Compton Slip & Fall Accidents Attorney
Your personal health and safety are a top concern. No matter where you go or what you do, it’s essential that you take care of yourself so that you can continue to participate in your life and manage your schedule.
Unfortunately, your personal safety is not always within your control. Though you can take precautions to protect yourself, you can’t always be totally sure that you’re safe from harm. Slip and fall accidents are a prime example of this. It’s easy for accidents like slips and trips to happen in public places, where you don’t always have control over the state of a facility or its safety measures.
In situations like these, it’s easy to get hurt. Falling down may be commonplace when you’re a child, but it becomes more and more dangerous as we age. A normal, healthy adult can be injured in a slip and fall accident.
If this happens to you, you can begin to build a personal injury case. Though these cases can’t bring you your health back, they can ensure that you have the resources to properly heal and recover. However, to file a case and win a settlement, you need a top attorney to help you.
McLachlan Law: Your Compton Slip & Fall Attorneys
When you experience an accident in Compton, it’s important to have proper legal help. Our team at McLachlan Law has over 25 years of direct experience in the personal injury field. We have fought and won countless slip and fall accidents for our clients over the years and understand the intricacies and important aspects of these cases. Our experience in this realm ensures that we are the best personal injury attorneys in Compton and the surrounding areas, and we give our clients the very best chance at achieving the compensation that they deserve.
We approach slip and fall claims with patience, empathy, and understanding. We know that being injured is a vulnerable state, so we do everything in our power to make you feel cared for and protected. In our decades in the field, we have gained success by being both excellent attorneys and compassionate people. This mix of traits makes us an approachable, wise choice for all your personal injury and slip and fall cases.
What Is a Slip and Fall Case?
Though many people have encountered one form of personal injury case in their lifetime, slip and fall cases are not necessarily well understood. These cases can be complicated, and it’s easy to feel intimidated by the subject matter.
When you go out in public, whether to a store, a restaurant or bar, or some other kind of public business, you are trusting that company with your well being. The owners of public spaces have the responsibility to provide basic safety measures for their guests and ensure that the area is as safe for foot traffic as it possibly can be. Though there is technically a limited amount of action a business owner can take, there are many strict rules about the effort they must make to protect the individuals who visit their business. One main standard is keeping floors dry and clear for patrons to walk.
A slip and fall case occurs when a business owner fails to keep the floors clean, dry, and free of debris, causing someone to fall. These falls can result in a myriad of injuries and ailments, some of which can be extremely serious. Slip and fall laws are in place to minimize injuries and protect the public when they go into businesses.
Why Do I Need a Compton Slip and Fall Attorney?
Falling down may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, it can have far-reaching consequences. Many people suffer serious injuries after these incidents, some of which are permanent or lifelong.
When you’re going through a slip and fall claim, it’s essential to have an attorney to fight your case. The defendant, or the owner of the establishment, will undoubtedly have a lawyer to protect them. Fighting against an experienced attorney when you don’t have any background in law is a losing battle. Even if the case was straightforward, if you have no way of proving yourself, you will likely lose.
More importantly, you should be focused on healing during the time of your trial. As mentioned, these cases can cause serious injuries. If you add the stress of creating your own court case, it’s easy to end up halting or slowing your healing process. This can make a bad situation worse and may even extend your illness or injury. Some people have to deal with their injuries for their entire lives because they failed to give themselves adequate time and space to heal.
Remember, there is a lot on the line when fighting a slip and fall case. You may be able to get a significant amount of money from your settlement, and these funds may keep your family’s finances at an appropriate level while you heal. With your family on the line, these cases are not the time to take chances and try to fight your own case.
Compton Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
There are many different ways that one can be injured in a slip and fall case. Of course, every case is different, and your injuries will likely be different than another person who has been through something similar.
Some common slip and fall injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Bruises and cuts
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Of course, some of these injuries are more severe than others. Generally, a bruise or a cut will receive less compensation than a traumatic brain injury might.
These are just a few examples of the types of injuries you might sustain during a slip and fall incident. There are many more that can occur and that may be eligible for compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can happen for a variety of reasons and are a top result of slip and fall accidents. These situations are very serious, as the brain is the body’s epicenter for everything. Without a functioning brain, it’s difficult or impossible to do basic tasks.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when there is a sharp blow or jolt to the head, which often includes the head hitting the ground or an object during a slip and fall incident. Usually, your skull protects your brain from being injured. However, when the force is strong enough, the skull can’t take all of the damage. As a result, the brain is affected.
Many different things can happen after these accidents. In some instances, the brain begins to swell. In others, a small amount of bruising or blood collection can occur. It depends upon the angle, manner, and force of the fall.
Some common traumatic brain injuries include:
- Diffuse Axonal Injury
Symptoms of these conditions vary from confusion and disorientation to loss of brain activity or brain death. In all situations, brain injuries need to be addressed right away. Even if you feel okay, there may be damage to your brain, which can be lethal if it’s left without care.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
Many people want to know how much they might get if they win a slip and fall case. This is difficult to estimate, as every type of injury calls for a different type of settlement. The average slip and fall injury cost is between $30,000 and $60,000, with many situations earning much more than this.
There are specific factors that come into consideration during a slip and fall case. The sum of the settlement must depend upon a concrete calculation and cannot just be a random amount.
Usually, the following categories are taken into account to develop a settlement amount:
- Medical bills for the injury, including hospital stays and surgery
- Ongoing medical treatment for the injury
- Mobility aids, such as a wheelchair, crutches, etc.
- Lost income or time off work to heal
Insurance may cover some of these things, but a personal injury case can help to ensure that you’re more fully covered and supported during your healing process.
Statute of Limitations
As with all legal situations, there is a statute of limitations for when you can seek compensation for a slip and fall incident. This ensures that individuals take action right away and don’t surprise a company with a claim years after an incident occurs.
For slip and fall incidents, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. However, if you are in a government building or were hurt by a government employee, the statute of limitations is only six months.
In all cases, it’s best to begin the legal process right away. There is usually no reason to wait unless you develop symptoms over time. Beginning your claim right away helps to ensure that you have the opportunity to seek compensation. If you wait, the window may pass you by.
It’s important to remember as well that the legal system isn’t always swift. Sometimes, it takes months or years for a case to move through the system. Starting your claim right away gives you the most amount of time to allow the legal system to do its work.
Starting right away also gives you the advantage of evidence. CCTV, eyewitnesses, and other vital evidence can be lost or discarded if you wait. This leaves you without any way to prove your case to the court. This generally is not good for your claim.
In slip and fall cases, the goal is to prove that the establishment was at fault for your incident. This involves showing the court that the business and/or management neglected one of their basic duties, and it resulted in your injury. As you do this, you must be prepared for the business to argue that you played a part in the incident. This is called comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence means that you were doing something you shouldn’t have been doing when the accident occurred. This protects businesses from individuals who wish to exploit the personal injury system by purposefully hurting themselves for money.
Some examples of comparative negligence are:
- Ignoring signs, cones, or safety equipment that indicated a dangerous situation
- Using your phone or another form of distraction while walking
- You had footwear that was inappropriate or dangerous for the given situation
- You were in an area normally prohibited to guests or that was otherwise sectioned off
- Entering an area when the danger was obvious
Some of these may completely derail your claim, while others will minimize it. It’s possible for the court to find you responsible for the accident and withhold a settlement altogether. In other cases, the court may decide that both you and the establishment were at fault for what happened, so your settlement is simply reduced to reflect the business’s part in the injury. In yet other situations, the court decides that you didn’t do anything wrong or beyond the scope of common sense. In these situations, the court will likely award you an appropriate settlement from the company or business.
Comparative negligence is a fairly logical and mathematical system. The court determines a percentage of blame to place on each party to determine how much should be awarded. For example, let’s say you’re seeking $100,000 in damages. However, the court finds that your actions accounted for about 20% of the blame for the accident. In this situation, you’d probably be awarded $80,000. You’d be responsible for your own 20%, or $20,000.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Case
The court needs proof of how and why an incident occurs before they can award any sort of settlement to the victim. As the prosecuting side in these cases, you and your attorney bear the burden of proof, meaning that you must show that the establishment is guilty. There are a few ways to do this, including:
- Collecting CCTV or videos of the incident
- Asking eyewitnesses for their account
- Referring to photos of the incident scene and the injuries
- Accessing medical records
- Recreating the scene
Your attorney will be able to determine which of these tactics are appropriate in your case. Some may not be applicable or available in all cases.
To preserve your case, you can do a few things at the time of the accident. If you are able, you should:
- Take photos of your injuries, the surrounding areas, any signs posted, etc.
- Ask for the names and numbers of individuals who saw what happened.
- Take photos of anything that broke during the accident.
- Seek medical care.
- Call your attorney.
By doing these things right away, you give yourself the best chance of preserving your case. Your photos will act as proof, while your eyewitnesses will be easy to find if you have their contact information. If you seek medical attention right away, it will be more difficult for the defense to insinuate that your injuries did not result from the accident. If you wait, they may try to argue that you sustained the injuries in some other way at some other time.
By bringing your attorney on board right away, you preserve your case. Businesses and their insurance companies often try to trick individuals out of a settlement. They do this in many different ways.
Insurance Companies and Trip and Fall Accidents
Most businesses will take down your information if you are hurt on their premises. If this happens, be sure to refrain from signing anything until you have your attorney review it. They may be asking you to inadvertently sign away your rights.
It’s also important to avoid calls from the business’s insurance company. Though insurance companies claim to help people, they often are looking out for their own profits. This means that they may ask leading or sneaky questions to get you to admit fault. They may also pressure you into seeing their doctors or insinuate that you must speak with them immediately. None of this is true. You are under no obligation to speak with them, nor do you have to do anything on their timeline. The statute of limitations is two years, as stated above. Despite what you say, you do not have to keep to their schedule or follow their demands.
Your best course of action is to direct all their questions and calls to your attorney. We understand the common tactics that insurers use to rob victims of a settlement. We can avoid these questions and tactics and ensure that your case makes it to litigation or negotiation. If you speak to an insurance company, simply give them the name and number of your attorney and tell them to direct all calls and questions there. Do not give any more information or say anything further.
Contact Compton Slip and Fall Attorney
When it comes to slip and fall accidents, you can’t be too careful. There is a lot on the line with these cases. A settlement could be the difference between supporting your family during your recovery process and becoming financially insecure while you heal. Our team has decades of experience with these cases and intimate knowledge of how the system runs. We deal with insurers regularly and can easily combat their tactics to ensure the safety of your claim.
For more information on what we can do for you or how we can help your Compton slip and fall case, please contact us online.