Just one single misstep can lead to devastating injuries that affect you for the rest of your life, changing everything you know within a matter of seconds. If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident, then you owe it to yourself and your family to hold the responsible party accountable. Serious injuries can result from what appears to be a minor fall, leading to neck, spine, and even brain trauma that can change the quality of your life and leave you unable to work. Contacting a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney as soon as possible following your injury is important to preserving your right to collect damages. Data from the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department shows that there were nearly 32,000 non-fatal fall injuries serious enough to require hospitalization reported in L.A. County during 2010 alone.
Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
The main cause of slip and fall incidents in Los Angeles and elsewhere is slick floors. Spills on floors that are not attended to right away pose a danger when you walk through the aisles of a store or other public or private place. Tripping hazards also pose a risk for slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Merchandise left stacked in the walkways of supermarkets or department stores can be very hazardous. Property owners who allow sidewalks and other areas open to visitors to fall into disrepair often find themselves facing a slip and fall claim when guests and other trip on broken or uneven pavement. Poor lighting in stairwells can cause this type of accident, as can broken or dangerous stairs.
Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Claims
While you may be able to collect damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other expenses incurred due to your slip and fall injury, California courts follow a rule known as the pure comparative fault rule. Simply put, if the at-fault party can show that you were at least partly accountable for your own injuries, any damages that you collect as a result are reduced by the percentage of your negligence. For instance, if it is determined that you were 30 percent at fault in your slip and fall accident, then a $100,000 award would be reduced to $70,000. This might happen if there was a spill clearly marked by a sign and you ignored the sign and fell anyway.
Slip and fall claims are essentially premises liability claims. In California, property owners have a duty of care to keep their properties safe for invitees. When they falter in this duty and the result is someone becoming injured, they have a responsibility to pay for the damages that result.
To ensure the best outcome in your slip and fall claim, it is vital that you speak to a seasoned attorney with experience in premises liability. Contact JML Law now to speak with our Los Angeles slip and fall accident attorney to get the ball rolling on your claim.
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