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Deaths By Falls for the Elderly Rise More than 30%

Deaths caused by falls in adults more than 65 years old rose more than 30% in the nine-year period from 2007 to 2016, according to a study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in mid-May.

Deaths from Falls Among the Elderly = More than 30,000 Annually

Any steep increase like this is disturbing. But it’s even more troubling because falls were already one of the leading causes of death and injuries among senior citizens even before the sharp rise was announced.

According to the study, more than 30,000 elderly people died from falls annually in the U.S. during the 9-year period.

Seven million people over 65 years old are injured every year from falls. The category of “unintentional injuries” is #7 among all causes of death in older people. Falls constitute a large proportion of the category.

Deaths Projected to Double by 2030 If Trends Remain the Same

Death rates stemming from falls rose 3% annually on average for people over 65. They rose 4% for people over the age of 85.

There were significant increases in deaths in 30 states, including California. Eleven states saw no increase or a decrease in fall-related death rates. Several states reported mixed results over the study period.

Another troubling indication of the study was that fall-related death rates in people over the age of 65 could continue to climb in the future if current trends persist. Researchers forecast that if climbing rates of fall-related fatalities continue, over 60,000 senior citizens will die due to falls in 2030.

Why is the rise occurring? Many observers believe that the increase in longevity among the U.S. population means that people are living longer than they once did. Chronic conditions often go along with age, and many chronic conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease, can making falling more likely.

Medications that cause dizziness or sleepiness may also be a factor.

It’s important to note that many environmental hazards can be removed or replaced with safer alternatives, reducing the chance of falls in the elderly. Loose area rugs should be secured or removed. Grab bars should be installed in showers and bathtubs. The elderly should wear shoes that have nonslip soles and either avoid stairs or exercise caution when walking on them.

Questions About Your Loved One’s Injury? Contact Ellis Injury Law

Deaths and injuries in the elderly caused by falls are a tragedy, in part because they are very preventable.

Have you or an older loved one suffered from a slip and fall due to the negligence of another party? The Ellis Injury Law Firm fights aggressively for victims of slip and fall accidents in the Los Angeles area.

Please contact an LA premises liability lawyer at our firm today at 1-800-INJURED. Get the benefit of our more than 20 years of experience litigating fall injury cases in southern California. Our initial consultation is complimentary.

Additional Resources on Elderly Fatalities from Falls:

  1. Burns, Elizabeth and Ramakrishna Kakara. “Deaths from Falls Among Persons Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2007–2016.” MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:509–514. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6718a1
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are leading cause of injury and death in older Americans. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0922-older-adult-falls.html

Injured While Shopping: Can I Sue?

Supermarket aisle with empty green shopping cartBecause shopping is such a necessary and, for many people, fun recreational activity, you may never have focused on the potential dangers of being seriously injured while shopping.

Stores Can Be Dangerous Places

Think again. It’s estimated that that shopping carts, for example, injure roughly 24,000 children per year nationwide. And shopping carts are far from the only dangers. Big box stores like Target, Home Depot, and Costco are called big box stores because they are filled with large pieces of merchandise in, yes, large boxes. What happens if the boxes tumble from shelves or tip over as they’re on the ground? They can be responsible for broken bones, concussions, lacerations, even eye or other injuries. In fact, falling boxes are one of the leading causes of employee injury in retail stores.

Slick floors can cause broken bones, concussions, and lacerations as well.

What if you sustain a serious injury in a retail store? Can you bring a suit for compensation for your injuries?

When Can You File a Lawsuit Against a Store for an Injury?

The answer can be complicated. In general, proprietors and managers of stores have a duty of care to their customers. They are responsible for maintaining the premises in a safe condition.

They are also responsible for training their employees to maintain safe conditions, and to act promptly if an unsafe condition occurs.

You may be able to bring a lawsuit successfully if there was a clear danger that had not been fixed. Was a box placed carelessly on an upper shelf by an employee in such a manner that it fell right after it was placed there? Then it would likely appear to a court that the store was to blame.

However, the law also specifies that the responsible party must have known or should have known that a condition was unsafe, and did nothing about it in a reasonable period of time. The definition of a reasonable period of time might be subject to dispute.

What if a package of lightbulbs are dropped in the aisle and break, for example? Store management should clear it up promptly and place safety cones around it. But there will be a short interval of time after the breakage and before they can reasonably get there and secure the situation. If you are lacerated by bulbs during the period management is on their way, a jury might find you partly responsible for being careless in a clearly dangerous situation.

What You Should Do If Injured While Shopping

If you are injured in a retail store, take pictures of your injuries and the area with your smartphone. If you do not have a camera, take detailed notes. A jury will need to know what happened and what the circumstances were.

Speak with management about the situation before you leave the store. If you claim injury and did not contact store management about the situation, a jury might have questions.

See a physician as soon as you can. Documenting your injuries is important if you file a suit.

Speak with a Premises Liability Attorney As Soon As Possible After Your Injury

The Ellis Law Firm aggressively fights for the rights of people who are injured due to the negligence or carelessness of another party in southern California, whether it’s store management or an employee. The Los Angeles premises liability attorneys at Ellis Injury Law have more than 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims.

If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of injuries caused while shopping, please contact us today at 1-800-INJURED. The initial consultation is free, and we charge no fees unless we win money for you.

Additional Shopping Injury Resources:

  1. Insurance Information Institute. Commercial general liability insurance. https://www.iii.org/article/commercial-general-liability-insurance
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injuries, Illnesses & Fatalities in Wholesale and Retail Trade in 2005: A Chartbook. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2012-106/pdfs/2012-106.pdf

3 Common Hotel Slip and Fall Injuries

Illuminated hotel sign Whether you’re in a hotel for pleasure or for business, there are multiple ways you can injure yourself via a slip and fall. Here are some of the most common hotel slip and fall accidents:

1. Slipping on the Ice

Some hotels often have long, landscaped walkways. If you are visiting in cold weather, snow and ice may make the walkways dangerous. You can sprain an ankle, break a leg, or even suffer a concussion due to slipping on the ice.

2. Slipping Near a Jacuzzi

Jacuzzis are one of the great perks of hotels. But areas proximate to and around Jacuzzis (as well as swimming pools) can be wet and slippery. You could slip and fall as a result of the wetness.

3. Falling in the Hallway

If a hotel’s carpet is torn, you could slip and fall, especially if the torn area is sticking up and acts as an impediment to people walking over it.

Is the Hotel Liable?

Is a hotel liable for your injuries when you slip and fall on their premises?

The law here is clear. Hotels are businesses, and all businesses have a duty of care to those who frequent them or might be on their premises for any reason. As part of the duty of care, they must inspect their facilities and property regularly to make sure that the premises is in safe condition. If the hallway or other carpet is torn, is could be dangerous and needs to be replaced.

In addition, they must make sure that any suddenly occurring conditions that could make their premises or property dangerous to patrons are made safe. So if snow or ice occurs, it must be cleared from walkways promptly. If a hotel employee spills a drink while serving, the liquid must be cleaned up promptly so that patrons don’t slip in the liquid.

In a premises liability case, a court will examine whether the hotel knew or reasonably should have known about an unsafe condition. Then they will examine whether the hotel made the unsafe condition safe as soon as they knew about it. These are the two establishing conditions for premises liability.

The hotel can argue that they couldn’t reasonably have known that a condition was unsafe, or that they didn’t have time to rectify an unsafe condition.

If a hotel guest leaves a pair of Crocs near a Jacuzzi, for example, and the next guest trips over them, the hotel might not be found liable, because they could not have reasonably known that the Crocs were there.

If walkways were not icy at 10 a.m. and a slip and fall occurs at 10:20 a.m., the hotel could argue that they didn’t have sufficient time to realize that the conditions had changed and become icy.

Hotel slip and fall attorneys in Los Angeles

The Ellis Law Firm aggressively fights for victims of hotel slip and fall accidents. Our seasoned Los Angeles slip and fall attorneys fight for maximum compensation for our injured clients.

If you or a loved one has been hurt after tripping and falling in a hotel or any other establishment, please contact us today at 1-800-INJURED.  Our initial consultation is free, and we charge you NO fee unless we win money for you!

Additional “Hotel slip and fall injury” resources:

  1. Becker, Tara. “Slip-and-fall verdict awards Texas woman $4.9 million.” Quad City Times. March 11, 2018. http://qctimes.com/news/local/follow-up-file-slip-and-fall-verdict-awards-texas-woman/article_996dcc77-2263-59ae-996f-9f4c7d515aa4.html
  2. Morris, Karen. “Lawsuit doesn’t always mean a hotel is at fault.” Hotel Management. September 18, 2017. https://www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/lawsuit-doesn-t-always-mean-a-hotel-at-fault

3 Places Slip and Falls Commonly Occur

Business man falling down set of stairs.

Slip and fall accidents are common, but that does not mean they are harmless. In fact, they are the leading cause of emergency room visits, leading to over a million ER trips per year.

Like other common causes of injury, many slips and falls are preventable. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, more than half of all slips, trips, and falls are caused by walkway hazards.

Here are some of the places slip and falls most often occur, why they happen, and how to avoid them.

Slip and falls in the home

Falls cause half of all deaths that occur in the home, and most happen at ground level, rather than from elevated surfaces like ladders. Slips and falls are so common that The Hartford lists it among the seven most common types of homeowners’ insurance claims. It advises homeowners to reduce the likelihood of an injury by repairing hazards like uneven front steps, loose hand railings and removing snow and ice from driveways and walkways.

Slip and falls in nursing homes

The older people get, the greater their risk of a serious fall-related injury. The likelihood of a fall increased with each decade of life so it should be no surprise that nursing homes and other places frequented by seniors are common places to slip and/or fall.

One out of ever three people over the age of 65 experiences a fall in any given year, and half of those falls will be a repeat by someone who has already experienced a fall. Hip fractures are the most dangerous, and the most likely to lead to death; half of those over the age of 65 who are hospitalized for a hip fracture cannot live on their own – or at home – after the injury.

Nursing home administrators and employees need to carefully watch and help residents and implement effective safety procedures to prevent falls.

Slip and falls at work

The vast majority of worker’s compensation claims – 85% – arise from employees slipping on floors and nearly a quarter of slip and fall accidents led to at least a month out of work.

The number of fatalities caused by occupational falls has been cut in half from 1200 per year in the 1970s to 600 per year, but occupational falls are still common in practically all manufacturing and service sector jobs. Employers can help reduce the likelihood of occupational slips and falls by enforcing safety procedures and providing training for dealing with on-the-job hazards.

Recovering from a slip and fall in southern California

Homes, nursing homes, and workplaces are the most common places people experience a slip and fall but they are far from the only places they occur. From shopping malls to city parks, slip hazards can be present anywhere people are.

Wherever they occur, slip and fall accidents can cause physical, financial, and emotional loss. The good news is the law often provides a remedy. Our experienced attorneys understand the challenges that these situations present and we have a 99% win rate for personal injury cases we take on.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident in southern CA, call a California slip and fall lawyer at the Ellis Injury Law Firm in Los Angeles for a free case evaluation.

More info on where slip & fall accidents commonly occur:

  1. National Floor Safety Institute, Slip & Fall Quick Facts, https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/
  2. The Hartford: The Extra Mile: 7 Common Home Insurance Claims and How to Avoid Them, https://extramile.thehartford.com/home/home-insurance-claims/

3 Ways Poor Lighting Can Cause an Injury

Business man falling down set of stairs.

There are infinite ways a person can sustain injuries, from plane crashes to sports collisions. But did you know that a simple lightbulb, or the lack thereof, can also cause injuries? Installing adequate lighting is an easy way to improve the safety of any home, office building, or nursing home, but plenty of property managers fail to take this simple precaution. The result is an increased risk of falls, potentially causing injuries as minor as bumps and bruises, or as major as fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and even spinal cord injuries.

Lighting-related injuries in and around the home

Busy homeowners may sometimes deprioritize minor maintenance tasks like installing new lightbulbs or upgrading the electrical wiring to install new lighting fixtures. As a result, people may trip and fall on the stairs or in a dark storage area, or they may fall over clutter that they were unable to see. When a homeowner or other household resident falls and sustains injuries, it’s assumed that the injured person has full responsibility for the hazardous condition. However, visitors to the residence probably won’t have advanced knowledge of the potential safety hazards, and won’t expect to need a flashlight to find their way down a hallway safely.

Lighting-related injuries at the workplace

Both indoor and outdoor workplaces can have lighting deficiencies that can lead to injuries. At an outdoor construction site, for example, employers are expected to set up high-powered, portable tower lights to give the workers enough lighting. In this scenario, the risk isn’t only that an employee may trip over equipment and fall, but also that an employee may make a mistake with heavy machinery. For example, an employee driving a backhoe without adequate lighting may strike and injure another worker. Or, a worker may slice off a finger with a circular saw because the work area isn’t properly illuminated.

Indoor workplaces can also be hazardous if there is a lighting deficiency. Employees may trip and fall in a darkened stairwell, storage closet, or copy room—or anywhere else that lacks sufficient lighting.

Lighting-related falls in long-term care facilities

Lighting is especially important in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, rehab hospitals, hospice centers, and memory care residences. Seniors and those who are severely ill or injured are already at a higher risk of falls because of poor eyesight, eye vision disorders like macular degeneration, poor balance and coordination, poor distance judgment, and slow reaction times. The lack of proper lighting can substantially increase the risk of tripping and falling anywhere, even in an area without clutter or stairs.

Additionally, seniors with dementia may be prone to wandering and sundowning. Sundowning symptoms, as the term implies, worsen in the evening, when natural light is decreasing. Without enough lighting, the agitation, confusion, and pacing that are characteristic of sundowning can create the perfect storm for a serious fall.

Have you been injured on someone else’s property? If the property owner or manager failed to correct a hazardous condition, such as inadequate lighting, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Call the Los Angeles premises liability lawyers of Ellis Law to request a consultation.

Additional Information on Injuries Caused by Poor Lighting Conditions:

  1. Chron, OSHA Lighting Standards, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/osha-lighting-standards-2641.html
  2. Mayo Clinic, Sundowning: Late-Day Confusion, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/sundowning/faq-20058511

4 Tragic Elevator Accidents

elevator technician at work in elevator shaftMany of us use elevators every day without a second thought, not realizing that these complex machines are a legitimate source of danger. Elevators are responsible for approximately 30 deaths and more than 17,000 injuries each year. These statistics are national, but there are many examples of elevator tragedies in and around Southern California — enough to remind all of us to take extra care when it comes to elevator safety measures.

Back-to-back unexpected elevator deaths

Both coasts were rocked by fatal elevator accidents within about a week’s time in December 2011. On December 7th, 48-year-old Annette Lujan, a Cal State University Long Beach employee, was crushed to death when she tried to crawl out of an elevator. The elevator had gotten stuck between floors and when Lujan tried to escape, the elevator unexpectedly shifted.

Just one week later, on December 14, 41-year-old Suzanne Hart was the victim of a fatal accident thousands of miles away in Manhattan. Hart’s foot or leg was reportedly caught in the elevator’s closing doors in her office building. The elevator started and dragged her into the shaft, killing her. A later investigation uncovered that mechanics had disabled a safety switch shortly before the accident.

Elevator accident leads to multi-million dollar award

In December 2017, a jury in Contra Costa awarded a Dublin woman $5.6 million in compensation for injuries she suffered in an elevator accident. The elevator, in a Walnut Creek office building, had been previously repaired with zip ties. When 48-year-old Amy Zapotoczny was riding the elevator, it suddenly dropped two times. Zapotoczny suffered a torn labrum and several herniated discs. The jury apportioned liability as follows: 60% for the property manager Sierra Pacific, and 40% to Schindler Elevator Corporation.

Elevator worker suffers fatal blow to head

Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara was the site of a fatal accident involving 63-year-old elevator mechanic Donald White. According to reports, White had been standing on a ladder below the counter-weight of an elevator, until the counter-weight lowered and and struck him. White had been a long-term employee of Schindler Corp. An initial investigation of the company found no violations, but when a second worker was later killed on the same project, Schindler was fined $54,000 by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health Department for three “serious violations”.

Discuss your case with a Los Angeles elevator accident lawyer

The Los Angeles premises liability lawyers at Ellis Law put the rights of injury victims first, fighting to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. We have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for over two decades because we understand the pressure that a serious injury or death of a loved one places on the victims. We fight for maximum compensation, whether that means negotiating a full and fair settlement or taking the case to trial. To discuss your rights and find out whether filing a lawsuit is the best move for you, please call our office at 1-800-INJURED for a complimentary consultation. You owe us zero fees, unless we win money for you!

Additional Los Angeles Elevator Accident Resources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Deaths and injuries involving elevators or escalators (revised), https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nioshtic-2/20039852.html
  2. Los Angeles Times, Graphic details emerge in deadly elevator accident in Long Beach, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/elevator-death-cal-state-long-beach.html
  3. The Mercury News, Jury awards woman $5.6 million after Walnut Creek elevator owned by Seeno company fails, https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/14/jury-awards-dublin-woman-5-6-million-after-seeno-companys-walnut-creek-elevator-fails/

I Fell at Work: Can I Sue?

Business man falling down set of stairs.

In most cases, falling down and injuring yourself on someone else’s property is covered by premises liability law. You might be able to file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the property, if that owner can be found liable for a pre-existing hazardous condition on the property. However, injuries that occur while on the job are governed by workers’ compensation regulations.

Because every case is subject to unique circumstances, it’s best to consult a personal injury lawyer about your particular situation. Ellis Injury Law invites you to contact our offices for a no-fee, no-obligation case consultation. We charge no fees unless we win your case. Take advantage of our 99% success rate, and call today!

Documented losses

First, your lawyer will need to verify that you did suffer a loss because of the accident. If you fell at work and didn’t sustain an injury, then you have no workers’ compensation claim and no grounds for a lawsuit. This is why lawyers urge injured individuals to seek medical care right away after an accident. A doctor’s findings can be instrumental in substantiating your claim. Additionally, many people mistakenly think that they’re less injured than they truly are. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, and get examined—just in case. Remember to save all of your receipts for your related medical expenses, keep track of lost work time, and retain any other related documents.

The cause of the fall

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that the workers’ comp insurance carrier is required to pay an employee’s medical expenses for a covered injury or disease, in addition to a portion of lost wages if the employee is out of work for a minimum length of time. There are some exceptions, however. If the employee intentionally self-inflicted the injury, it’s not covered. But in most cases, workers can receive workers’ comp after sustaining an injury while on company time.

Can you file a premises liability lawsuit?

There’s one tradeoff for employees who are covered by workers’ comp. Because of this coverage, they almost always forfeit their right to sue after becoming injured. But there are exceptions, and your premises liability lawyer can determine if you might have a case after all. For example, you may be able to sue your employer if you were injured because of their intentional or egregious conduct. If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ comp, but is legally required to, you can sue your employer. You may be able to sue a third party if that person caused your injury, such as an independent contractor who caused you to trip and fall down the stairs at work. You should also be able to sue the manufacturer of defective equipment, such as a defective ladder, as well as the manufacturer of a toxic substance if it caused you to become ill.

Premises liability and other personal injury cases are notoriously complicated. If you’ve been injured at work, you need seasoned litigators on your side. Call our Los Angeles premises liability lawyers at 1-800-INJURED. We invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation case review to become familiar with your situation and discuss how you can secure compensation for your injuries.

Additional resources for injured plaintiffs

  1. State of California Department of Industrial Relations, Injured Worker Guidebook, http://www.dir.ca.gov/injuredworkerguidebook/chapter1.pdf
  2. Society for Human Resource Management, Workers’ Compensation: Eligibility: If an employee slips on ice in the parking lot is it covered by workers compensation? https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/cms_022560.aspx

How Many People Have Died From Falling Down Stairs?

Business man falling down set of stairs.According to the most recent data on stairway accidents in the United States, an estimated 12,000 people die from falling down steps each year. Following motor vehicle accidents, falls are the second leading cause of accidental injuries in the home and workplace, and stairs present numerous opportunities for people to hurt themselves.

Who is most at risk for falling?

Elderly people are most at risk for injuring themselves on a staircase. Statistics from the National Safety Council show that Americans over the age of 65 are more prone to fatal injuries from falling down stairs. Poor balance, low vision and impaired coordination and strength put thousands of seniors at risk for debilitating injury as they ascend or descend steps.

Data suggests that a broken hip is the most common injury from stairway falls, and in senior citizens this injury is often devastating. A shocking 30 percent of elderly die from these fractures and more than two-thirds will never regain their previous level of mobility.

While using stairs is a part of our normal routine and rarely viewed as a hazardous endeavor, one misstep can take away a person’s health and independence, especially those who are older and already frail.

Common causes of stairway falls

The majority of stairway accidents are caused by a loss of balance. This may happen when we are rushing, trip over a stationary object on the ground, carrying a heavy load, or are distracted and not watching our footing. Because our perception of risk is so low, we often fail to use handrails, which are designed to help mitigate falling, tripping or slipping dangers.

Given that stairwell falls can lead to major injury and even death, building codes for staircases are very demanding. A well-designed staircase with proper hand rails can help promote better safety, but this cannot eliminate falling dangers entirely. It is also necessary to ensure that treads and step surfaces are routinely inspected for trip hazards. A failure to perform regular maintenance or conduct repairs in a timely basis can be a recipe for disaster and potential litigation in the event a guest or patron falls and is seriously injured.

Wet spots and spills should be cleaned up, loose carpet mended, and eroded treads fixed quickly. In addition, broken lights need to be replaced to ensure the stairs are well illuminated.

Other causes of stairway falls include:

  • Damaged or faulty handrails
  • Hazardous stair risers
  • Broken steps
  • Slippery treads

Premises liability lawyers in California

When negligence plays a role in a staircase fall or injury, victims have the right to seek legal reparations. Whether the accident occurred in a commercial or residential setting, property owners are required to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe for use, and to warn guests about possible dangers.

If you or a loved one were injured in staircase fall, and want to discuss your case with experienced legal counsel, we invite you to reach to Ellis Injury Law.

Call 1-800-INJURED to request a free consultation with a Los Angeles premises liability attorney today.

Additional Resources on Stairway Fall Injuries and Deaths:

  1. Journal of Industrial Health, Case Study on Possible Falling Patterns of a Fatal Fall from Stairs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4246532/
  2. Auburn University, Stairway Safety https://cws.auburn.edu/shared/content/files/1472/STAIRWAY%20SAFETY.pdf
  3. BBC News, 1,000 Die from Stair Falls http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/790609.stm

My Child Was Hurt at School: Who Is Liable?

School classroom with blackboardSchool is supposed to be a sanctuary for all students, yet millions of children sustain injuries on school grounds every year. Regardless of how your child was injured, you have the legal right to consult a premises liability lawyer to review the situation.

A personal injury lawyer in California can determine if any party may be held liable for the harm your child suffered.

Common examples of school-related injury liability

Your lawyer will consider all aspects of the case, including whether the injury occurred due to negligence, or whether it was an intentional act. On school grounds, intentional acts of harm are often attributed to bullying. Depending on the exact circumstances, the parents of a bully who physically harmed another child might be held liable. If school staff knew or should have known about the bullying, and did nothing to stop it, then the school might be held liable.

It’s hard to imagine anyone intentionally harming a child, but sometimes adult employees of the school are to blame for a child’s injuries. If this is the case, you should reassure your child that they aren’t going to get in trouble for being honest about who caused them harm. The lawyer might sue the school for failing to conduct a background check on the employee, failing to take action after past allegations of abuse, or failing to provide sufficient supervision.

Elements of premises liability

Premises liability attorneys must prove that the three basic elements are met. The party named as the defendant must have been in control of the school grounds, and the injured party must have been an expected occupant of the property. Since students are naturally expected to be on school grounds, this element essentially fulfills itself.

Third, the party in control of school grounds must have been negligent in some way. For instance, the school might have known or should have known of some hazardous condition, and failed to fix it in a timely manner. Legal negligence is the deviation away from a reasonable standard of care.

School liability exceptions

The court recognizes at least a couple of exceptions to the liability of school districts for injuries sustained by students.

The first is the organized sports exception. Student athletes are presumed to knowingly accept the normal risks associated with sports activities. If a student tears a ligament while playing basketball, the school generally won’t be held liable.

Second, schools aren’t usually held liable for injuries that occur after normal school hours. If a child falls off a swing on the school playground on a Sunday afternoon, there is no expectation that a teacher would have been there to supervise, and so there is no legal negligence.

Legal advocacy services for your family

Ellis Law has built a reputation as a tireless advocate for injured individuals and wronged families throughout the Los Angeles area. Our premises liability lawyers in L.A. have access to a reliable network of investigators, experts, and support staff to help us build a bulletproof case on your behalf.

No amount of money can make up for the pain your child has suffered, but you can hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. Call 1-800-INJURED today for a case review at no charge.

Additional Resources for School Premises Liability:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Playground Injuries: Fact Sheet, https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/playground-injuries/playgroundinjuries-factsheet.htm
  2. Check Your Health, School Injuries, http://www.checkyourhealth.org/articles/Archive/school%20injuries.php

Tips on How to Document a Slip and Fall Personal Injury Case

slip and fall accident on wet floorIn California, property owners can be held liable for slip and fall accidents that occur because of negligent maintenance, or a willful failure to warn patrons of a potentially dangerous condition. Premises liability law states that individuals who lease, rent or own a property are negligent if they fail to use “reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. “ Property owners have a duty of care to discover potentially unsafe conditions and to repair them or give sufficient warning of anything that could possibly harm others.

If you are injured under these circumstances, and want to file a slip and fall lawsuit against the negligent party, there are some important steps you need to take to help substantiate your claim for damages.  The following will help your premises liability lawyer document your case and prove your injuries and losses.

Report the slip and fall accident

Whether you fell in a department store, a wet supermarket aisle or another public venue, you are encouraged to report the accident immediately. Ask to speak to the manager or property owner, who may be on site. If emergency responders and police are called, make sure to get a copy of the written accident report.

Document every detail

In order to prove that a hazardous or unsafe condition existed, you want to gather as much information about the scene where the accident occurred. If possible, use your cell phone to take photos or video of the hazard (such as uneven flooring, a spilled liquid or debris blocking an aisle). Make notes about every detail that can help paint a picture and establish fault. For example, did the property have any warning signs alerting you to a potential hazard? Was there a broken handrail or piece of loose carpeting that caused you to trip?

Gather eyewitness information

If the trip and fall occurred in a public place, there were likely other patrons who witnessed the accident who may be willing to testify about the dangerous conditions on your behalf. Be sure to get their full names, addresses and contact information so that your attorney can speak with them on your behalf.

Call 911 and seek medical attention

One of the most crucial aspects to recovering compensation in a personal injury lawsuit is having documentation of your injuries, no matter how minor.  For this reason, it’s wise to call 911 right away and explain the circumstances of your fall. Be sure to save all medical records, test results, medication receipts, co-pay receipts and out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury diagnosis, treatment and recovery. These will be factored in when calculating a settlement or verdict.

Speak with a premises liability attorney

Navigating a slip and fall claim without the experience of a qualified premises liability lawyer can leave victims at risk for paltry insurance settlements. An experienced attorney will know exactly how to document the extent of your injuries and financial losses and help victims maximize their monetary recovery for damages like emotional pain and suffering.

Victims may sue for a host of damages including past and future medical bills, loss of income and future earning potential, as well as emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.  Slip and fall injuries that are catastrophic in nature can result in substantial, seven and eight-figure payouts.

California premises liability law firm

For more than 25 years, Ellis Law Corporation has represented plaintiffs in slip and fall cases throughout Southern California. If you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property, you deserve skilled legal advocacy. For a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer, please call  1-800-INJURED.

Additional California Premises Liability Resources:

  1. Justia, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1000/
  2. California Courts, Cause of Action – Premises Liability http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/pldpi0014.pdf