Should I Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Accident?

slip and fall incident

If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, you may wonder if you need legal representation to recover compensation. While you are not required to hire a personal injury lawyer, consulting with an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options.

A slip and fall lawyer specializing in personal injury law can evaluate the liability of your case, gather evidence, prove liability, and help you hold the responsible party liable for your injuries and losses.


What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their premises due to negligence. This legal doctrine applies to various types of properties, including private residences, commercial establishments, and public spaces. 

Essentially, premises liability means that property owners have a duty to maintain safe conditions on their premises and warn visitors of any known hazards such as uneven surfaces and slippery floors. When they fail to fulfill this duty and someone is injured as a result, they may be held liable for damages.


Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Some causes of slip and falls include the following:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Uneven or cracked surfaces
  • Loose or torn carpeting
  • Poor lighting
  • Unsafe stairs
  • Potholes
  • Exposed wiring
  • Loose floorboards
  • Cluttered or obstructed walkways
  • Lack of handrails or guardrails


What Types of Injuries Are Common in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Doctor checking MRI scan of brain

Slip and fall accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and life-altering consequences. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), each year, slip and falls account for over 1 million hospital emergency visits. Some common injuries associated with slip and fall accidents include:

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Knee injury
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as contusions and lacerations


Who is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Determining liability in a slip and fall accident can be complex and it must be proven that the cause of the incident was a dangerous condition and that the property owner knew of this hazard. The potential liable parties may include:

Property Owners

This can include homeowners, landlords, and business owners. If negligence on the part of the property owner contributed to the slip and fall accident, they may be held liable for the resulting damages. A premises liability claim can also arise when a property owner intentionally or recklessly allows a dangerous condition to exist on their property.

A Municipality

In some cases, slip and fall accidents may occur on public property maintained by a municipality or government entity. If the accident resulted from dangerous conditions that the municipality knew about or should have known about but failed to address, they could be held liable for the injuries sustained.


Do I Have a Slip and Fall Claim?

slip and fall lawyers

Whether you have a viable personal injury claim following a slip and fall accident depends on several factors including the extent of your injuries and if you have documentation and evidence supporting your claim. To recover compensation in a slip and fall accident case, these four elements must be established:

Duty of care

The property owner owed you a duty to maintain safe conditions on their premises.

Breach of duty

The property owner breached this duty by failing to address known hazards or warn visitors of potential dangers.


The hazardous condition directly caused your slip and fall accident that resulted in serious injuries and losses.


You suffered damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as a result of the accident.


Can I Recover Compensation from a Negligent Property Owner?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of a property owner or municipality, you may be able to pursue compensation for:

  • Medical expenses: Coverage for current and future medical bills related to your injuries. This can also include prescription medications.
  • Lost wages: If you had to miss work during your recovery period, you can recover compensation for lost income. This can also include future income you would have earned had you not been injured in the slip and fall incident.
  • Pain and suffering: Damages for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Disability or disfigurement: Compensation for long-term or permanent injuries that impact your quality of life.
  • Wrongful death: If you lost a loved one in a slip and fall incident, a wrongful death lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to recover compensation for damages including funeral and burial costs, mental distress, and medical bills.

Additional damages you may be able to recover include:

  • Costs for physical therapy
  • Transportation costs
  • Assistive medical devices like walkers or wheelchairs
  • Costs for home case assistance
  • Loss of consortium


What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in California

After a slip and fall accident, it’s important to take these steps to protect your rights:

Seek medical attention immediately: It’s crucial to seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries and document them thoroughly for your case.

Notify the property owner: Inform the property owner or manager of the accident as soon as possible and file a police report.

Gather evidence: Collect evidence from the scene of the accident, such as pictures of your injuries and of the accident scene, witness statements, and medical records.

Consult slip and fall accident lawyers: Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to determine the viability of your case and the best course of action for pursuing compensation. Slip and fall lawyers will communicate with the other party’s insurance company and negotiate for a fair settlement. If your case goes to court, an attorney will advocate for your rights to obtain the compensation you deserve.


California’s Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Injuries

In California, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, there are exceptions that may shorten or lengthen this timeline, so it’s essential to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure you meet all legal deadlines.

For example, if your claim is against a government entity, you must file your claim within 6 months from the date of the injury. A personal injury lawyer will work to resolve your slip and fall lawsuit in a timely manner.


Contact An Experienced San Francisco Slip and Fall Lawyer Today

slip and fall lawyer shaking hands with client

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in San Francisco or the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact a top personal injury firm for help. At Golden State Accident Lawyers we are dedicated to helping injured victims obtain justice. We proudly maintain a 99% success rate and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

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