Getting seriously hurt while on someone else’s property is bad enough — but when the accident could have been prevented, the loss is compounded. From hip fractures and shoulder injuries to TBIs and sprains, slip and fall cases are some of the most common we see. Property owners have a duty to the public to warn them of any dangers present. In addition, they are responsible for making sure the property is safe for customers and employees. This includes patching crumbling steps, repairing uneven surfaces and cracks in sidewalks, installing hand rails on stairs and cleaning up spills immediately.
This is known as “premises liability” and it refers to property owners’ responsibility to ensure safe conditions for visitors, employees and residents. Under California law, property owners can be held financially liable for slip and fall accidents that happen on their property. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are all too common.
The statistics aren’t pretty. According to the CDC:
- 1 in 5 falls results in a serious injury like a broken bone or a head injury.
- Nearly three million older adults get treatment in ERs for falls every year.
- More than 800,000 people a year go to the hospital due to a fall, such as head injury or hip fracture.
- Three hundred thousand people go to the hospital with hip fractures each year.
- Falls are the top result of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
What to Look For
If you have suffered an injury that could have been prevented had the owner of the property properly maintained the area, you need the services of a qualified slip and fall attorney in Lancaster. This can be a daunting prospect to many who may not know where to begin. Here are some qualities you should be on the lookout for in an attorney:
Just like you wouldn’t see a medical specialist without researching his or her background, you shouldn’t hire a personal injury lawyer without doing your homework. When researching Lancaster slip and fall attorneys, make sure they can handle all elements of your lawsuit, including anything related to depositions, motions, arbitrations, mediations and trial if necessary. Make sure they have specific experience with your type of case and ask what the timeline to expect may be. Your lawyer should be able to give a high-level overview of the process involved, let you know how often they’ll be checking in, etc. Look into their academic and other accreditation background to ensure they are indeed qualified to work on personal injury cases.
Any lawyer you have to call repeatedly just to get a question answered or to follow up on an issue isn’t worth your time. A personal injury claim is stressful to say the least. Facing unanswered phone calls compounds this stress for you. Make sure your slip and fall attorney in Lancaster is accessible at all times, not just when you have to attend scheduled settlement or court sessions. This open form of communication is especially important in a slip and fall case because you may be hospital- or home-bound due to your injury and can’t travel to and from the law office.
3. High Success Rate
While there are countless personal injury lawyers in the Lancaster area, this doesn’t mean they are all wildly successful. Make sure the lawyer you consider has a more than 80 percent success rate in cases in which they have represented clients going through a similar case as yours. Good attorneys will be transparent about their track record for verdicts and settlements. Ask them about their successful cases as well as their failures to get a clearer picture of what they can do for you.
4. Compassionate Attitude
Having an aggressive attorney in your corner who will go to bat for you is certainly an important criteria. However, you also want the equivalent of a good bedside manner similar to what you’d see in a doctor. Nothing’s always cut and dried, black and white, all business all the time. Read between the lines to get a feel for their level of compassion for your injury and your case. Good lawyers are about more than what their degree on the wall says. In this time of vulnerability and pain, you want someone who can reassure you that everything will be okay. Someone who is sensitive to your situation will help you feel more comfortable throughout the process. That goes for everyone in the office, from the receptionist answering the phone to the paralegals doing the legwork for your case.
Contact Kuzyk Law
Kuzyk Law is available for you 24/7 to provide legal advice. We can be reached at 661-945-6969 for a free initial consultation. If you have suffered an injury due to premises liability, don’t hesitate to contact our slip and fall attorneys in Lancaster today. We will help protect your rights.