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slip and fall accident - medical billsSlip and fall accidents might be a common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t serious. 1 in 5 slip and fall accidents result in serious injury. Sure, some people might simply get up and laugh it off. But what happens when a slip and fall leads to the occurrence of serious injury?


Common Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall injuries are the most common reason for the filing of worker’s compensation claims. In fact, 85% of worker’s compensation claims are connected to employees slipping on wet floors. Even more shockingly, trip and fall accidents are the second most common reason for unintentional deaths in the United States, according to the World Health Organization

A fall can lead to a number of injuries, commonly: 

It’s also very common to suffer from neck, back, and spinal cord injuries that can be extremely serious, even leading to paralysis.


Who pays for your medical bills following a Slip and Fall Accident? 

Seeking medical treatment is crucial following a trip and fall accident not only for your overall wellbeing. Records of treatment can help strengthen your case in your personal injury claim to prove the responsible party’s negligence. (Learn how to preserve evidence after a slip and fall accident in our previous blog, click here to read.)

Following a slip and fall incident, victims are often bombarded with overwhelming and exorbitant healthcare costs.  But who is responsible for paying these expensive bills?


Responsibility of the injured victim for paying medical costs

Unfortunately, and in many cases unfairly, it is the injured party who is responsible for paying their own upfront medical bills. There is, however, a single exception to this rule. If the owner of the property on which the injured party was hurt has medical payment coverage, the insurer will pay for the medical care of the victim up to the capped amount. Whatever amount is left over after the coverage limit will defer again to the injured party to pay. This is extremely problematic in more serious cases, where injuries may require extensive and costly treatment. 


Responsibility of the property owner for trip and fall injuries

Most businesses or commercial property owners will have the necessary insurance to cover these slip and fall cases, not only as a protective measure for their employees or customers but also for themselves. However, the coverage is frequently limited, and the capped amounts are often nowhere near high enough to cover any sort of ongoing treatments that might be necessary. Typically, this is because the coverage is primarily intended for minor injuries and perhaps temporary loss of income. The school of thought here tends to be that most people who suffer from a slip and fall accident just want their initial medical bills covered and compensation for any time they might have to take off work. By offering the bare minimum coverage, employers or property owners can usually get away without any allegations of wrongdoing. This is one of the many reasons why speaking to an experienced slip and fall attorney is important in order to protect your rights. 


Why hire a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Slip and Fall Accident?

However, if an injury is serious enough to have long-term effects or require medical attention beyond the initial treatment, the excess bills will fall to the victim to pay. In cases where a slip and fall accident occurs on someone’s property who does not have insurance coverage, the injured party would need to prove that the property or landowner was negligent and caused the incident in some way before they will be able to recover any damage. In most cases, this is very difficult to do, particularly without experienced attorneys and professional legal representation.


Do not sign anything before speaking with an attorney!

Sometimes, an injured person is approached by a property owner who does not have insurance coverage and offers to pay for their medical bills upfront. If this scenario occurs, do not agree and instead seek immediate legal representation. Property owners may offer to pay for upfront medical bills and then have victims sign paperwork that exempts them from future claims. While having expensive medical bills paid for in the here and now might sound like a good deal, it could end up being a disastrous scenario should the injury be serious enough that it requires ongoing medical care. 

The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates have many years of experience in handling trip and fall accident claims. An added benefit to hiring one of our lawyers is that we work on a reasonable contingency fee; meaning if we don’t recover any compensation on your case, you don’t pay. Getting back to your pre-accident self is enough to worry about. Let us handle what we do best and get you the best compensation possible on your personal injury claim—call us for a free case consultation at 949-727-9300.


Contact an Experienced Orange County Personal Injury Attorney

For anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall incident on someone else’s property or due to the negligence of another party, it’s important to immediately contact a professional personal injury attorney. The Orange County personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can then help determine if you have a valid head injury claim. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our slip and fall accident lawyers represent injured victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.