Slip & Fall Attorney Los Angeles
You might be surprised at the number of people who reach out to a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney each year after sustaining a serious injury from a fall. 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 and fall this year. The fact is, slip and fall 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.
Contact an LA slip & fall attorney at Ellis Law
At Ellis Law, our LA personal injury lawyers specialize in trip and fall, and slip 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 premises owners or managers. By filing a premises liability 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 a slip and fall injury due to unsafe conditions, the law is on your side. Contact a personal injury attorney 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 personal injury 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 head injuries, lacerations and cosmetic disfigurements. In tragic cases, the victim can even die from the injuries suffered during a slip and fall.
The Los Angeles slip and fall 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 premises liability
Generally speaking, there are three factors that must be present and proved in every LA 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.
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 a slip and fall 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.
A personal injury attorney 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 California premises liability 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 premises liability personal injury 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 slip and fall attorneys
Ellis Law is a leader in winning premises liability 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 personal injury 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 premises liability cases totaling more than $100 million in Southern California.
Call 1-800-INJURED for the assistance you deserve so you can start putting your life back together.
“[Andy Ellis}: Premises Liabilities can result on some of the worst injuries you could possibly see. Premises liability is premised on the fact that this store owner, this merchant has made an agreement with the community to come in to this community and the community says we’re gonna let you come into our community Mr. store owner, we’re gonna let you make some money on this and a reasonable profit on us. Implicit in that contract is an agreement that he will take care of the floors.
[Willie R.]: I had a very bad back injury while I was walking down some stairs in the Jacuzzi area and as I started walking down I remembered just taking a step or two and then slipping and falling literally like flying in the air. I felt like I was in the air for a few seconds. Well it was kinda crazy it was surreal you know.
[Andy Ellis]: Premise liability can come in a form of either a slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall. And a trip-and-fall means an object, a displaced sidewalk, a displaced tile got in your way while you were walking and caused you to fall forward, whereas a slip-and-fall will always cause you to fall backward.
[Willie R.]: Previous to coming to Andy I had an attorney for 15 months and that attorney was only kinda like mediocre and I learned that after I got with Mr. Ellis. He literally after 15 months just let me go out of the blue without even telling me why and honestly I had lost all hope, I really lost all hope. I didn’t know what to do I wanted to cry but I have my kid you know my whole family and everything I didn’t know what to do and I called my friend and he referred me to Mr. Ellis. And the first meeting with Mr. Ellis was like I just felt the confidence immediately from him from the first handshake, I was like this is the guy…this is the guy!
[Andy Ellis]: When you get into a premises liability case, something where you slipped and fell or tripped and fell over, it is important to get five or six or seven pictures surrounding the area on what you fell. You cannot rely on the store owner who is there to actually make money, to think that he’s gonna take the right pictures for you. He’s going to take pictures that are most favorable for him and most likely after one of his employees cleaned up the mess.
[Willie R.]: Mr. Ellis gave me that confidence that he was going to take care of me, well he kinda really did. They ended up realizing okay this guy really is injured and they ended up being at fault for my injury you know, and Mr. Ellis ended up getting me about three hundred and forty five thousand dollars even though that was never the issue for me, but now it’s a compensation that I could appreciate and go forward with my family now.”
- National Safety Council – Falls http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/Pages/Falls.aspx
- LA Times – Santa Ana: Woman Settles Slip-Fall Accident http://articles.latimes.com/1995-01-24/local/me-23650_1_public-storage
- LA Times – The Legal Chutes and Ladders of a ‘Slip and Fall http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/27/local/me-41603
- University of Wisconsin – Accident Prevention: Slips, Trips and Falls https://www4.uwm.edu/usa/safety/general_safety/slips.cfm
- OSHA – Walking/Working Surfaces https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/walkingworkingsurfaces/
- Graziadio Business Review – Slips, Trips and Falls http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/slips-trips-and-falls/#_edn1