When you enter a store in California, you expect that the store owner and employees are taking reasonable care to protect you from hazards or dangers. The last thing you expect is for something to fall on you or for you to trip on something while you are shopping.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that a million Americans slip and fall on someone else's property each year. This can be due to a number of different factors: icy sidewalks, water on the floor, and even slipping on an object that should not have been in the middle of a walkway. But what can be done in the event of a slip and fall?
A slip and fall victim can sustain a number of different injuries, from minor bruises to a brain injury. Even the less severe injuries can result in serious financial difficulties for the injured person - a trip to the emergency room to simply make sure nothing is wrong can cost thousands of dollars. If the injury is serious, there could be long-term care required, surgical procedures, and medication that costs a lot.
If the slip and fall incident was caused by a property or store owner's negligence, the victim could file a civil suit to seek compensation. But these lawsuits can be complicated as store owners may try to claim that the injury did not occur on their property or that the victim was not hurt.
Immediately after the incident, victims should document the floor to show what caused them to slip and fall. In a store, there are also likely a number of people who saw what happened. Making sure to get witnesses can help a slip and fall case. Finally, it can be beneficial to speak with someone who understands premises liability cases like a slip and fall incident. They will know the best strategy to get the compensation that a victim deserves.
Source: CBS News: Augusta online, "12 OYS: Slip and fall accidents leading cause of ER visits," Bryan Baker, 22 July 2011
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