When we were just small children, we learned how to walk. After a number of years, we got pretty good at walking. By the time we reach adulthood, we mastered walking to the extent that when we walk, we really don’t think much about it when we are walking in areas where we believe it is safe to walk. When we are hiking, walking through an area where we know there are trip or slip hazards, we know to take extra care in paying attention to these conditions under our feet. Trip and fall or slip and fall accidents most often happen when we are walking in areas where we believe the floor or ground is level, even and safe to walk without thinking about that effort. Without us perceiving a danger at our feet, we step in fluid on a tile floor making the floor turn from a safe surface to something like walking on ice with flip-flops. Down we go striking the ground with our knees, buttocks or head, so hard that we don’t know what happened. In other situations, we twist an ankle on broken concrete, or a toe catch on a sudden elevation change in a sidewalk which is not anticipated. Before we know it, we fall forward landing on our face, or if we are lucky, we get a hand or two in front of us before striking the ground.
Walking is an act we take for granted, however, every year there are hundreds of thousands of serious fall injuries due to broken sidewalks, potholes, fluids on store floors, and other dangerous conditions on public and private property. So many people blame themselves for these fall injuries when in reality, the liability or responsibility for these injuries belongs with the property owners or those negligently operating a business.
To find out if your fall injury warrants making a personal injury claim for damages, contact an Inland Empire slip and fall attorney who has experience with slip and fall or trip and fall injury cases. Don’t delay because in these cases, evidence quickly disappears and the injury causing condition is repaired eliminating any visual evidence of the condition that caused the fall.
The Slip and Fall Defendant Will Try to Blame You for Falling
In nearly every slip and fall or trip and fall case, the defendant will argue that it was your fault for not seeing the condition that caused your fall. This is called contributory negligence. Another defense that is raised is that the condition did not exist long enough for the defendant to discovery and correct the problem. There are great fallacies with these arguments. First, if you, as a passive user of the dangerous area, were supposed to see the condition in a split second, why would the property owner who had hours, days, weeks, months or years to see, warn and/or correct the dangerous condition not be responsible for doing so before the fall occurred. Their actions in not inspecting and correcting the condition allowed the danger to exist. If that negligence did not first happen, your momentary failure to see the condition would never have happened.
Stores Claim They Had No Notice of the Condition That Caused the Slip and Fall
The favorite argument for grocery stores is that they had no notice of the existence of the spill in the aisle where the fall occurred. They will claim that the slip happened before an inspection of the area could take place. They might claim that they have thirty-minute inspections or that every associate is responsible for inspecting the property and it was just not possible to prevent the fall. This means that according to the store, only a select number of people can make a legitimate claim while all others are on their own and have to accept the lack of proper inspections or corrections to the condition of the floor to prevent the slippery condition in the first place. We at the Inland Empire Law Group don’t buy into these alleged defenses because they are built around excusing a defendant’s failure when they know that a fall will occur if the conditions are right.
Statutes Of Limitations For California Trip or Slip and Fall Incidents are Shorter for Claims Against Government Entities
Responsibility for defects in public property verses private property can vary which requires the assistance of a slip and fall attorney to determine if a claim exists. Please note that a claim against a public property defect, time for filing a government claim is only six months following the injury. A private property claim can be up to two years following the injury. Never delay the claim until the last moment, you may not be able to get an experienced and proven slip and fall lawyer in the Inland Empire to represent you in your claim if you have waited until the last minute.
What Circumstances Cause Dangerous Conditions?
Some of the types of dangerous conditions that exist, include, but certainly is not limited to the following:
- Substantially cracked of damaged sidewalks
- Tree uprooting of sidewalks
- Holes in walkways
- Broken or missing bricks
- Improperly constructed walkways that violate building or ADA codes
- Cut off pipes that stick out of the concrete
- Misplaced concrete wheel stops
- Depressions in parking lots
- Oil or other slick substances
- Water or fluid on tile floors
- Torn carpets
- Raised linoleum
- Broken wood flooring
- Poor lighting
- Misaligned stairs
- Misplaced cords
What Injuries Can Occur After a Slip and Fall Accident in the Inland Empire
These conditions, and so many others, can result in serious injuries from falls, including:
- Brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Back or neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Muscle or soft tissue strain
- Hip or knee injury
- Facial injuries
- Blood clots
- Knee injuries
5 Things to Do After a Slip or Trip and Fall Accident
If you have a fall injury, here are five things you want to do before you leave the scene of the fall:
- Stay where you are. Don’t try to get up on your own unless you know it is safe to do so.
- Take pictures of the area where you fell. Include the dangerous condition that caused you to fall. Liquids are quickly wiped up and dangerous conditions will be repaired soon after the fall. Take pictures of them cleaning up the floor if you slipped on some liquid. Take pictures of your injuries, including the bruising, medical care, etc.
- File a report. Don’t leave the property until a report is made.
- Seek immediate medical attention. If you need an ambulance, have one summoned and go to the emergency room and then see your doctor right away.
- Seek legal counsel. Consult an Inland Empire slip and fall attorney shortly after the fall so they can try to preserve as much evidence as possible.
[Related: Watch the video below about the importance of keeping evidence after a slip and fall in the Inland Empire]
David Ricks is a Top Trip and Fall or Slip and Fall Lawyer in The Inland Empire
For your slip and fall or trip and fall injury claim, the right choice for you is to consult with the Inland Empire Law Group. We have successfully handled and tried many slip and fall and trip and fall injury cases. We have been instrumental in getting property owners to correct their dangerous conditions to prevent future injuries.
Your personal injury consultation with us is always free. We will answer your questions about recovering damages after an accident and if we agree to represent you, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at 909-481-0100 or toll-free at 888-694-3529.