An Experienced Bakersfield Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney Can Help
We handle all types of slip-and-fall cases.
Slip-and-fall accidents are some of the most common and some of the most dangerous accidents, and they are far more common than most of us recognize. When you head out to face the day ahead – whether you’re looking forward to lunch with friends, you have a long list of errands, are on your way to work, or are doing anything else that makes up your busy life – the last thing you expect is to slip, fall, and suffer an injury as a result of the negligence of a commercial property owner or manager. The truth is, however, that these accidents happen all too often, and seeking the compensation to which you are entitled is the best way to protect your rights and achieve your fullest recovery. If a Bakersfield slip-and-fall accident takes place on a commercial property and leaves you injured, turn to an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer in Bakersfield for the professional legal guidance you need.
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Slip-and-Fall Accidents: The Statistics
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) shares the following sobering statistics related to slip-and-fall accidents (culled from a variety of national sources):
- Falls account for more ER visits than any other kind of accident, and slip-and-fall incidents account for a full 12 percent of all falls.
- Slip-and-fall accidents are the primary cause of days lost on the job.
- Slip-and-fall accidents are the primary cause of workers’ compensation claims.
- Floors and flooring materials play a direct role in more than 2 million injury-causing falls each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also weighs in on the matter of slip-and-fall accidents with the following statistics:
- One out of every five slip-and-fall accidents in the United States leads to a serious injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or broken bone. In fact, falling is the most common cause of TBIs.
- More than 800,000 victims of slip-and-fall accidents are hospitalized each year.
- More than 95 percent of all hip fractures are caused by falls.
- The total medical expense related to falls in 2015 exceeded $50 billion.
What You Should Know About Slip-and-Fall Accidents
The statistics support the stark fact that slip-and-fall accidents are not only exceptionally dangerous but also exceptionally common. And negligently maintained commercial premises are often the root cause of these injury-causing accidents. Common locations that lead to slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Grocery stores
- Department stores
- Shopping centers
- Shopping malls
- Office buildings
- Medical facilities
- Parking lots and outdoor walkways
- Construction sites
The standard in these premises liability claims is employing the same level of care that other reasonable property owners do in similar situations.
The legal damages or physical, financial, and emotional losses that your slip-and-fall accident claim can address include all the following:
- The medical expenses you incur, which can be an ongoing matter if your injuries are serious
- The lost wages you experience, which can include lost earning potential
- The physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure, which can be even more considerable than your financial losses
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
There is any number of causes that can lead to serious slip-and-fall accidents, but some of the most common include:
- Failure to adequately address wear and tear on outside walkways, parking lots, and parking structures
- Failure to adequately address the dangers posed by inclement weather, such as slick outdoor walkways made more slippery by rain
- Failure to clean up water, moisture, or debris that is tracked from the outside in
- Poorly designed, lit, or constructed stairways
- Stairways that lack adequate handrails or grip
- Torn, ripped, buckled, bunched, or otherwise worn floor coverings
- Inadequate lighting
- Spills that are left unattended
- Debris-strewn indoor walkways
- Tripping hazards, such as cords, furniture, office equipment, or promos, that impede safe passage
- Escalators that are set too fast or that have awkward exits or entries
Hazards that can lead to slip-and-fall accidents can crop up anywhere, and they often lead to devastating injuries. The common denominator of all slip-and-fall accident claims is that they are caused by a lack of reasonable care – or a safety irregularity – on the part of the property owner or manager. If you’ve been so injured, don’t wait to reach out to a dedicated Bakersfield slip-and-fall lawyer.
Your Slip-and-Fall Accident
It is very common to blame ourselves when we slip and fall – and to chalk it up to clumsiness. In fact, the embarrassment of falling in public and the mixture of shock and adrenaline can leave you feeling no pain and wanting to brush the matter off. The fact is, however, that if you slipped, fell, and were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, the losses you suffer are a direct result of the property owner or manager’s negligence – not something you did or did not do. Without just compensation, the path forward toward recovery will be even more challenging, and blaming yourself is not going to do you any favors.
Another important point to make is that even a very serious injury can take a considerable amount of time to manifest with symptoms, which means that brushing off your slip-and-fall accident as if it is no big deal can leave you facing healthcare challenges in the future. If you slip and fall, seeking medical attention sooner rather than later is always in the best interest of your recovery – and of your slip-and-fall accident claim.
The injuries you suffer as a result of a slip-and-fall accident can be very serious, can lead to secondary health concerns, and can require ongoing medical treatment and care. Many victims of slip-and-fall accidents are left with damaged or even broken wrists due to their attempts to catch themselves on the way down. Head injuries, including concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – caused by knocking one’s head against something on the way down or against the floor itself – are also common. Other kinds of injuries that are commonly associated with slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Serious cuts and abrasions
A slip-and-fall accident from a height, such as on a staircase, or near a hazard, such as a swimming pool or fire, is the most dangerous category of slip-and-fall incident.
A broken bone is not only a very serious injury but is also exceptionally painful and slow to heal. When a break fails to heal appropriately, it can lead to serious complications that include chronic pain and lifelong physical deficits.
Traumatic Head Injuries
Any injury to the brain is a serious injury that can lead to seriously unpredictable effects. The psychological challenges of a TBI can be as difficult as the physical consequences. If you hit your head in a slip-and-fall accident, seeking immediate medical attention is paramount.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A serious fall can leave you with a profound spinal cord injury that can have long-lasting consequences. Even a minor spinal cord injury can leave you with chronic pain and significant losses in terms of the range of motion.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Your head can be seriously jostled in the course of falling to the ground, which can leave you with a seriously painful case of whiplash – or another form of soft tissue injury. These injuries are often slow to heal, tend to be unpredictable in nature, can be difficult to treat effectively, and can lead to chronic pain.
Serious Cuts and Abrasions
In the course of a slip-and-fall accident, you suffer serious cuts and abrasions that are slow to heal and are susceptible to dangerous infections. If the damage is on or near your face, it can leave you permanently disfigured. If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident that was caused by the negligence of the commercial property’s owner or manager, it’s time to reach out to a seasoned slip-and-fall lawyer in Bakersfield.
If You Slip and Fall
Don’t Blame Yourself
As mentioned, we have a tendency to blame ourselves when we take a spill, but you owe it to yourself and your recovery to take stock of the situation. You did not slip and fall on nothing – there was very likely a tripping hazard involved, and the person or entity responsible for reasonably maintaining the premises in question may be legally responsible for the losses you suffer.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you were seriously injured – and even if you have already waited a considerable amount of time since you slipped and fell – it is important to consult with a medical professional. Early diagnosis is so closely associated with an improved prognosis that failure to seek the medical care that you need can prove disastrous.
Consult With a Practiced Bakersfield Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyer
As soon as you can do so, discussing your claim with a trusted Bakersfield slip-and-fall lawyer is well advised. Having professional legal counsel in your corner can help in all the following ways:
- Gather the evidence that you need to prove the property owner or manager’s liability in your claim
- Communicate with the involved insurance company on behalf of your best interests
- Negotiate for compensation that covers your full range of losses with the involved insurance company
- Ensure that you understand the legal process, your best options, and how best to proceed
- Help you to make the right decisions for yourself and your unique claim on your journey forward
- Prepare for court – in the event that the involved insurance company fails to engage in fair negotiations
- Advocate for your legal rights and best interests throughout the legal process