Among people who slip and fall, roughly 5 percent end up fracturing something. Hip fractures are the most serious of this type of injury and tend to cause the worst health problems. They also result in the highest number of deaths, especially among the elderly.
If you sustained a hip fracture on someone else’s property, the resulting costs are probably adding up fast. Medical bills and lost wages alone can amount to tens of thousands of dollars—or more—each month. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for both the direct and indirect losses you incur because of your injury by filing a premises liability claim.
Let’s take a look at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about seeking damages for a hip fracture following a slip and fall:
1. Who Could Be Liable for a Hip Fracture Sustained in a Slip & Fall?
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, there are a few different parties that you may be able to hold financially accountable. While your first instinct may be to blame the property owner, there are a number of other parties to consider.
If the owner leased the property, for example, the occupier may actually be the liable party. Generally speaking, on residential properties, landlords are responsible for maintaining common areas, but tenants have a duty to keep their individual units reasonably safe for invitees and licensees. That means addressing any potential hazards in a timely manner.
If the owner or occupier contracts out some aspect of the property’s maintenance to a third party, like a janitorial company, the third party could also be found liable for any slip and fall accidents that occur as a result of their negligence. And if you were hurt on public property, the government agency that manages the premises may be deemed responsible. At the end of the day, the facts of the case will ultimately determine which parties you should name in your claim.
2. How Can I Prove Liability for a Slip & Fall Accident?
Slip and fall claims are generally founded on negligence, which is a breach of the duty of care. In order to prove liability for your hip fracture, you will have to demonstrate how the owner, occupier, or property manager failed to maintain the premises to a reasonably safe standard.
Evidence that may contribute to the strength of your claim includes:
- Surveillance footage of the accident;
- Deposition from eyewitnesses;
- The official incident report;
- Medical records indicating your fracture is consistent with the way in which you landed after you slipped and fell;
- Photographs of the hazard on which you slipped;
- Maintenance logs; and
- The facility’s standard operating procedures.
3. What Kinds of Damages Might Be Available Following a Slip & Fall Accident?
In California, personal injury claimants may seek compensation for the following damages:
- Emergency medical care;
- Hospital bills;
- Ongoing rehabilitation;
- Anticipated surgeries;
- Other medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Home care;
- Medical equipment;
- Prescription drugs;
- Mobility aids;
- Domestic help;
- Child care;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Pain and suffering.
4. How Long Do I Have to File the Lawsuit?
Most premises liability claims are resolved without having to file a lawsuit. As long as you have sufficient evidence of liability, causation, and damages, there’s a good chance yours will be, too. Since there’s no guarantee that the opposing party will be cooperative, however, you may end up having to file a lawsuit.
Should this happen, you will want to act fast because California has strict filing deadlines when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. The standard statute of limitations is two years. That means you likely have two years from the date on which you slipped and fell to bring your case to court.
Because there are a number of exceptions to this deadline, however, it’s wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. If you were hurt on government property, for example, you may have to submit an administrative claim within just six months. The agency then has 45 days to evaluate your claim and respond. Should they deny your request for compensation, you’ll have six months from the date on which you receive the rejection letter to file suit.
5. When Should I Call a Premises Liability Attorney?
Sustaining an unanticipated injury—especially one as serious as a hip fracture—can derail your entire life. Because there will be so much to do in the wake of the accident, calling an attorney will probably be the last thing on your mind.
The sooner you enlist help, though, the stronger your claim may be. Hiring a premises liability lawyer right away will give your legal team the opportunity to gather time-sensitive evidence before it’s altered or destroyed. It will also allow you to focus on your health while your case proceeds in good hands. Your attorney will track damages, gather evidence of liability, handle all correspondence with the opposing party, and negotiate for a fair settlement.
6. How Can I Strengthen My Premises Liability Claim?
After evaluating the facts of the case, a seasoned lawyer can share specific strategies for building the strongest claim possible. Your attorney will also give you some general strategies, which may include:
- Staying off social media;
- Following your doctor’s orders;
- Keeping a personal injury journal;
- Referring all correspondence with the insurer or opposing party to your legal team;
- Refusing to provide recorded statements; and
- Saving receipts, invoices, and bills for all damages.
Call (562) 206-1939 for a Free Consultation with a Long Beach Premises Liability Lawyer
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
Attorney Michael D. Waks knows what it takes to prevail in slip and fall cases. If you fractured your hip because a property owner or occupier failed to maintain their premises to a reasonable standard, turn to the Law Office of Michael D. Waks.
You will have a direct line of contact to Michael from the moment you hire him to the day your case is resolved. Call (562) 206-1939 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a premises liability attorney in Long Beach.
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