Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyers
You might be surprised at the number of people who reach out to a slip and fall lawyer each year after sustaining serious injuries after an accident. Or maybe you’re not surprised at all, as the National Safety Council found that there were about 9.2 million people who visited an emergency room due to a slip, trip, and fall injury in 2016. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27 percent of the 900,380 nonfatal work injuries resulting in missed workdays in 2018 were related to slips, trips, and falls. Additionally, slips, trips, and falls were some of the three leading causes of work-related injuries that were treated in emergency departments in 2018.
Attorneys with extensive experience with slip and fall cases
At Ellis Law, our lawyers specialize in slip, trip, and fall cases. We know how quickly your life can change — one instant, one fall, and potentially a lifetime of medical complications and expenses — because of the reckless indifference of property owners or managers. Not only can these accidents change your life forever, but the impact they can have on your loved ones can be devastating as well. By filing a slip and fall lawsuit in California, innocent victims can hold responsible parties liable for their negligence, win compensation for medical bills and lost wages, and ensure that safety protocols are followed in the future.
If you have suffered an injury due to unsafe conditions, the law is on your side. Contact a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Law today for a free case review and find out if you can file a lawsuit.
Trip and fall accident statistics
Some key statistics for trip and fall accidents include the following:
- According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, there were 88 occupational fatalities due to falls, slips, and trips in California in 2019. Of those 88 fatalities, 84 occurred in private industry. 63 of the 88 victims were employees, while the other 25 were self-employed. Men accounted for 83 of the 88 fatalities, and all 88 victims were at least 45 years old. Exactly half (44 of the 88) were of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
- According to the CDC, unintentional falls were the leading cause of nonfatal emergency department visits in 2019 for every single age group except for 15-24, for which they were the second-leading cause.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 887 fatal work injuries caused by falls, slips, and trips in 2017, and 791 in 2018. There were 227,760 nonfatal work injuries involving days missed from work caused by falls, slips, and trips in 2017, and 240,160 in 2018.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that there are approximately 12,000 occupational slip, trip, and fall deaths per year nationwide, which comprises 15 percent of all accidental deaths and accounts for the second-leading cause of death behind motor vehicles. They are one of the most frequently-reported injuries, as they make up about 25 percent of the reported claims per year. Over 17 percent of all disabling occupational injuries are caused by falls.
- According to the National Safety Council, there were approximately 244,000 people injured in slips, trips, and falls on the job in 2019.
As you can see, these accidents are more common than you may expect, and the consequences can be severe for the victims and their loved ones. What is sad is that the vast majority of these injuries could have been prevented, making these injuries even more tragic and unacceptable.
Why a Lawyer is Necessary
As you might expect, property owners will do whatever they can to escape liability for your injuries, as they fully realize the financial penalty they may be forced to pay to compensate you. The owner’s insurance company will likely contact you shortly after the accident occurs, and may try to convince you to agree to a settlement on the spot. Our attorneys at Ellis Injury Law strongly advise you to hire an experienced attorney before even communicating with the insurance company, let alone agreeing to a settlement. The insurance company’s singular objective will be to minimize your financial recovery, so the first offer you receive will be significantly less than your claim is actually worth. It can be tempting to agree to settle right away to avoid the hassle of the legal process, but you could cost your family millions by doing so.
Types of trip and fall accidents
This is where Ellis Injury Law comes into play. Ellis Injury Law attorneys have experience litigating a vast array of slip, trip, and fall scenarios. Your shoe may slip across a wet floor. An uneven sidewalk surface or cluttered aisle may cause you to trip. Or you may tumble down and suffer injury from an unsafe ramp or staircase.
Unreasonably dangerous situations that cause slip and trip accidents include:
- Snow, ice, and wet spots
- Grease and polished floors
- Loose flooring or carpeting
- Uneven sidewalks and walking surfaces
- Unnecessary clutter
- Electric cords
- Open drawers or filing cabinets
- Shifting gravel
- Bunched rugs
Accidental falls may take place just about anywhere, including the following:
- Parking lots
- Anywhere that has a sudden change in elevation
Slip and fall injuries cover the gamut from neck/spine injuries, broken bones, and amputations, to traumatic head injuries, lacerations, and cosmetic disfigurements. In tragic cases, the victim can suffer paralysis or even die from the injuries suffered during a fall injury.
The attorneys at Ellis Law are committed to helping victims and their families recover compensation for the economic and emotional damages suffered as the result of someone else’s negligence.
Determining liability in a lawsuit
Generally speaking, in California there are three factors that must be present and proved in every slip and fall lawsuit:
- That the property owner owed a duty of care to the victim. Where this becomes an issue is when an adult trespasses onto an area where a dangerous condition is present. As long as you were not trespassing, it is likely that the property owner owed a duty of care to you.
- That the property owner breached this duty of care by not acting reasonably to fix or repair the dangerous condition, or at the very least block that area off or post clear warning signs advising you of the risk.
- That the victim was injured as the result of this breach.
Determining responsibility is not an easy task. While owners must take reasonable care to maintain their properties, a slip and fall is not always their fault.
The judge in the case will examine such factors as:
- Did the property owner cause the dangerous situation?
- Did the property owner know of the dangerous surface, but fail to act?
- Would a “reasonable” person have discovered and removed or repaired the danger? For example, if someone directly in front of you in a mall’s food court spills their drink and causes you to slip seconds later, there would not have been enough time for the property owner to discover and remove the spill before you were injured.
- Was there a legitimate reason for the danger to exist?
- Could the area have been made safer by creating a barrier or issuing a warning?
- Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?
It is important to understand that not every accident involving a slippery surface constitutes a lawsuit. Sometimes the victims fail to observe warning signs, participate in risky behavior that precipitated the accident, or were distracted and inattentive at the time. Often, the victims themselves are ruled partially to blame for the accident, but they may still be entitled to receiving compensation.
Under California law, a property owner has a duty to keep his or her property reasonably safe and to warn others of any dangerous condition if such a condition exists. Slip and fall liability covers all cases where the owner breaches that duty of care, allowing dangerous conditions to exist on the property that causes bodily injury to others.
A slip and fall lawyer from Ellis Law will be happy to review your case to help determine the full scope of liability.
Timeline of a trip and fall lawsuit
Once you seek medical attention for your injuries and contact Ellis Law, one of our attorneys will review your case. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis – meaning that we will not be paid unless you win the case, at which point an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or jury award will be deducted as payment for services.
Defendants typically have about 30 days to respond once a formal complaint has been filed. They may deny responsibility or file one of several motions. Defendants can request that the case be moved to a different courthouse or judge, that the case is moved from state to federal court, or that the case be dismissed altogether.
The judge will then make a decision and set a date for trial. In some cases, the judge orders mediation hearings prior to a trial. Often, defendants agree to settle and pay a claim to the victim, rather than deal with a lengthy and expensive trial before a jury.
If settlement talks fall through, discovery begins. Lawyers from both sides investigate the facts of the case, interview eyewitnesses, collect official statements, arrange for expert testimony, and assemble all necessary documents to present in court. A judge may bring a motion for summary judgment and make a decision based on the facts of the case without the need for a jury.
Few lawsuits make it all the way to trial.
Compensation awarded in Los Angeles slip and fall cases
When you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a slip, trip or fall, you may be entitled to payment for the following damages:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses. These can include ambulance costs, hospital visits, surgeries and procedures, doctor visits, prescription medications, assistive devices, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and in-home care.
- Emotional and psychological suffering. Your life may be changed forever, and that naturally causes severe emotional and psychological trauma in some cases.
- Loss of wages and lost earning capacity. Lost wages are determined by the amount of work your injuries caused you to miss. Lost earning capacity is determined by whether or not your injuries relegated you to a lesser-paying position than you previously held because you could no longer function at the same level physically or mentally.
Notable cases won by our California attorneys
Ellis Law is a leader in winning slip and fall cases for plaintiffs in the state of California.
Here are just a few examples of our noteworthy verdicts and settlements:
- $190,000 Settlement: A production control expeditor slipped on water from a cleaning machine that had been used improperly, leaving wet streaks all over the floor. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his wrists, hands, groin, and knees.
- $350,000 Settlement: A plaintiff slipped on a tipped-over sale sign in a shoe store, resulting in sprains, strains, and surgery for both knee and shoulder with medical expenses totaling just over $115,000.
- $8,500 Settlement: A plaintiff slipped and fell on the wet floor of a restaurant, suffering wrist and spinal injuries. The defendant had not placed any signs warning patrons to beware.
- $27,000 Settlement: A plaintiff and her husband finished their meals at a local restaurant. While the plaintiff was waiting on the curb for her husband to get the car, she stepped onto an uneven surface, causing her to fall onto the concrete and suffer ongoing degenerative pain related to elbow, hand, and knee injuries.
- $90,000 Settlement: A child’s family paid $24,260 in medical expenses after he slipped on water and hit his head in the school bathroom. Though the school principal and nurse knew of the incident, they did not inform the parents. At the hospital, the child was diagnosed with a brain bruise.
- $107,241 Settlement: A plaintiff fell on a sidewalk that had been partially removed, without warning, and suffered more than $49,000 in medical costs related to back, shoulder, wrist, and knee injuries.
- $114,400 Binding Arbitration Award: A shopper in Orange County suffered $54,441 in medical expenses when she slipped down a flight of wet stairs, suffering serious injuries to her back, shoulder, and wrist.
- $130,000 Settlement: A plaintiff’s front bicycle wheel fell into an improperly covered utility hole, causing him to fall face-first and suffer $85,000+ injuries to his face, hand, shoulder, wrist, and knee.
Questions? Ask a slip and fall lawyer from Ellis Law
A knowledgeable, understanding, and experienced Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer from Ellis is a great asset to have on your side. For more than 20 years, our Los Angeles office has been winning slip, trip, and fall cases and has recovered more than $350 million in Southern California.
Call us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation so you can start putting your life back together.