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Slip and Fall at Optometrist Office Injury Lawyer


Going to the optometrist’s office is a necessary task for many people who are having problems with their vision or need to renew their glasses or contacts prescription. These places are usually private clinics that offer basic services, like annual eye exams and fittings for glasses. Most people find their visits to be uneventful, but others end up with injuries through no fault of their own.

Believe it or not, slip and falls are a leading source of injury at medical facilities, which is ironic since we go to these places for treatment. Unfortunately, there are many dangerous conditions at an optometrist’s office that can cause you to slip. Business owners in California are required to exercise “ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property” for the purpose of preventing harm to another individual. Thus, if an eye care center is negligent in their duty of care, you may be entitled to compensation if you suffer a slip and fall accident on their property.

Were you injured from a fall-related accident at your optometrist’s office? Did your accident occur due to a hazard that the owner or their employees caused, knew about, or should have known about? If so, please take some time to speak with one of our attorneys. Our lawyers will advise you of your rights and legal options and help you achieve justice for the harm you’ve suffered.

Causes of Slip and Falls at an Optometrist’s Office

While some accidents are simply a case of bad luck, most slip and fall injuries on commercial properties are due to negligence by the property owner or someone acting on their behalf. Simply put, negligence refers to an individual or entity’s failure to take proper care of something, which results in an injury to another party. At a medical facility, there are all sorts of hazards (or conditions that can become hazardous), which the owner or staff must resolve before they lead to an accident.

In terms of a slip and fall accident, let’s say you get up to go use the bathroom while you’re waiting to be seen by an optometrist. You pass by an exam station, which an employee has unplugged in order to move it to another area. However, they failed to bundle up or secure the cord to the machine, so part of it is lying out in the hallway. If you slip on the cord on your way to the bathroom, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the eye center.

Patients that are coming to an optometrist have limited vision to begin with, so they are at greater risk of slipping on something. As a result, these businesses have a heightened duty of care to protect their guests from slip and fall hazards, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Wet floors
  • Lack of warning signs
  • Items dropped on the floor (pens, medical supplies, pamphlets, etc.) 
  • Poor lighting in corridors, hallways, and bathrooms
  • Stray wires / cords
  • Missing tiles or warped floorboards (uneven flooring)
  • Insufficient anti-slip mats
  • Worn areas on carpets and tiles 
  • Improper cleaning methods (moisture or residue from cleaning supplies) 
  • Defective / missing handrails

Sometimes, a slip and fall can be blamed on the standard of care from the medical center. A pupil dilation test is typically administered by eye care professionals, which is a procedure in which the pupils are enlarged. This allows the optometrist to have a close-up view of your optic nerve and retina. The test has the unfortunate side effect of causing light sensitivity and blurry vision. Though these effects are temporary, the patient will have trouble seeing in the meantime, even if the object is very close to them. If they are left to walk around by themselves after the test, they may very well slip on something that causes them to fall down.

Your own accident may involve circumstances that are more complex than the examples we’ve provided. An attorney at our office will help you understand the legal process, along with the steps we can take to recover your losses. To schedule a free case review, contact us at your earliest convenience.

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Common Slip and Fall Injuries

Tables, floor tiles, sinks, and exam stations are made from heavy and hard materials, which can do serious damage to your body if you were to fall on them. Hard surfaces can also be found outside the office, like on the sidewalks, stairways, and parking spaces. When you fall unexpectedly, there is blunt force trauma to various parts of your body, like your hips, head, knees, and wrists. You may suffer additional injuries if you hit a sharp object, table corner, glass doorway, etc., on your way down. These are just some of the factors that make slip and fall accidents so dangerous. Injuries from a slip and fall at an optometrist’s office include:

  • Broken nose (and other facial bones)
  • Broken or missing teeth
  • Hip fracture  
  • Wrist / hand sprain 
  • Sprained or fractured ankle
  • Broken fingers and/or toes
  • Whiplash 
  • Spinal cord damage 
  • Fractured ribs  
  • Broken tailbone 
  • Dislocated / fractured shoulder
  • Knee injury  
  • Deep cuts / puncture wounds
  • Damage to the internal organs
  • Permanent scarring
  • Nerve damage
  • Chronic pain (CRPS)
  • Concussion   
  • Traumatic brain injury  
  • Fatality

It’s natural to feel embarrassed when you fall down in front of others. Many victims insist that they’re okay and go straight home to forget about the whole incident. We urge you to get to a hospital right away, as seemingly minor injuries often get worse without proper treatment. Hip fractures, for example, have a mortality rate of 70% within one year if they’re not treated right away. If you’re concerned about the cost of surgery and other medical procedures, that’s where we can be of help. Our lawyers will get right to work on investigating your accident and determining the act of negligence that led to your injuries. Then, we will fight tirelessly to negotiate your claim and bring you every penny of the damages you deserve.

Can I Sue the Optometrist’s Office for a Slip and Fall Accident?

Yes, you can sue the optometrist’s office where you slipped and fell if an act of negligence was directly responsible for your accident. This is known as liability, and proving it is much more complicated than most people assume. There are three main elements you will need to establish before you can sue an individual or entity for an accident:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care as someone who had a legitimate reason to be on the premises.
  • The facility owner or someone working for the facility failed in their duty of care by directly causing or failing to take care of a dangerous situation.
  • Due to their negligence, you had a slip and fall accident that resulted in financial and emotional losses.

Most of these businesses have their own team of legal advisors and insurance adjusters, who will go out of their way to clear their client’s name. Injury victims often hit a brick wall early on in their case and find themselves with grossly inadequate settlements. As personal injury lawyers, it’s our job to fight for your rights and bring you the highest possible award from a slip and fall accident claim. To learn more about the ways we can assist you, contact our office for a free consultation.

What is the Average Case Value for a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

The value of a slip and fall case is understandably on every victim’s mind, but in reality, there is no “average” dollar amount that can be attributed to these lawsuits in general. Instead, the better question to ask is, “How are slip and fall settlements calculated?”

While the elements that are used to determine a case value vary somewhat from client to client, below is a list of factors that apply to just about every claim:

  • Cost to treat the initial injury
  • On-going medical expenses for serious / permanent injuries
  • Degree of pain and suffering 
  • Lost wages and/or lost earning potential
  • Mental health expenses to treat anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and other trauma-based disorders
  • The defendant’s level of negligence
  • If applicable, your own liability for the accident

When we take all these factors into account, case values may range anywhere from $25,000 on the lower end, to over $1 million on the higher end. Based on our experience, $350,000 is a reasonable settlement for slip and fall injury cases with moderate to serious injuries. But if those injuries cause permanent damage – for example, brain damage or paralysis – a slip and fall settlement may be worth up to several million dollars.

What is the Timeline to Settle a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

Along with questions about case values, you probably want to know, “How long does it take to get paid on these cases?” This is impossible to predict ahead of time, as some cases settle in just 30 days, while others take up to several years. Ideally, we can submit your insurance claim and negotiate a favorable settlement within 6 months, though 12 to 18 months may be needed based on the extent of your injuries. In the most extreme cases, resolving a slip and fall lawsuit can take two years or longer.

What is the Statute of Limitations to File a Slip and Fall Case?

Generally, you have two years from your accident date to file a claim for compensation if you were injured in a slip and fall accident. Some injuries are trickier than others, and it may take time before they completely manifest. For this type of situation, California law provides the discovery rule, which gives you two years to pursue a lawsuit from the date of discovering an injury. The window for taking legal action may seem like a lot of time, but keep in mind that you will need a preponderance of evidence to support your claim. Plus, there are many complications that may arise during your case that you cannot anticipate ahead of time. By waiting too long, you can easily exceed the two-year time limit to file a lawsuit. If so, the courts are unlikely to grant you an extension, thereby eliminating your right to sue the responsible party.

Free Second Opinion

If you have a slip and fall claim that’s pending, you may have concerns that you’re not comfortable sharing with your attorney. Maybe you lack faith in their abilities or feel frustrated by how long it’s taking to settle your case. No matter the issue, a slip and fall lawyer at our office will be happy to assist you with a second opinion. This is a private, completely free consultation where you can ask any questions you’d like and get advice on your available legal options. After the meeting, you may decide to switch your lawyer and continue your case with us, but this is completely up to you. Just give us a call to schedule a second opinion with one of our legal experts.

Free Legal Services for Slip and Fall Injury Victims

An injury victim should not have to choose between financial hardship and high quality legal representation. We know this is a primary concern on your mind, but there’s no need to worry about legal fees when you sign on with us. All our services are free to you, starting from the initial consultation, thanks to the Zero fee guarantee. Under this policy, our lawyers wait till the end of your case to recover their expenses. At that point, it’s the optometrist’s office that’s paying our fees, not you. And if we don’t win your case, you owe us absolutely nothing, since we only get paid if you get paid.

If you’re ready to take action on a slip and fall injury claim, contact DTLA Law Group to schedule a free case evaluation.  


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