When you have had a slip and fall accident, the first thing you want to do is to go to the doctor. The second thing you want to do is figure out why the accident happened. Many people are injured in slip and fall accidents every day and they are not necessarily just clumsy. The fault of the accident may fall to a business owner if the injured party slipped on ice that should have been salted, tripped over
Figuring out who’s at fault in an accident can be harder than it looks. It is important to make sure the accident is documented right away. When you get into a car accident, the police will write a formal report. With a slip and fall accident, the police are rarely involved, and it may be the responsibility of an employee to write up the accident report. If no one at the business writes an accident report, you may have to report the accident to management yourself.
How to Determine Fault
There are several factors to consider when determining fault. The main thing you want to consider is if the accident was caused by a company’s negligence, conditions beyond anyone’s control or a person simply not looking where they were going.
If a sidewalk in front of a business is slippery due to an overnight storm and you slip and fall on the property when the company is not open, this would be considered an “act of God” or a “peril.”
According to the law, you must exercise reasonable caution when you are walking in a public place. Let’s say that a building is under construction and there are many warning signs posted to alert customers of the work. If you trip over a board that is covering a hole, you would be considered responsible for the accident. If you trip and fall over something that most people would have noticed such as a velvet rope or a crate, the fault would also be your own.
If an owner or worker at the business has caused there to be a slippery surface on the floor or an obstacle to be in the way of someone walking by, he would be considered negligent. If the owner of a business does not have a safety protocol, or if they have a safety protocol to which they do not adhere, that owner may be liable if there is an accident. If a property has poor lighting or broken lighting, the property owner may be held responsible for a slip and fall accident.
What to do if you are Injured at Work
If you have a slip and fall accident at work, you should first seek medical attention or use the office’s first aid kit. You must then report your accident to your supervisor or HR department right away. If you do not report the accident within thirty days, you may have a hard time receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer must provide you with medical care once the complaint has been filed. If the injury was caused by your employer’s negligence you can sue your employer for personal damages. An employer is not allowed to retaliate against you or fire you as the result of a lawsuit. However, you may want to seriously consider the repercussions of suing the people you work with before filing a suit.
What to do if You are Injured While Patronizing a Business
Any business is responsible for the safety of its customers or invitees. If you slip and fall at a business, try to get a photograph of the area where you fell. If you are unable to take the photographs due to your injury, ask another customer to do it for you. Pictures are very important because they can show if unsafe conditions exist, such as a leaky pipe or broken glass.
The businesses security cameras can also be used as evidence in a personal injury case. If the store doesn’t want to let you see the surveillance cameras footage, you can have the attorney subpoena that footage for you. Other people at the store can also serve as witnesses, so make sure to get a few names before leaving the scene.
What questions an Insurance Company will Ask
After you have been injured in an accident at a business, you should be given the name of the store’s insurance company. They are likely to call you to ask questions about your accident. They will want to know if there were signs posted where you fell, the pace at which you were walking and even the type of shoes you were wearing. Most insurance companies don’t want to admit their clients’ negligence, so remember to keep a cool head, and let the company representative know that you will litigate if necessary. No company wants the embarrassment of a lawsuit. If a company has a pattern of negligence, it could result in a class action suit and a visit from the department of health and safety.
What to Look for in a Lawyer
Insurance companies come armed with entire legal departments that are staffed with highly competent lawyers and it would be difficult to combat them without legal representation. You must find a lawyer who has many years of experience with personal injury cases and who works in a firm that is staffed with a team of legal researchers. There is a myriad of personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles, but the professionals at Bauman Law have over 6000 settled cases under their belt. They will work hard to make sure you get the representation you deserve.