Slip and Fall Accidents
A bad fall can lead to serious injuries, which may require extensive medical treatment and expense. If you’ve slipped and fallen due to a property owner’s failure to maintain safe premises, he or she could be held liable for your injuries. Fremont slip and fall accident lawyer Stephen M. Fuerch has over three decades of experience helping clients pursue compensation for injuries sustained on someone else’s property. Representing residents of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Mr. Fuerch will advocate for your rights if you’ve been injured in a fall.Falls Often Lead to Injuries in California
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common sources of injury in California. Studies by the National Floor Safety Institute state that, nationally, more than one million people visit emergency rooms yearly for injuries related to slip and fall accidents. Additionally, these injuries are often a leading cause for workers’ compensation claims and the second-leading cause of accidental deaths at home. Sometimes injuries sustained in these types of accidents can be quite severe, and the financial impact may be just as large.Hold Property Owners Accountable for Slip and Fall Accidents
All California residents have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe. Whether you have injured yourself from tripping over an out-of-place object, slipping on water that an employee fails to clean up, or stepping into a hole or crack in flooring that has yet to be fixed, the owner of the property may be liable for your injuries.
To establish legal responsibility, the injured person must show that either:
- The property’s owner, or the owner’s employee, caused the dangerous condition at issue, such as the spill, floor abnormality, or stray object; or
- The property’s owner, or the owner’s employee, knew of the dangerous condition but failed to take action; or
- The property’s owner, or the owner’s employee, should have known about the dangerous condition based on what a reasonable person caring for the property would have discovered.
The last scenario is often the theory used in slip-and-fall cases, and it involves a more complex look into the circumstances to determine what a reasonable person should have known. Courts will often determine reasonability by examining what actions an owner took to keep the property safe. Some factors a judge or jury may consider in making a reasonableness determination are how long the dangerous condition existed, what maintenance procedures the owner used, and whether an out-of-place object could have been placed somewhere safer. Other related issues also may be involved in holding property owners liable for injuries in a slip and fall case.Compensation and Your Own Duty of Care
In California, courts will consider comparative fault in assessing which parties are responsible for what proportion of the harm. If the injured person also did not act reasonably, and those actions contributed to the injury, he or she will receive a reduced damages award. Factors that may be considered in determining whether an injured party was comparatively negligent include whether warning signs of danger were ignored, whether a careful person would have noticed the danger, and whether the injured person was distracted in some way.
Other parties also may be liable in slip and fall cases, such as a property’s management or maintenance company, a tenant of the property, or a government agency responsible for maintaining the property where the accident happened. Employers may be held indirectly responsible for for the negligent actions of an employee who acted carelessly during the course and scope of employment. For example, a store owner whose employee spilled water on the floor but failed to clean it up may be liable for an injury to a customer who slips and falls.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including damages for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, disability, and pain and suffering. Timely filing of your claim is important, since the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of your injury, or when your injury should have been discovered. It is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney to properly assert your claim and preserve your rights.Contact Hayward Injury Lawyer Stephen M. Fuerch
Slip and fall accidents can cause a significant impact on your life, but easing the financial burden by holding those responsible accountable can help you on your road to recovery. With over 30 years of experience, Hayward slip and fall accident attorney Stephen M. Fuerch has assisted clients in Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Dublin, as well as elsewhere in the East Bay, with pursuing their personal injury cases and seeking the compensation they deserve. Call (925) 463-2575 or email us to set up a free consultation about your case.