FAQ – Slip & Fall Accidents
1. I slipped on the sidewalk at a hotel during a special event, can I get them to pay for my medical bill?
A slip and fall accident can happen on any kind of property — private, commercial, or government-owned — and can potentially lead to the filing of an injury claim against the property owner or anyone else who may have caused or contributed to the accident.
Statute of Limitations Apply:
If your fall happened on private property, in California you have up to two years to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. However, some insurance companies have a one year medical payments provision in their policies, so filing a claim as soon as possible is the prudent thing to do.
If your fall happened on public property, you may have only six months or less to file a government claim form with the appropriate government agency or agencies. Failure to file the government claim form within the time frame specified by law will prohibit you from pursuing a personal injury claim.
2 Are there different types of “slip & fall” accidents?
There are four general types of “fall” accidents:
“trip-and-fall” accidents, where there is a foreign object in the walking path or the walking path is uneven
“stump-and-fall” accidents, where there is an impediment in the walking surface
“step-and-fall” accidents, where there is s an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface, and
“slip-and-fall” accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails, usually because of a slick surface.
3. I fell at a public place was so embarrassed, I left. Now I’m in pain, what should I do?
Once the shock and embarrassment of falling down is over, leaving the scene as quickly as possible may not be the best thing to do. If you are fortunate enough not to need ambulance transportation from the scene, many people simply believe that filling out an accident report is enough. Often, this type of limited information doesn’t include crucial information to ensure that you have maximized your potential for recovery.
If you are in pain, see a doctor immediately. Tell them everywhere it hurts and get a thorough exam. If you sustained a visible injury: i.e, bruises, cuts or scrape, take photographs of the injury as soon as possible after the fall. If you require stitches from the doctor, take photographs of these as well.
If you are able to, go back to the scene of the accident and look for any surveillance video that may have captured the incident. These can be found at local businesses such as convenience stores, gas stations and retail stores. Sometimes even residences and office buildings may have video footage that captures the surrounding public areas. If you are able to locate footage of the incident, use your smart phone to take a video of the video you are being shown. Do this as soon as possible after the accident because sometimes the videos re-record after a certain amount of hours or days.
If you are unable to go yourself, have someone go back to the location and take pictures of where you fell, especially the floor surface. Do this as soon as possible and as close to the time of your fall so you can capture the condition of the area at the time of your fall.
Include photographs of any mats, rugs, or slip prevention fabrics, warning signs at the location or take photographs illustrating the potential lack of safety items.
If you were outside, take photos of any wet areas that you walked upon before getting to the spot where you feel, such as wet grass.
Feel free to take as many photographs of what you think may, no matter how trivial, be important to the accident. Your attorney will decide what is and what is not important.
Statute of Limitations
Remember that you have a shorter statute of limitations to file a claim for injury against a public entity, usually 6 months or less
Document any Witnesses
Take the name, address and telephone number of any potential witness and save this information to give to your attorney.
Save any Physical Evidence
Save the shoes that you were wearing at the time you slipped and fell. Store all of the articles of clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident in a safe place. Do not wash them.
All of this information will assist your attorney with your case.
If you are using our Accident APP, you can enter this information into the APP.
4: Does an accident report have to be filled out at the time of the fall?
If you fall in a store or on other commercial property where it’s common practice for the business to generate a report, then make sure an accident report is completed at the time of the incident. In your temporary shocked state, you should not be forced to sign anything or give a lengthy statement, just have the business note what happened, who witnessed it, and any other relevant information. Make sure you get a copy of the report.
If your fall occurred on private property, you should still report it to the property owner, property manager or tenant as soon as possible. it’s a good idea to make your own record of what happened with a complete description of the circumstances leading up to the fall, including the condition of the ground or floor, presence of any debris or objects, etc.; who was present, and any comments made by witnesses.
Do not give any written or recorded statements to anyone without first consulting an attorney.
5. What compensation might I be eligible for?
In a personal injury claim, you could get monetary compensation for: medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, anxiety, temporary or permanent disability, loss of earning capacity, and future medical expenses. Navigating the legal system to get you all that you are entitled to usually requires the involvement of a personal injury attorney. Call Yochelson & Associates for a free legal consultation on your case.
6. How can I determine if where I fell was because of a hazardous condition?
Hazardous conditions can be permanent, such as a defectively-designed staircase; or temporary, such as the accumulation of water on a sidewalk or on the floor of a restaurant.
The law provides specific definitions of what is permanent vs temporary and the responsibilities of the property owners in each case. The property owner’s liability may depend on several factors. A competent premises liability attorney will be able asses the facts of your case and the best direction it should take.
7. Do I Have a Slip, Trip, and Fall Case?
After being injured in a slip-and-fall accident, one of the first questions that comes to mind for most people is: “Who’s responsible?” and “Do I have a case?”
To determine whether or not you have a slip-and-fall case, your best bet is to call the personal injury attorneys at Yochelson & Associates for a free case review.
8. How Much is My Case Worth?
When you’ve been seriously injured, and you are struggling to get better, you may be concerned about your medical bills, lost time from work and lost income. If you have never filed a lawsuit before, and you’ve been watching those late night commercials, it’s understandable that one of your first questions may be: “How much is my case worth?”
No two slip, trip, and fall cases are the same, and there is a great deal of fine print in those late night commercials. The worth of your case depends on many factors—including the evidence, the extent of your injuries, and the amount of your medical bills.
At Yochelson & Associates it would be wrong if we gave you a ballpark figure just to help ease your mind. There’s no standard formula to use to calculate how much your case is worth, and we don’t recommend you trust any law firm, or insurance company, that tells you right away what your case could be worth.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a slip/trip, and fall accident because of someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, time off work, and, in some instances even pain and suffering.
Understanding the ins and outs of a slip/trip and fall case can be overwhelming to you. There are strict deadlines and confusing paperwork.
The skilled attorneys at Yochelson & Associates are available for a free consultation to answer your questions and assess the facts of your case.
9. Do I Need an Attorney?
There are specific laws, insurance company protocols, strict deadlines, and confusing paperwork. Understanding the ins and outs of a slip/trip and fall case can be overwhelming to you.
If you have a case, you need an experienced attorney. The skilled attorneys at Yochelson & Associates are available for a free consultation to answer your questions and assess the facts of your case.
Download our FREE Mobile App:
The Accident App is an easy to use, step by step guide to help you through a Slip & Fall accident.
The Accident App provides user friendly tools to collect the basic data needed for your specific accident.
Take pictures using the App, or load pictures taken earlier outside of the App.
Enter only the necessary information, and get through the process quickly!
Available on: iOS & Android
SLIP & FALL QUESTIONS ANSWERED ON JUSTIA:
Q: my wife slipped and dislocated her shoulder at home yesterday after slipping in the kitchen because of water leaking….Read Vivian’s Answer on Justia
Q: Is there any legal course for a slip & fall that caused a broken bone & possibly more?….Read Vivian’s Answer on Justia