuries you may have. It is also a baseline for injuries such as cervical strain that may not be symptomatic for 24-48 hours. If your doctor prescribes rest or medication, make sure to follow his or her instructions. Don’t miss doctor appointments related to your injury.
- If your insurance company calls, don’t provide a statement if it is being recorded. This is not required, nor is it necessary for your case. Tell them your attorney, if you have one, will be speaking to them about your case.
- Physical evidence should be preserved. This means anything you were wearing when the accident happened. The clothes will show a pattern of injury, and if any substance was part of the reason you slipped, it will be on the clothes.
- Keep a diary of how you feel daily. It can take weeks or months for a lawsuit to process, and it is easy to forget details about how you felt.
- Maintain a file with all your medical bills, prescriptions, receipts and travel expenses.
- Don’t talk about the accident on social media or post details.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall
To recover damages in a slip and fall accident, you must be able to prove slip and fall liability. Simply put, you must show the owner should have known the situation existed, did nothing about it or caused it. Since this is the backbone of a liability claim, take a deeper look at these parameters by visiting our proving liability page.
How Long Do You Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in California?
There are restrictions concerning the length of time you must file a claim if you were injured in a slip and fall accident. If you do not file in time, your case will not be heard.
For most accidents, the statutes of limitation in California*** for injury to a person is two years. If the injury occurred in a government facility, the time limit is reduced to six months or 120 days. There may be extenuating circumstances that allow a claim to be made after the statute of limitations such as if a child is injured. This extends the time limit until two years after the child’s 18th birthday.
Settlements and the Length of Time It Takes to Resolve a Slip and Fall Case
The amount of financial compensation an injured person recovers and the length of time it takes varies from case to case. The reasons for this are:
- No two accidents are the same.
- The way an injury affects an individual is different depending on the way the person fell (the trajectory) and the age, health and condition of the individual when the accident happened.
- The treatment protocol and the individual’s response may vary from one person to another, leading to a different recovery duration.
- The emotional effect of the accident varies.
The time it takes to resolve a case is different from one case to another. In some, the insurer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement, and in others, the insurance company tries to severely underpay. In the latter situation, it may be necessary to take the case to court. Remember, once you settle a case, even for an inadequate amount, the insurer will ask that you sign a waiver saying you will no longer hold them liable for your injuries. Once you do that, what you receive from the insurance company is all you will get. This will prevent any further compensation even if you need further treatment.
It is important to note that no one can foresee what will happen physically after a slip and fall accident. Sometimes, the extent of the injury does not show up for days or even months after the fall. The need for surgery is not always predictable at the time of the injury nor is the person’s response to treatment. Although it is human nature to want to put the entire thing behind you and move on, if you do that before everything is known, you may severely short change yourself.
David will help you negotiate with the insurance company and provide answers as to what you can expect a settlement to be. If the case needs to be resolved in court, David will be at your side. To get a ballpark figure of what your case may be worth, use our Slip and Fall Settlement Calculator.