Current statistics show that slip & fall injuries are one of the leading reasons for hospital emergency room visits. if you or any of your family have been injured in a slip & fall accident on someone else’s property or possibly due to the fault of another, you must understand your legal rights.
Getting hurt in a slip and fall isn’t something that you can plan for. When the unexpected does happen, you may be scared, confused, in pain, or worse. While you want to do everything right after your accident, you must know where to begin.
There are a few particularly important things to keep in mind:
- First, get immediate medical help – See that a doctor treats you as soon as possible so that they may determine just how seriously you are hurt, and at the same time obtain a written professional diagnosis of your injuries. Your medical evaluation will help your personal injury lawyer get you the compensation for the treatment you need to recover and thrive.
- Identify exactly what happened or caused the incident – Try to write down your thoughts (or, if needed, have someone document them) as soon as possible and at the scene. This immediate information is invaluable and can aid your doctor in treating you and provide you with proof to help your lawyer get you, and your family, what you need to recover.
- Take photos and get names of witnesses – This also may help your medical team and help you prove what occurred. If you cannot do this yourself, have a friend or someone at the scene help the best they can.
- If outside, note the weather and lighting conditions – Either may have contributed to you having the accident and needs to be documented.
- Make notations of any dangerous circumstances – Examples would be water puddles, broken or uneven pavement, debris, etc.)
- Warning signs for hazardous conditions, or absence of warning signs – If hazardous conditions did help, or even cause your accident, were the hazards marked or not.
Make sure you keep track and preserve all evidence of your lost income resulting from your slip and fall injuries keeping you away from your job. This may include pay stubs for wages you received before your accident and receipts for your expenses while you recuperate from your injuries.
Remember Slip and Fall accidents can affect you temporarily or for the rest of your life. Medical treatment and recovery can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So having a detailed consultation with a Santa Ana slip and fall lawyer should be done as soon as it is possible.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Slip & Fall Lawsuit in California?
In California, the statute of limitations (or deadline) is two years after your slip and fall accident occurred. If you are going to sue a negligent party to recover damages for your injuries, you must file within this time. There are some limited exceptions to this deadline, but if you fail to initiate your lawsuit within the two-year limit, you risk having your case dismissed with no chance of recovering anything for your injuries.
Therefore, gathering all the evidence and details needed as quickly as possible is vital. Having solid, professional legal representation is the best way to ensure all filings, and court timetables are met. The legal process of preparing and bringing your case before the California courts can be cumbersome and involve hundreds of documents, witnesses, etc. However, it is almost impossible for you to achieve an equitable settlement without it being done right.
What About Slip & Fall Accidents at My Job?
If you’re injured on the job in California because of a slip and fall, normally you would file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. This ostensibly means that you can recover damages regardless of who’s at fault.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll still need to file a claim and prove that:
- The injury occurred while performing a work task.
- The injury is covered under the California workers’ compensation laws.
- You didn’t intentionally cause your injury.
- The injury wasn’t the result of your drug or alcohol use.
Your Orange County slip & fall lawyer will know what legal path to follow to file. The severity of your injuries will mean a lot. If they are very severe, such as a TBI (traumatic brain injury), workers’ compensation may not provide for all that you need. Hand this task over to a professional slip & fall lawyer, so that you (and your family) have the funds that you need and deserve.
What Are Some Examples of Slip & Fall Damages in California?
In California in a slip & fall lawsuit, you could receive both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include items such as medical costs, income, and property loss. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering to you and emotional distress.
Some simple examples are:
- Medical treatment. A slip and fall award almost always includes the cost of immediate medical care and recovery. These damages would repay what you’ve already spent and for estimated future costs.
- Income. If you miss work because of your injury, you can recover lost wages.
- Property loss. You can damage more than just your body in a slip and fall accident. Perhaps you’re carrying an expensive bottle of wine when you fall. You can recover damages for lost property in a slip and fall action.
- Emotional distress. Emotional distress damages compensate a plaintiff for the non-physical or psychological effects that a sudden serious injury may cause. This could include fear, anxiety, PTSD, and other varied psychological conditions that occur following trauma. Emotional distress is often underestimated and may not only include you but your family as well.
I’ve Been Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident; How Should I Proceed?
What starts as a simple accident could have long-lasting effects on your life. If you’ve suffered from a slip and fall, accurate, professional insight is important to determine your next move. Gibson & Hughes is an Orange County slip and fall firm that will make sure you get back on the right path to secure your health and finances needed for you, and your family.