If there are slippery substances on the floor and there are no signs to mark that area as slippery when wet this is deemed as negligence. Remember that each case is different and it is best to contact the Law Offices of David Azizi if you have any questions as it relates to slips, trips and falls or trip and fall accidents, David will be able to give you an honest opinion on the possibility of a personal injury claim. There are many times in which a personal injury claim is not the best option.
When you or someone close to you know experiences injuries due to a slip, trip or fall, calling the San Bernardino slip and fall accident attorney David Azizi as soon as possible is important to collect the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Set up a free consultation to review your case by calling (800) 991-5292. We are available 24 hours a day. If you cannot come to see us, we will visit your hospital room, your home or do a virtual consultation over your cell phone or mobile device.
Slip and Fall Accidents Are All Too Common
Did you know that more than one million visits made to hospital emergency rooms annually are due to trip and fall accidents, according to a National Floor Safety Institute report? That is roughly 12 percent of all fall-related ER visits. While most accidents are not fatal, they represent the longest amount of time lost from work. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that injuries due to flooring account 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, Trip and Fall Accident
The first thing you or family members need to do is decide whether you should be taken to the E.R. by ambulance. For instance, if you hit your head and lost consciousness for even a moment, getting to the hospital is a critical concern. This urgency applies whether the incident occurred around the home, in a restaurant or other commercial locations.
What You Need to Do in a Commercial Establishment
Slipping and falling in a commercial establishment can cause a mix of emotions such as anger or embarrassment along with pain. It is vital that you make sure you do not need emergency medical care before doing anything else. If you do not need immediate medical care, it is best to follow the steps below:
- Report the accident to the manager or store owner.
- If you have a cell phone, take a picture of the reason you fell such as a pool of water on the floor. This will help you document what happened. Look to see whether signage or mats were present, warning of the slippery floor. Either way, take a picture.
- 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. This will help later on when you are trying to substantiate the degree of injury you suffered.
- 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 different 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 an 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 (whiplash) that may not be symptomatic for 24-72 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 the slip and fall law firm you’re working with will be speaking to them about what happened.
- 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 over this period.
- 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. Opposing attorneys may be watching your social media account and may use what you s
How Slip and Fall Attorneys In San Bernardino Prove Liability
To recover damages in a trip and fall accident, you must be able to prove 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 have to file a claim if you were injured in a trip and fall accident. If you do not file in time, your case will not be heard.
For most accidents, the statute of limitations 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 Accident Cases
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 from one person to another.
- 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.
- Be sure before 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.
Physical Symptoms Can Change After an Accident
It is important to note that no one can foresee what will happen physically after a trip 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 shortchange 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.
Injuries Due to Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common injuries the result from slips, trips and falls include:
- Abrasions or cuts: These injuries are usually superficial. However, an abrasion or cut may be a warning of something more intense under the surface such as a hair-line fracture. When you arrive home, take a picture of any external sign of injury. Your doctor will also document them in his or her report. Make sure to ask for a copy.
- Fractures: Landing on a floor can cause a sprained ankle or wrist or even a hip fracture, particularly among older people. The type of fracture can vary from a simple break to compound fractures, requiring multiple surgeries. Your doctor will order X-rays if there is any suspicion that you’ve suffered one.
- Head injury: The CDC reports that head injuries commonly occur with slip, trips and falls. A head injury may result in concussion or traumatic brain injuries, causing swelling on the brain or a hematoma, which is bleeding inside the brain. Symptoms of a serious brain injury can be delayed, so being checked out by a physician is recommended.
- Soft Tissue Injury: An injury to soft tissue can be anything from a minor sprain/strain. Seeking medical care right away after a soft tissue injury is important since symptoms may not arise immediately. If they are not treated, soft tissue injuries can be a source of chronic pain or infection.
- Low Back Injury: Injuries to the lower back or lumbar spine can result in slipped discs, herniated disks or damaged vertebrae. This type of injury can cause pain and limit mobility, requiring long-term medical treatment. A spinal cord injury can cause permanent changes in sensation, bodily functions and strength.
- Cervical/Neck Injury: Cervical spine injuries can involve the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It can also result in herniated vertebral disks. Spinal injuries may require surgery, and often, rehabilitative therapy is needed. The expense can be a source of financial difficulty if damages are not recovered.
- Thoracic Spine Injury: Such injuries can result in vertebral fracture and arm weakness. In some cases, you will need bed rest to allow the injury to heal. This can have a serious effect on your income for the period.
- Shoulder Injury: A person who experiences a fall can cause a brachial plexus injury or suffer a dislocated shoulder. The brachial plexus is composed of nerves that connect your spinal cord to the rest of your arm and hand. A fall can stretch or tear the nerves, causing loss of feeling and difficulty using that arm or hand.
- Dental or Facial Trauma: Falling forward can loosen teeth or cause tooth loss. Dental care is often not covered by health insurance and can be expensive for people of all ages. A fractured jaw or nose can also happen.
Causes of Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
These accidents are due to slick surfaces either on the floor or on stairways. But, these incidents can even happen when there’s no moisture involved. They can result from recently waxed floors, poor lighting, missing stair handrails and missing ramp traction guards. They can also occur at the entrance to a building during inclement weather if mats to prevent slippage are not used.
Locations Where Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
1. Commercial Establishments
David knows from experience that a high percentage of accidents occur in one of the most common places – grocery stores. Whether it’s Ralph’s, Vons, Northgate, 99 Ranch, Costco or even Walmart, every store that carries fresh produce has areas where floor moisture can easily accumulate. These stores also often have floral sections, where water dripping from plants can create slick floors.
Of course, the grocery stores sell liquids like milk, juice, soft drinks and alcohol, as well as more viscous liquids like shampoo and laundry detergent. Spills associated with any liquid create potential hazards, as does water tracked in by customers on rainy days – even in Southern California.
The duty of care owed to the visitor is a high priority in commercial establishments since the owner expects to gain financially from the visit.
“It is the legal responsibility of these businesses to prevent slick floors. That means they must carefully inspect their aisles many times a day. They must clean up spills, mop up moisture, fix broken fruit and vegetable sprinklers, pick up fallen produce, put down floor mats for foot traction and set up “Wet Floor” signs. Failure to take these measures can make a store’s management or owner guilty of negligence.” – David Azizi, San Bernardino Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer
Parking lots, associated with businesses, should offer the same level of safety. Potholes and crumbling pavement in the parking area are major problems for customers. Slips in indoor parking lots are often caused by oil-slicked surfaces. In addition, if drainage grates are not installed, flooding or pooling of water can occur, leading to accidents. Slips, trips and falls in restaurants are also common.
2. Residential Properties
Landlords/owners have a responsibility to renters to keep premises safe both indoors and outdoors. The landlord or owner can be held responsible if he or she had control over the safety infraction. If the landlord could repair the problem and chooses not to do so, they may be considered negligent and liable for damages.
A homeowner also can be held responsible for injuries in or outside of the home. The liability here is less stringent. Visit our premises liability page to learn more.
3. Government Facilities/Properties
Government properties include federal, state and city/county facilities. There are differences in the level of responsibility. The time frame for filing a claim is much shorter. Learn more about these types of accidents in government buildings.
Airport trip and falls are common since people are generally rushing and concentrating on finding their way through the airport. All airports, except one in this country, are owned by a government entity.
Get A Free Review of Your Important Injury Case
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a slip, trip and fall accident due to a store owner’s negligence in the San Bernardino area, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, to recover damages, you need to be able to prove liability, and the services of an experienced attorney are invaluable.
David Azizi has practiced personal injury law in California for over 23 years. He has won numerous settlements and verdicts for victims of these accidents. He spends time talking to his clients to establish the facts surrounding the accident.
To better advocate for the people he represents, David uses experts in these cases to provide in-depth information and testimony. David’s tenacious pursuit of the reasons the accident happened and how it could have been averted if proper prevention and maintenance steps had been taken by the business owner, helps his clients win the compensation they need.
Common FAQs for Accidents Involving Slips, Trips and Falls
✅ How Many Slip and Fall Cases Go to Trial in California?
According to the trusted legal resource nolo.com, most claims involving these types of accidents will reach a settlement and do not proceed to a trial in the state of California.
✅ How Long After a Slip and Fall Can You Sue?
According to California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, the deadline to file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, for these types of personal injury claims in California is generally two years from the time of the accident.
California Code of Civil Procedure section 338 notes that for property damage claims, a three year deadline exists for filing a claim.
When bringing a claim against a government entity in California, the deadline may be as short as six months according to the California Tort Claims Act.
✅ How to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls at Work?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some of the most important prevention steps for these types of accidents include the following:
- Keep floors clean and dry
- Provide warning signs for wet floor areas
- Areas where wet processes are used should adhere to proper drainage, provide false floors, mats, platforms, or other dry standing places. Appropriate waterproof footgear may need to be provided.
- The overall condition of the workplace and walking areas should be kept clean, orderly and in a sanitary condition.
- Aisles and passageways should remain clear without need for repairs or other obstructions that might create a hazard. Power cords should be secure in floor plugs.
- Exits should remain free from obstruction at all times
“Mr. Azizi was very professional on handling and his team very great whenever I had questions. Would recommended him highly to anyone seeking a great attorney.”
“My case was a difficult one. Needless to say, we closed and met the expectation we shot for. David Azizi covered two of my cases and he and his firm showed up and showed out on my behalf with irrefutable evidence against the defense which left them speechless and without a question, we won. Hands down he is my guy for life. Great job to you and your staff.”
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If you have been injured in a slip, trip and fall accident, reach out to us at 800-991-5292 and we will set up a free consultation so you can speak with an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer today.
* = National Floor Safety Institute
** = Consumer Product Safety Commission
*** = Statutes of Limitation in California
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