Modesto residents have a million tasks on their to-do lists each week and that means a million stops at different locations across the city. Those obligations can include making it to work or school on time. They may send us downtown along 10th Street for some business at the courthouse or on a trip up McHenry Avenue for some shopping.
Unfortunately, the more places we visit, the higher the chance we’ll run across a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall hazard. These risks include slipping on a drink spilled at a restaurant or falling down a crumbling set of stairs in a parking garage.
A trip to the emergency room and a hospital stay may be part of recovery, but just who should be responsible for those medical bills isn’t always as clear.
Contact a Modesto Slip-And-Fall Attorney for a Free Consultation
A fall in a public place can leave you in a lot of pain and feeling vulnerable. If you fell on someone else’s property, like the aisle of a grocery store or on the stairs of a government building, you may have your doubts about getting any help with your recovery at all.
However, when the negligence of a business or a city department caused your accident, you are protected under California Law. Those property owners, business owners, and government agencies are liable for your recovery.
You may be surprised at just how much your injury is worth. To get a good idea of what you should expect and demand after a fall, schedule a free case evaluation with Maison Law of Modesto. This consultation comes with no obligation to you and is completely confidential.
Slip-And-Fall Dangers in Modesto
Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall hazards aren’t always noticeable, but that’s exactly why so many people end up getting hurt. A puddle on the shiny floors at a supermarket or pothole in a parking lot at the mall won’t catch your eye until you’re likely already on the ground.
These accidents can leave you suffering a severe injury while also causing you to miss paychecks at work while in rehab for your wound. It’s a sure way to deplete your savings as medical bills build up.
These are just a few of the businesses and public places you might take a serious fall:
- Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, and Restaurants
- Walmart and Target
- Government and Public Buildings
- Apartment Complexes
- Someone’s Home
You or a family member may suffer one of these physically and financially debilitating accidents almost anywhere. The difference in each case will hinge on who can be held accountable for the extreme recovery costs that follow.
Determining Fault in a Modesto Slip-And-Fall Accident
California laws protect tenants, customers, clients, employees, and any visitor who is hurt on someone else’s property. These protections fall under the concept of “premises liability.”
Property owners, management companies, and business proprietors owe every visitor a “duty of care.” This means property owners must act to remove all known hazards in their stores, their apartment complexes, and in other places where people are invited in.
Owners and operators must repair the hazards they create. They are also responsible for monitoring for any obstacles another customer or client creates. They can’t avoid fault by saying they didn’t know about dangers if they should have been inspecting routinely for them.
When a property owner is negligent in these duties and someone gets hurt, the owner can be held fully liable for recovery costs.
What to Do After a Trip-And-Fall in Modesto
When trying to get fair compensation for your slip-and-fall injury, a major company like Target or Applebee’s won’t make it easy. Your job is not to make it easy on them either. Your case should include as much evidence as possible so it will be harder for an insurance adjuster to cast doubt on your injury claim.
Your Modesto personal injury lawyer will be gathering evidence and securing testimony to prove your case, but that only starts after you’ve made your lawyer aware. In the moments after your accident, if you are feeling up to it, you’ll have to gather as much evidence as possible to help your case.
- Call 911 – If medical attention is necessary, call for an EMS crew. Give paramedics a full account of your injuries. Go to the hospital if you need to.
- Use your cellphone to get pictures – Show the obstacle that caused your fall and the surrounding area. The obstacle will likely be cleaned up or repaired as soon as you leave. If you must leave to go to the hospital ask someone else nearby to take pictures.
- Alert a manager or property owner– At a place of business, it will probably be standard protocol to write up an incident report. This report can provide strong evidence in your favor.
- Don’t admit blame – You shouldn’t discuss who was to blame at the scene. Allow your personal injury lawyer to determine this. You also shouldn’t say that you’re “okay.” Saying you aren’t hurt makes it difficult when you have an injury arise in the hours or days after the incident. You won’t know how badly you are hurt in the moments after a fall. Insurance companies use these statements to dispute your claim later.
- Talk to witnesses – Find out what they saw. Get their contact information.
- See your physician – Get all injuries and any new pain you are experiencing checked out. Follow your doctor’s recommendations exactly. Save all medical invoices.
- Don’t talk to insurance representatives – Insurance adjusters will be calling you in the days after your accident asking for a recorded statement. Refuse to provide this statement. Adjusters do this in the hopes you’ll say something they can twist to hurt your case later.
Things You May Be Compensated for After a Slip-And-Fall Accident
After an accident, you may be hit with many hardships you hadn’t anticipated. This includes more than just the pain you suffer and the medical bills you receive.
You’ll want to accurately list every damage you’ve endured in the aftermath of your accident. These factors are all important when you file a claim for damages against a property owner or corporate owner.
This is a partial list of some of the things slip-and-fall victims can secure support for:
- Hospital and physical therapy expenses now and those anticipated in the future.
- All costs associated with a permanent physical disability such as the loss of a limb, loss of mobility, memory loss, and hearing and vision loss. The inability to return to a previous career should also earn support.
- Emotional anguish, such as depression, anxiety, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
- The hardship of dealing with constant physical pain.
- Money for past and future lost wages at work.
- Property damage.
Common Injuries After a Slip-And-Fall
A slip-and-fall incident generally sends victims tumbling backward. They can end up smacking the back of their heads on the floor or on shelving. In a trip-and-fall, victims are usually thrown forward to land squarely on a knee or even the face.
These accidents often lead to emergency room visits and more. These are some of the most common injuries treated:
- Brain Injuries – A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is suffered when a fall victim takes a strike to the head. This can happen on the hard floor, a shelf, a shopping cart, a gas pump, or even a table or chair. TBIs often result in serious concussions and memory loss. Mood swings and seizures are also possible symptoms.
- Cranial Fractures – A blow to the head may cause a skull to fracture and result in brain swelling and bleeding. Neurosurgery could be the prescribed treatment.
- Spine Damage — Spinal cord and spinal structure injuries can leave victims without control of their muscles and limbs.
- Broken Bones and Dislocations — Tailbones and hips can take the brunt of a backward or sideways fall. After tripping, victims may reach out to catch their fall and instead break hand and wrist bones.
- Facial Fractures – A trip may also leave victims flat on their faces. Facial bones and jawbones can break. Teeth are also vulnerable and can be cracked or knocked out.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Modesto Slip-And-Fall Accident?
California presents slip-and-fall victims with a two-year window to file a claim for damages in most cases. However, it’s best to alert a personal injury lawyer about what’s happened as soon as you can.
Your Modesto Slip-And-Fall lawyer will keep you from missing important deadlines. Your lawyer will also conduct an investigation into your accident to gather evidence and keep track of all potential witnesses. This is how a strong case is built.
Your attorney is also a much-needed safeguard when your case brings you up against large insurance companies. Insurance companies like to keep victims waiting on a settlement so they get more and more desperate. They then extend a lowball offer hoping you’ll be eager to sign away your rights to any further compensation. Your attorney will recognize this tactic and others and protect you from being robbed of support.
What’s more, a case involving a large corporation like a supermarket chain will involve corporate lawyers. These lawyers are paid to discredit you and your injury, all to see if they can get you to give up your claim. A skilled lawyer doesn’t blink when big law firms take aim at your case and will fight to see that you get the maximum support available.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if I fall at a Modesto government building or on city property?
It’s possible to hold city government liable for negligent acts, but local governments have special restrictions on claims. In some cases, you’ll face a much shorter deadline to file and be obligated to notify the department before you file to seek permission to sue.
What if I was partly to blame for my slip-and-fall accident?
You can still expect compensation. You and a property owner can share liability in an accident. You could still earn a sizable award from the property owner, but it would be reduced by the percentage of blame you were assigned.
What if I’m injured at a Modesto apartment complex?
You could file a claim against a landlord or property management company. You or your visitor may be hurt by a faulty stairwell or problem around a pool. When proprietors neglect to fix these issues, they can be liable for injuries.
Contact a Modesto Slip-And-Fall Accident Lawyer
After a slip-and-fall accident, be sure to discuss your case with an experienced slip-and-fall attorney serving Modesto. Reach out as soon as possible, especially if your injury case involves a government entity like a school or a city department.
You should be able to focus on your recovery without worrying over hospital bills piling up and the rent and a car payment coming due while you’re out of work.
Allow Maison Law to go to work on your case to secure the most compensation possible for your recovery. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to find out how we can help you.