Slip and fall accidents might be common, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 slip and fall accidents result in serious injury. Sure, some people might get up and laugh it off following a slip and fall, but some people are not so lucky, and a slip and fall will lead to serious injury.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries are the most common reason for filing California worker’s compensation claims. In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute, 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.
Several common injuries associated with slips and falls include:
It is common for slip and fall victims to suffer neck, back, and spinal cord injuries that can be extremely serious, in some cases leading to paralysis.
Who pays for your medical bills following a Slip and Fall Accident?
Seeking medical treatment is not only crucial for your overall wellbeing after a trip and fall accident, but a record of treatment will also help to strengthen your personal injury claim and help prove negligence on the part of the responsible party. Read how to preserve evidence following a California slip and fall accident.
Following a slip and fall incident, victims often face overwhelming and exorbitant medical bills and other related costs. So, who is responsible for paying these expensive bills?
Responsibility of the injured victim for paying medical costs
Unfortunately, the injured party is responsible for paying their upfront medical bills in most cases. There is, however, a single exception to this rule. If the property owner on which the injured party was hurt has medical payment coverage, the insurer will pay for the victim’s medical care up to the capped amount. The injured party will be responsible for whatever amount is owed after the coverage limit. That can be problematic for the victim in more serious slip and fall 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 as a protective measure for their employees, customers, and themselves. However, the coverage is frequently limited, and the capped amounts are often nowhere near high enough to cover any ongoing treatments that might be necessary. Typically, the coverage is intended for minor injuries and a temporary loss of income. The school of thought here tends to be that most people who suffer from a slip and fall accident 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 get away without any allegations of wrongdoing. That is one of the many reasons why speaking to an experienced slip and fall attorney is important to protect your rights.
Why hire a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Slip and Fall Accident?
A serious trip and fall injury can have long-term effects or require medical attention beyond the initial treatment. In cases where a slip and fall accident occurs on someone’s property, and they do not have insurance coverage, the injured party would need to prove that the property or landowner was negligent and caused the incident to recover any damages. That can be an impossible task without the legal representation of an experienced California personal injury attorney.
Do not sign anything before speaking with a slip and fall attorney!
Sometimes, the property owner will approach the slip and fall victim, offering to pay for their medical bills upfront while asking them to sign paperwork exempting 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.
It is also common practice for insurance companies to attempt to “settle” a case with the victim before they have legal representation. If you enter into a settlement agreement with an insurance company, you will be giving up your right to file a claim for any long-term injuries that have not yet presented themselves.
If you or a loved one is faced with these types of situations following a slip and fall accident in California, never sign anything without first seeking immediate legal representation.
For anyone injured in a slip and fall incident on someone else’s property or due to recklessness, negligence, or some other valid property liability, it is important to contact a professional personal injury attorney immediately. The Orange County personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help determine if you have a valid slip and fall claim.
With multiple offices 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.
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