Los Angeles Slip & Fall Attorney
You’ll be surprised at the number of people who reach out to a slip and fall lawyer each year after sustaining a serious injuries after an accident. Or maybe you’re not surprised at all, because you are one of the 8.9 million people who visited an emergency room due to a slip, trip and fall injury this year. The fact is, these accidents are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths in homes and communities, accounting for 25,000 fatalities in 2009, according to the National Safety Council.
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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. 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:
- Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the U.S. (National Security Council Injury Facts 2011)
- The number of falls and fatalities among the 65+ demographic is four times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups. (National Security Council Injury Facts 2011)
- Slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of fatalities. (OSHA)
- Nearly 3 million falls occur in America each year, with 14,000 fatal falls. (LA Times)
- About 4,000 of the 14,000 fatal falls that happen each year occur at ground level. (LA Times)
- Apartments and condos are among the most-sued entities. (Graziadio Business Review)
- Wal-Mart experiences approximately 1,000 customer injuries per day due to slipping on wet floors and merchandise, or being hit by falling objects. (Graziadio Business Review)
Types of trip and fall accidents
Ellis 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
- Electrical cords
- Open drawers or filing cabinets
- Shifting gravel
- Bunched rugs
Accidental falls may take place on:
- 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 brain injuries, lacerations and cosmetic disfigurements. In tragic cases, the victim can 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 had an obligation to the victim.
- That the property owner failed to live up to that obligation.
- That the victim was injured as the result of the failure.
In a slip and fall case, which is a category of premises liability claims, 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?
- 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?
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 cause 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 be 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 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
- Emotional and psychological suffering
- Loss of wages and earning capacity
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 hitting 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 El Segundo office has been winning slip, trip and fall cases and has recovered more than $350 million in Southern California.
Call our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys for the assistance you deserve so you can start putting your life back together.