Representing Slip and Fall Injury Claims in Orange County, CA
Every day, thousands of people in Orange County, CA, and throughout the United States suffer slip and fall injuries. A slip and fall may seem like a minor thing compared to many other possible injuries, but the reality is that slip and fall injuries are capable of causing life-threatening medical complications for those who experience them. In addition, if you have been injured on someone else’s property because of a slip and fall, it’s natural to wonder whether the property owner is accountable for your damages.
Chris and Frank can provide the legal guidance you need after suffering a slip and fall on someone else’s property or at your workplace. If another party bears any responsibility for the injury you sustained, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. Our team can provide the comprehensive legal guidance you will need to navigate a premises liability claim in Orange County, CA.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Case?
You might wonder whether you need to hire an attorney to represent you after suffering a slip and fall. If you suffered a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property and the circumstances seem to indicate the property owner is at fault, you might think you can handle your case on your own and save money on legal fees. While it is technically possible to handle a personal injury claim on your own without a lawyer, the reality is that you stand to lose much more than you could potentially save on legal fees with this strategy.
The average person with no legal experience or formal legal education would have difficulty navigating the complex legal statutes involved in a slip and fall injury claim. Additionally, pursuing any civil court action requires meeting very strict procedural rules, and even slight errors can result in significant delays. It’s even possible for a judge to throw a case out due to procedural errors or missing filing deadlines. Therefore, if you do not hire an Orange County slip and fall lawyer to represent you, you would need to navigate these complex rules completely unassisted while also managing the aftermath of your injury and its effects on your household.
If you are concerned about the potential cost of legal fees, Chris and Frank offer contingency fee billing to our Orange County clients. This means you pay nothing up front, and your legal fees come as a percentage of your case award. Additionally, our experienced team of attorneys is more likely to uncover every available avenue of recovery, likely securing much more than you could have obtained on your own. Ultimately, hiring an Orange County slip and fall lawyer not only increases the chances of succeeding with your claim but is also likely to result in more compensation than you may have initially expected.
Who Is Responsible for Slip and Fall Accidents?
If you plan to take legal action for a slip and fall injury, the first step toward recovery is identifying the party responsible for your damages. A slip and fall injury claim is a personal injury claim, and “negligence” is the core legal concept of every personal injury claim filed in the United States. “Negligence” refers to a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. When it comes to slip and fall accidents, this could include a failure to mark a wet floor with the appropriate signage, failure to address a known slip and fall hazard on a property, failure to fix a broken staircase, or several other potential issues. Therefore, if you want to succeed with your slip and fall personal injury claim, the first thing you must do is identify the party responsible for the property in which your injury occurred.
Once you have identified the property owner accountable for your slip and fall injury, you and your Orange County slip and fall lawyer will determine whether the hazard that caused your injury was a foreseeable risk. This means you must discern whether a reasonable person in the property owner’s position would have noticed the safety issue and taken appropriate measures to fix it or warn you of the known danger. “Foreseeability” is a word for slip and fall injury cases. Your attorney must be able to demonstrate that the hazard that caused your injury would have been noticeable as a foreseeable risk to a reasonable person. For example, a property owner should foresee that a broken handrail on a staircase could lead to a slip and fall injury.
Slip and fall cases fall under the purview of California’s premises liability laws. All property owners must ensure their properties are safe and clear of foreseeable dangers that may injure lawful visitors. Lawful visitors include those invited to the property by the property owner and those who have the property owner’s implied permission to enter their property, such as utility workers and mail carriers. It’s important to note that property owners do not owe any duty of care to trespassers. If you illegally enter another person’s property and suffer a slip and fall injury, you cannot file a personal injury claim against them.
If your slip and fall injury occurred on any public property, you would essentially need to file an injury claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining the location where your injury occurred. Filing a claim against the government is very different from filing one against a private individual, so it is vital to consult an Orange County slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible if this factor applies to your situation.
Slip and Fall Injuries at Work
Slip and fall accidents are among the most commonly reported workplace injuries in California and throughout the United States. Employers have legal obligations to ensure the safest possible working conditions for their employees and provide necessary safety equipment to perform their job duties with as little risk of injury as possible. In California, every employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance, and an injured employee has the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if they sustain an injury at work.
Workers’ compensation can provide coverage for medical expenses and the injured employee’s lost income while recovering, but only to a certain extent. In severe cases, permanent workers’ compensation benefits are possible if the employee is left disabled from a slip and fall injury. If you believe you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is essential to consult your attorney. They can not only help you navigate the complex claims process but also help you explore additional legal remedies if your claim does not yield full compensation for your losses.
Most Common Slip and Fall Personal Injuries
A slip and fall injury may sound minor, but the reality is that these incidents often cause severe bodily harm, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries. When a person slips and falls, they could hit their head against a surface or object on the way down, or their head may strike the ground. Any head injury has the potential to cause life-changing medical complications for the victim, and some head injuries are fatal without immediate emergency treatment.
- Broken bones. Some falls can cause severe bone fractures. These injuries are excruciating and may require surgery to correct. It’s common for badly broken bones to cause nerve damage and result in chronic pain for the victim.
- Spinal injuries. Some falls lead to damage to the spinal cord. These are serious injuries capable of causing paralysis and loss of sensation throughout large regions of the body.
- Internal organ injuries. The traumatic impact from a slip and fall can rupture internal organs, causing them to bleed and diminishing their function. As a result, some internal injuries may not cause immediately noticeable symptoms.
- Impalement and penetrating injuries. Falling onto sharp objects or jagged surfaces can cause severe traumatic injuries to the body. These injuries can not only cause intense bleeding and severe pain but will also require immediate medical treatment. This type of injury is most commonly seen in construction sites and other dangerous workplaces.
- Facial and dental injuries. When a slip and fall causes the victim to fall and hit their face, teeth may dislodge, and they may suffer facial injuries that result in permanent disfigurement. Facial and dental injuries can be psychologically traumatic as well as physically painful.
A slip and fall can cause more than one of these injuries at once, resulting in intense pain and substantial medical bills for the victim. Therefore, if you have sustained a slip and fall injury due to another party’s negligence, it’s vital to consult an Orange County slip and fall lawyer to determine the full scope of the damages you could secure with a successful personal injury claim.
Damages and Compensation for Orange County Slip and Fall Claims
California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for all damages sustained due to another party’s negligence. To succeed with your personal injury claim, you must identify the party responsible for your damages and prove the full extent of those damages. A good attorney should help you explore every possible channel of recovery available in your claim, which may include:
- Medical expenses, both immediate and future. Severe injuries often require immediate treatment and long-term rehabilitative care. You can claim compensation for the medical expenses you incurred immediately following your slip and fall injury, such as ambulance fees and hospital bills, as well as long-term medical costs related to your injuries, including physical therapy and other ongoing treatments.
- Lost income and lost earning capacity. Your slip and fall injury may force you to stay home from work until you recover. You can claim any wages lost during this time, and if your injuries caused a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work at all in the future, your attorney could help you calculate your lost future earning capacity and include this in your lawsuit as well.
- Property damage. If you also lost any personal property in a slip and fall incident, you can claim repair or replacement costs as well.
- Pain and suffering. California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim financial compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from a defendant’s negligence. The amount you receive typically depends on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood that you will experience long-term medical complications from them.
Ultimately, your slip and fall injury claim could be worth far more than you initially anticipated, and your chances of securing maximum compensation for your losses increase dramatically when you hire an experienced Orange County slip and fall attorney to represent your claim.
It’s worth noting that some plaintiffs may also receive punitive damages. Judges award these damages to punish a defendant’s behavior and typically reserve punitive damage awards for cases involving defendants who act well outside the scope of typical negligence. Thus, if the defendant in your claim intentionally caused your slip and fall or caused it through egregious negligence or recklessness, they may face punitive damages and possibly even criminal prosecution, depending on the severity of their actions.
What You Can Expect From Your Orange County Slip and Fall Attorney
Chris and Frank have years of experience handling complex personal injury claims on behalf of our clients throughout Orange County, CA. We can leverage this experience in your case. Our team will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your claim. First, we’ll review the details of how your slip and fall accident occurred to determine liability. Then, if necessary, we can consult with various expert witnesses who can support your claim in court. For example, if you intend to claim pain and suffering compensation, we can consult a medical professional who can explain your medical situation to the court in an understandable way.
It’s natural to feel uncertain and distressed when you are struggling with the aftermath of a slip and fall injury that someone else caused. However, our team is ready to help you navigate your slip and fall injury claim with confidence and secure the compensation you need to recover with peace of mind. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced team of Orange County slip and fall lawyers, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule your consultation.
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