More people sustain injuries in sidewalk slip and fall accidents than most people think. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls represent the leading cause of emergency room visits at 21.3%. In many California cities, pedestrians use sidewalks frequently during their everyday activities. Unfortunately, this can lead to sidewalk slip and fall accidents.
In California, if you suffer injuries as a result of the negligent maintenance of property, you could qualify to bring a legal claim against the responsible party. This is known as a premises liability claim. You can recover damages to help you cover the costs incurred due to your injuries.
If you want to know the sidewalk slip and fall average settlement, you might be surprised to learn that there is no reliable average because too many factors come into play. Instead of asking about averages, it’s much more helpful to know what your case might be worth. Contact Henderson Law today so we can review your case and give you some idea of what you might expect.
Overview of California Slip and Fall Cases
California imposes a duty of care on any person who owns or has control over property to keep the premises safe for others. If the owner or person in control of the property fails to maintain safe premises and you suffer injuries as a result, you can file a lawsuit to recover your damages. Depending on the circumstances, several different parties may owe the duty of care, including:
- A municipal government entity,
- Business owners,
- Property management companies,
- Landlords, and
- Store managers.
In most cases, property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their property. However, that does not mean the property owner is liable. Liability can depend on a number of factors, such as:
- Who created the condition that caused the injury,
- Whether the municipality has a liability shifting statute,
- Whether the municipality knew or should have known about the condition, and
- The existence of negligence by either party.
Finding the party liable for damages after a sidewalk slip and fall often involves more questions than the average premises liability case. A qualified personal injury attorney with Henderson Law can help determine what party bears responsibility in your case.
Conditions That Can Cause Sidewalk Slip and Falls
Several conditions can cause falls on sidewalks, including:
- Uneven surfaces,
- Damaged grates,
- Loose material,
- Obstructions, or
- Landscaping debris.
Even though this category of cases is often referred to as slip and fall claims, you do not have to literally slip and fall on a wet or slippery surface to recover. If a property owner’s negligence results in an injury, you could qualify to bring a claim.
Injuries Caused by Falls on Sidewalks
Even though sidewalk falls are typically minor, some of them can result in serious and expensive injuries. Common injuries caused by falls on sidewalks include:
- Broken bones,
- Back injuries,
- Head or brain injuries,
- Pulled muscles,
- Knee injuries, and
- Wrist injuries.
Even minor injuries can lead to costly medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and missed time at work.
How Are Damages Calculated in Sidewalk Slip and Fall Cases?
Damages in a slip and fall case aim to compensate the injured party for the losses they incurred due to their injury. Thus, someone who suffers significant injuries will likely recover more compensation than someone who suffers minor injuries. Because claims vary so widely, there is not a sidewalk slip and fall settlement average.
Economic damages refer to quantifiable losses the injured party suffered from their injury. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Lost wages, and
- Loss of future earning capacity.
Proving economic damages is relatively straightforward as long as you document any costs associated with your recovery.
Non-economic represent a more abstract form of damages that aim to compensate you for things like:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Anxiety, or
- Psychological trauma.
Ascertaining the amount of non-economic damages you can recover is more complicated than determining the economic damages. At Henderson Law, we have extensive experience handling this type of claim. We can help guide you through the process of calculating your damages.
How Can I Maximize My Sidewalk Slip and Fall Settlement Value?
You can take certain steps after your accident to help preserve information in case you qualify to file a lawsuit. These steps are detailed below.
Inform the Property Owner
If you suffer injuries during a fall on someone else’s property, you should inform the property owner that you fell and point them to the location. You can document this interaction by taking a video or obtaining a written statement from the property owner.
Document the Location Where You Fell
Take photographs of the location where you fell. Make sure to include any dangerous conditions on the sidewalk and any indicators that the property owner did not maintain the sidewalk. Photos or videos of what caused you to fall can give you the evidence you need to prove your case. You should do this as soon as the fall occurs. Otherwise, the property owner might fix the condition that caused you to fall or install adequate warnings.
Seek Medical Treatment
You should seek medical treatment as soon as you can after your fall. Make sure you provide the details of how you were injured to include in the medical report. Medical records can provide crucial evidence in a slip and fall lawsuit. Otherwise, you will only have your personal testimony to establish your injuries.
Contact a Sidewalk Slip and Fall Settlement Lawyer
Many people wonder what to do next after they suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident. Luckily, our team at Henderson Law can provide the answers.
Our team at Henderson Law has over two decades of experience advocating for clients injured in slip and fall accidents. Our founding attorney, Michael Anderson, has secured over $10 million in settlements for his injured clients. We are committed to aggressively fighting for the compensation our clients deserve. Henderson Law has a reputation for honest and tireless advocacy. Contact our office today to discuss your case with one of our personal injury attorneys.