Slip, trip, and fall accidents can easily happen to anyone. In many cases, people are able to pick themselves up and go on about their day after a fall, suffering nothing more serious than minor scrapes and bruises. But unfortunately, moving on from a slip, trip, and fall accident isn’t always that simple.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized as a result of injuries caused by slip and fall accidents. Falls can be particularly dangerous for adults aged 65 and older. When falls cause serious injuries, it’s extremely important to make sure you get medical treatment right away. But it’s also crucial to make sure you notify the right people about your accident.
Apartment & Private Residence Falls
Under California’s premises liability law, property owners have a responsibility to make sure the property is kept free of anything that could reasonably be expected to pose a slip or trip hazard. When people slip, trip and fall inside a private residence or in an apartment complex, the accident needs to be reported to whoever is in charge of maintaining the area where the fall occurred. For example, if the fall occurred inside a house or an individual apartment, this could be the homeowner or tenant. But if your fall occurred in the common area of an apartment complex, that would need to be reported to the landlord. It would also need to be reported to the landlord if it happened in a rental house or in an apartment, but it was caused by something the landlord had neglected to fix.
Since homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies often cover slip, trip, and fall accidents, the accident should also be reported to the insurance company as soon as possible. If someone has insurance but doesn’t want to give you the information you need to make a claim, a lawyer can help.
Slip & Falls in Businesses
If you slip and fall in a business, make sure you notify a manager or owner about your accident as soon as possible. A manager will very likely provide you with an accident report form for you to fill out which will be provided to their insurance company.
In your report, make sure you include all of the relevant details about your accident, such as the date and time you fell, where exactly you fell, what caused your fall, and if there were any witnesses to your fall. Also, note any pain you are experiencing and which parts of your body you believe were injured. It’s okay if you aren’t completely sure what, exactly, your injury is or how severe your injuries are. But noting any potential injuries in your report will make it harder for them to deny liability later on.
In addition to filling out your report form, be sure to take pictures and/or video of the area where your accident occurred. Once your report has been completed, be sure to ask for a copy of it. If they aren’t able to make a copy of your report, use your phone to take a picture of your report.
Sometimes, slip and fall victims are unable to speak to a manager or the business doesn’t have an accident report form to fill out. In those types of situations, you can create your own written statement about your accident and how it was caused and mail it to management and/or the business’s owner, including any pictures you have of the accident scene.
Slip & Falls on the Job
Even though slips, trips, and falls can happen to anyone, many people have jobs that come with an increased risk of falls. The construction industry, for example, has a very high rate of worker injuries caused by falls. If you slip and fall at work, notify your employer as soon as you’re able to. Under California law, you could lose the ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits if you don’t report your fall within 30 days. Your employer should give you the DWC-1 form you need to collect workers’ comp benefits.
Have questions about a slip, trip, and fall accident? We’re here to help. Contact the Wallace Firm to speak to one of our Los Angeles slip, trip, and fall accident lawyers.