Slip and Fall Attorney Serving Long Beach, CA
Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of serious injuries, such as hip fractures head trauma and death. Each year, one-third of all senior citizens will suffer a fall. Over 2 million senior citizens each year will be treated by emergency room services. Of these injured adults, one out of five will suffer a moderate to severe injury.
If you've been injured because of a slip or trip and fall, it's in your best interest to speak with a qualified attorney who can tell you whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Michael Beliz is a Long Beach slip and fall attorney with a decade of experience and millions of dollars in recoveries for his clients. For a free case review, we invite you to call us today at (562) 452-3772 or fill out the short form at the bottom of this page.
Not ready to talk to Michael? Browse the information below to gain a better understanding of slip and fall accident cases.
Case Spotlight$34,000 Settlement Amount
Slip and Fall Accident
The Beliz Law Firm settled a case for a client that was involved in a slip and fall incident where the client incurred a small, faint scar to the head. The client parked his vehicle in a parking structure. The client got out of the vehicle and opened the rear hatch to organize his work equipment. The client wanted to close up the vehicle so the client took a step back while grasphing the rear hatch door. The client’s foot and pant leg snagged onto a 3-inch metal bolt. The client lost his balance while his hand was still on the rear hatch door. The door comes straight down and struck the client’s head.
The strike caused a laceration to the client’s head. The client went to the emergency room and the visit revealed no significant damage to the client’s head. The doctors stitched the wound up.
The client had an original attorney but received zero offers from the defendants. The Beliz Law Firm signed up the client and sent the client to a plastic surgeon to determine the permanent nature of the scar.
The scar was small and faint, however the client was employed as an undercover agent in law enforcement. The Beliz Law Firm argued that the scar would compromise the client’s ability to be undercover.
Settlement negotiations happened immediately after a lawsuit was filed against the owners of the parking structure among others. Even though the client’s medical bills were under $3,400.00, the Beliz Law Firm settled the case for $34,000.00.
What Qualifies as a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident has three essential components. They are as follows:
Let’s take a closer look at each:
The injured party must prove the landowner or the party controlling the property had knowledge of a
premises defect. Plus this defect was the reason for an injury causing slipped, tripped, or fall. For the
property owner (or controller) to have knowledge, they need to be given notice of the defect. In these
situations, there are two types of notice:
- Actual Notice – This is when the property owner was informed of the issue first hand or a customer, employee, or other party gave notice to the person responsible.
- Constructive Notice – This means that the property owner should have had sufficient notice to mitigate the issue. For example, if a spill in a grocery store is left unattended a long amount of time, even though employees are walking by, it could be considered constructive notice.
As with any personal injury case, there need to be damages present. For a slip and fall case, it’s important that injuries stem from the fall, and they can be demonstrated. It is not uncommon for a person to incur serious injuries to the head, and upper and lower extremities. Brain injuries, fractures to wrist and ankles, torn ligaments to knees and shoulders are typical.
This is the reason it is so important to visit a medical professional when you fall or trip. Have your injuries
evaluated by a medical professional so that their extent can be recorded.
Compensation from a slip, trip and fall accident is usually through the insurance of the landowner where the incident took place and/or the property management company’s insurance that maintains the property. These are generally the types of insurance available:
- Commercial Policy – If the injury took place at a grocery store, mall, parking lot.
- Residential Policy – If it happened at someone private home.
- Governmental Policy – If the fall happened on government property like city hall, sidewalks, roadway, parks
Download The Beliz Law Firm Guide to Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents
Who’s Liable for a Long Beach Slip and Fall Accident?
A property owner who is negligent when he or she fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.
A California jury will use some of the following factors in determining whether the property owner used reasonable care:
- Property location;
- The likelihood and probable seriousness of harm;
- If the property owner knew or should have known about the condition that created the harm;
- Property owner control over the creation of the harm;
- If and how the property owner protected the public from the harm.
The Proper Steps to Take Following a Slip and Fall Accident
Report the slip and fall accident! If the accident happened in a public or commercial setting, give notice and report the accident to the owners, managers, supervising personnel, and/or employees of the establishment.
Take photos with your camera or cell phone! If possible take photographs of the location and the determining factor such as any substance that may have caused the injuries. In addition, take photographs of your injuries and the shoes you were wearing, including the soles.
Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any independent witnesses who may have seen the accident or accident scene conditions before, during, or after the fall.
Promptly seek medical help for your injuries. If needed, have an ambulance take you to the emergency room for treatment. Due to adrenaline and other factors, injuries, even serious ones, may not be evident for hours or days. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention without delay.
Stay Silent! You are not legally obligated to speak to the other party or the other party’s insurance company. Anything you say regarding the accident or your injuries may be used against you in a potential personal injury case. Only speak to your attorney.
CONTACT A LONG BEACH SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEY
Contact a knowledgeable and experienced premises liability lawyer in Long Beach, CA.
Common Causes and Locations for Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common cause of a slip, trip, or fall is some type of liquid or a deviation on the surface. The liquid could be water, a spilled drink, or cleaner on the floor. A deviation, on the other hand, is a disruption in the surface. This might mean an unusually large gap between steps, a protrusion on the sidewalk, a difference height of stairs, cracks or uneven walking surface, or pieces of material (like a nail) sticking up from the surface.
The most common locations for these injuries are grocery stores, parking lots, sidewalks, walking paths, schools and backyards. Deviations are a common problem on stairs, due to their construction. Additionally, we see these injuries occur in areas like apartment buildings and hotels, construction sites, and lots with uneven surfaces. Anywhere a lot of foot traffic are also risky for slips, trips, and falls.
What Can I be Compensated for in a Slip and Fall Case?
A Long Beach slip and fall attorney can help you through the legal process. Choose an attorney who understands and has experience in the personal injury field. Further, pick an attorney who has a good track record in handling similar cases as yours. If you were in a Long Beach slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
- Medical expenses for injuries suffered
- Future medical bills for injuries suffered, including physical therapy and surgery
- Loss of earnings and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
How do I File a Slip and Fall Accident Report in Long Beach?
In a car accident, you call 911, wait for the police to show up, and they will write a traffic collision report. This does not exist for a slip, trip, or fall injury. Instead, you should look for somebody at the location, such as a supervisor, to write up an incident report.
Unlike a police report, you may write this report in its entirety or an employee will note down the fact. Even though it may not be from an unbiased source, it still makes a record of the incident. One of the most important things is to notify the management of the location as quickly after the injury fall as possible.
In the report, you should get the following down on the report regarding the fall: the date of the incident; the time of the incident; the exact location of the incident; the mechanics of the fall (i.e. which body part slip or trip, and which body part hit the ground first, second, etc.); and injuries.
Like with car accidents, a good idea is to take photos of the injury scene. Snap pictures with your cell phone of the deviation or substance that caused your fall, and the surrounding area. Plus take photos of your injuries and your shoes. These helps establish a record of the incident and shows that there was an issue in the walkway.
Additionally, you’ll want to discuss the incident with a personal injury attorney, especially if your injuries are severe. If the attorney takes your case, they will send an investigator to inspect the scene, take photos, measurements, and gather evidence as necessary.
Statute of Limitations on California Slip and Fall Cases
The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. In California, slip and fall cases have two possible statutes based on the facts of the case.
If the incident happened on private property, that statute of limitations is two years from the date of loss
(injury). The statute of limitations for injuries happening on governmental property (city hall, police departments, parks, or other government controlled areas) is only six months.
So, injuries that occur on property owned by individuals or companies have a bit more leeway in when the case is filed. When the fall happens on government property, the six-month statute is the time you’re allowed to file a claim with the government directly. If the claim is rejected, you will have another six months to file a lawsuit.
Contact a Long Beach Slip and Fall Attorney
Michael has worked on hundreds of cases throughout California including many serious injury cases involving trip/slip and fall accidents. He has handled cases from the very early stages of a claim through the entire litigation process, including trial, and has settled claims for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his clients.
What Else Should You Look For In A Long Beach Slip and Fall Accident Attorney?
When you’re looking for the best legal representation for your personal injury case, you want to find someone you can trust.