When thinking of premises liability, the following scenarios typically come to mind:
- A customer slips and falls at a grocery store due to slippery floors.
- A mailman falls on your property when delivering your mail.
- A pedestrian falls on the street due to a crack in the sidewalk.
Slip and fall accidents, as well as trip and fall accidents, are often the result of negligent supervision or maintenance of the premises and generally take place when a property owner or manager knew or should have known about the danger but failed to take the necessary action to alleviate the potential threat.
The vast majority of slips, trip, and falls can be avoided by employing effective safety measures. Unfortunately many property owners fail to institute known safety measures or simply ignore potential safety hazards. Under the law of premises liability, when you’ve been injured as a result of this negligence, you are entitled to certain types of compensation, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages and loss of earning potential and pain and suffering.
Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you are looking to find the best slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles, consider these tips:
- Hire an attorney that deals exclusively with personal injury matters
- Make sure your attorney has experience handling slip and fall cases
- See how much the attorney has recovered for other clients
The Normandie Law Firm deals exclusively with personal injury matters, with a special focus on slip and fall accidents. We have years of experience in this field, and our team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
If you have been the victim of a slip and fall, you will need a competent and experienced slip and fall attorney by your side to get you compensation for your damages. These cases tend to be complex and difficult to prove. That’s why it is critical that you speak with a lawyer right away. The vast majority of slip and fall lawsuits are based on a negligence cause of action. In Los Angeles and the rest of California, there are several elements which need to be established to prove the existence of a negligent act:
- The property owner owed the victims a duty of reasonable care.
- The property owner breach his duty of care.
- The breach of the duty of care resulting in an accident.
- The accident caused physical harm.
Therefore, the first consideration is what duty was owed by the property owner to the injured victim.
A property owner has a general duty to make sure their property does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to visitors. In California, defendants owe different plaintiffs varying duties of care. The standard of care is determined by the plaintiff’s status, which is largely determined by the reason that the plaintiff was on the defendant’s property. There are three categories of visitors: invitee, licensee, and trespasser.
An invitee is someone who is invited by the property owner and someone who comes to the owner’s property for a purpose that would be commercially beneficial to the owner. For example, a grocery store shopper is an invitee because the shopper will buy products and that would be commercially beneficial to the store. Courts have ruled that even if someone walks into a store not intending to buy products, they are still considered invitees because they could potentially see an item that they like and buy it. The law requires that a property owner takes reasonable measures to warn or otherwise protect invitees from unreasonably unsafe conditions on the property. In addition, many courts have held that property owners are to make reasonable inspections to make sure that no dangerous conditions exist on the property, that the invitee would not be able to openly see and avoid. For example, a grocery store would be required to make frequent inspections of the floors to make sure they are not wet, and post warning signs when the floors are wet to protect against accidents.
A licensee is someone who is invited by the property owner to enter the premises and someone who comes to the owner’s premises for non-commercial purposes. For example, a social guest is a licensee. The duty of care owed to a licensee is not as vigorous as that owed to an invitee. Typically, the law requires that the owner take measures to warn or fix any dangerous conditions that the licensee would not discover and appreciate. However, the duty attaches if and only if the property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition. For example, if an owner knows that the stair railings are broken, but the railings appear normal to a visitor, then the owner may be liable if a visitor tries to grab the railings and falls as a result of the defect.
A trespasser is someone who is on the owner’s property without the owner’s permission. If an owner is not aware of the trespasser’s presence, then there is no duty owed. The trespasser would not be able to successfully sue the owner for any mishaps that occurred because of a dangerous condition on the premises. If the owner knows of the trespasser’s presence, then the duty is to use ordinary care to protect against dangerous conditions.
This means you have certain legal rights in all situations. Our Los Angeles trip and fall lawyer will stand up for you and get the maximum compensation that you deserve for your injuries. We will not let the other party get away with their negligence and lack of care.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall / Trip and Fall Accidents
There can be numerous causes of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Based on our extensive experience in representing victims we have amassed a list of some of the most prevalent causes of slip and falls and trip and falls.
- Failure to staff to place a “Warning – We Floor Sign” after mopping a floor.
- Failure to properly inspect and repair defective or broken refrigerators resulting in leakage of water or other liquids. This usually takes place in supermarkets, local convenient stores and grocery stores.
- Oily surfaces to vehicle leakage in gas stations. Operators have a duty to routinely inspect for and cleanup deposits of oil.
- Presence of debris and or liquids on stairwells.
- Debris and or liquids on aisles of movie theatres. The low light interior of movie theaters dramatically increases the probability of an incident if debris and trash is left on the floor. Thus there is a heightened duty on the part of movie theatre managers to inspect for and cleanup any potential hazards.
- Presence of loose or torn carpeting of floor mats on a property.
- Failure to pick up clothing or other merchandise left on the floor following a major sale. This usually takes place in major department stores like Ross, Macys, JC Penny, and Marshalls.
- Failure to clean up spills on aisles in supermarkets.
- Poor lighting conditions on a property. Usually taking place in poorly run apartment complexes or condominiums.
- Potholes and cracks in parking lots walkways and sidewalks.
- Uneven surfaces and or dislodged flooring.
- Failure of employees to remove workplace items from store; this may include work-gloves, dust pans, sweepers, open boxes, and step ladders.
Common Locations Where Slip and Fall Accidents Take Place
- Supermarkets: The largest supermarkets include, Albertsons, Safeway, Smart and Final, Stater Bros, Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions, Trade Joes, and Whole Foods.
- Big Box and Discount Stores: Including Costco, Food4Less, Sam’s Club, Lowes, Home Depot, Targert, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Staples, and Office Depot.
- Convenient Store, Parking Lots, and Gas Stations: Including 7-11 stores, Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, AM-PM, Unical76, and Arco.
- Fast Food Restaurants and Coffee Shops: McDonalds, Subway, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, Burger Kings, King Taco, Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, KFC, Starkbucks, Coffee Bean, Five Guys, InNOut.
- Public Locations: Sporting venues, stadiums including Dodger Stadium, Staple Center, Parks, and Amusement Parks like Disney Land and Magic Mountain, Water Parks like Raging Waters and Hurricane Harbor, Schools, Community Colleges, and Universities.
- Places of Work; including office buildings, manufacturing facilities, doctors’ offices, hospitals, Urgent care centers.
Common Injuries Suffered by Slip and Fall Victims
Statistics show slip and fall accidents as one of the leading causes of some of the most severe injuries. Such injuries can result in excruciating pain and life long suffering. Some of the most common injuries resulting such accidents include the following
- Knee Injuries – common knee injuries due to slip and falls include torn ACL and MCL, torn meniscus, ligament and tendon tears, and shattered knee caps. Treatment for knee injuries may include physical therapy aquatic therapy, micro-fracture surgery, total or partial knee replacement surgery, meniscectomy, and meniscus replacement procedures.
- Back and neck injuries – injuries to the spinal cord: Common spinal cord injuries may include, spinal and disc compression, torn or ruptured discs, disc dislocation, slipped and herniated disc, and indentation on the theca sac resulting in nerve root compression.
- Nerve damage: Spinal cord injuries often result in nerve damage including sciatica pain, neuropathy, pinched nerve, and lumbar radiculopathy. Common sing s of nerve damage may include tingling, loss of sensation and pain in the extremities including the arms, hands, legs and feet, and severe headaches if the nerve damage results from impact to the upper cervical.
- Damage to the hips including hip fractures. In some instances victims will require total hip replacement surgery.
- Hand and Wrist and Finger Fractures: These injuries are very common on slip and fall accident because often victims attempt to buttress their fall by placing hand on the floor.
- Broken Bones: Most common broken bones in slip and fall accidents include broken ankles, foot fractures, broken tibia and fibula, and cracked ribs.
- Damage to the shoulder: Shoulder damage can consist of, tendon tears, dislocations, partial or total rotator cuff injuries, and fractures.
- Damage to the head: Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of brain injury in the United States. In order to properly evaluate brain injury, victims should be evaluated by a neurologist specializing in traumatic brain injuries, and or a neuropsychologist specializing in detecting behavioral changes following severe brain injuries. Common signs of brain damage include loss of consciousness following the impact, sensitivity to light, post traumatic headaches including migraines, moderate to severe short term memory loss, changes in behavior, and inability to complete usually simple task.
- Facial injuries: Including broken nose, damage to occipital bone, facial scarring, injuries to the jaw including TMJ injuries, fractured teeth, and damage to the eardrum resulting in ringing in the ear (also known as tinnitus injuries).
- Internal Organ Damage: Common internal organ damage following a traumatic even can include, ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, damage to the genitals, aneurysm, damage to the liver, collapsed lungs, hear attacks, and muscular tears.
- Loss of pregnancy – resulting in fetal miscarriage. Common indication of a fetal miscarriage include severe abdominal pain, and bleeding.
Property Owner Liability – California Slip and Fall Laws
Under California premises liability laws, property owners and managers of commercial properties owe visitors who have the intent to conduct an economic transaction (ie shoppers) a heightened duty of care. A property owner has a duty to protect and or warn an invitee of all known and knowable dangers. Common dangers can include, wet or slippery floors, food and debris on the floor left for an unreasonable amount of time, loose carpeting resulting in trips. We have also seen cases of negligence by the city where the sidewalk concrete was damaged, resulting in a trip and fall. Our law firm can handle all trip and fall cases, even if the defendant is the government. If you are looking for the best trip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles, you have found the right law firm to represent you. We have a lot of cases in trip and fall and we know what it takes to win your case.
Winning Your Case in the Court of Law – To win your slip and fall lawsuit and obtain the maximum amount of money for your injuries, you will need a compassionate and proficient Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer by your side. As mentioned above, slip and fall lawsuit are highly complex with many pitfalls. If you do this alone, you may ruin your case or significantly reduce the amount that you will receive. If you are located in Los Angeles, you can speak with a lawyer right away. We can even travel to you if you are not mobile. If you are outside Los Angeles, our lawyers can get on the plane and come to wherever you are located. It is our goal to help you and get the maximum amount of money for your injuries, and we will do everything in our power to accomplish that goal.
Commercial and non-commercial facilities where such accidents are most common include shopping centers, government facilities, schools, restaurants, pubic parking facilities, train bus and subway stations, office buildings, supermarkets and convenient stores.
Average Settlement Value for a Slip and Fall Accident Case
If you are wondering about the value of your case, it is best to consult with a slip and fall accident lawyer to review your case. Every case comprises of a unique set of factors which play significant roles in determine an average case value. Some of the most important factors in determining the settlement amount in a personal injury lawsuit are as follows:
- The specific type of injuries suffered by the victim.
- The cost of medical care including future medical and rehabilitation costs.
- Loss of wages and loss of future income caused by a long term or permanent disability.
- Non economic damages – including pain and suffering and availability for punitive damages.
- The percentage of fault – victims who are partially at fault for their injuries can still file a claim for compensation against other at fault parties
Do Not Wait – Civil Cases Must be Filed within A Certain Time Period:
In Los Angeles and the rest of the state of California personal injury lawsuits must be filed within with a certain timeline established by the state Statute of Limitations laws. The statute of limitations for trip and fall injury cases must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. The failure to file a claim within the two year timeline will resulting in an elimination of your right to financial recovery vial legal means. However in some instances courts will grant a motion for tolling the statute of limitations with the intention of allowing victims to file the claim past its official deadline. Instance where courts have granted a tolling of a Statute of Limitations are as follows
- The injured victims was physically or psychologically incapacitated
- Individual was a minor – individuals under the age of 18 have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a claim.
Claim Against Government Owned Facilities: In the state of California slip and fall injury claims against state and federal government entities must be filed with the agency in questions within120 days (six months) from the date of the accident.
If you believe you are the victim of a slip and fall or trip and fall accident and would like to speak with an attorney free of charge, please call or email us immediately. We are aggressive attorneys and we’re waiting to hear your story and file lawsuits against all appropriate parties.
National Safety Council: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-falls.aspx
University of Stanford: https://web.stanford.edu/dept/EHS/prod/mainrencon/occhealth/slip_trip_fall_prevention.pdf
State of California: https://www.dir.ca.gov/chswc/WOSHTEP/Publications/slipsfalls.pdf
OSHA article: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/walkingworkingsurfaces/