Did you know that one out of five falls result in serious injury, such as a broken bone or head trauma? In fact, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls lead to serious injuries. Over 2.5 million elderly people are taken to emergency rooms for treatment of fall-related injuries, and over 95 percent of hip fractures are caused from falls. Falls don’t just affect the elderly—many children and adults are involved in slip and fall accidents every year.
While there are many factors that can increase the risk of falling, such as vision problems and balance issues, many slip and fall accidents are caused by someone else’s negligence. If a slip and fall accident occurs on someone else’s property and it results in an injury, an injured victim may have a premises liability claim.
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
A premises liability claim is a legal claim for compensation for the injuries suffered because of the negligent maintenance, operation, or design of the land or building owned or possessed by someone other than the injured person. This can include injury claims that result from the following reasons:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Snow or ice
- Cracked or uneven ground
- Defects in the sidewalk or roadway
- Inadequate lighting around stairs or passageways
- Stairway accidents due to the lack of handrails
- Dangerous clutter on floors
- Exposed electric wiring
- Falling debris from overhead
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- School playground accidents
- Assaults due to inadequate security
- Exposure to asbestos
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- And much, much more
When slip and fall accidents occur from any of the reasons listed above, it is likely due to the failure or negligence of a person to take action in preventing such an accident. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their premises and make sure their properties are clear of dangerous conditions that could cause someone to suffer injuries. For example, if there is spilled liquid on the floor of a grocery store, a sign should be put up to warn customers of the hazardous condition. If cleanup doesn’t happen in a timely manner, or appropriate signs aren’t displayed to warn those approaching of the dangerous condition, businesses or property owners should be held responsible when injuries occur.
Sadly, many people become injured when they are involved in a slip and fall accident. While some may just suffer from the embarrassment of falling in front of strangers, others may suffer serious injuries that can have lifelong consequences.
Common Injuries Suffered in Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many types of injuries that can occur in a slip and fall accident. Some of the injury cases we handle include:
- Severe bruising and lacerations
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Hip fractures
- Internal injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
Whether you have suffered a minor injury or a catastrophic injury, you may have a claim for damages. This is why it is important to know what to do and not do after falling, so that you don’t make any mistakes that can hurt your potential claim.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
When people fall in public, they are typically embarrassed and try to get up off the floor as fast as possible in hopes that no one saw them fall. While this is a common reaction after falling in front of strangers, it is actually not the best move to make. However, the majority of slip and fall victims make crucial mistakes when handling their accidents, instead of protecting themselves and their futures. Because we want to help you protect yourself from long-term pain and financial hardship, we want you to know what the best steps to take. These steps include:
- Document the accident. Talk to people who saw you fall and take pictures of the hazardous condition. After a fall, dangerous conditions are often cleaned or repaired, and evidence disappears. If you have photographs showing the hazard and witnesses who are willing to testify, it will make it easier to establish liability in your case.
- File an incident report. If your fall occurred on the premises of a store or business, make sure you file a report with the manager or person responsible for taking incident reports. Even if you think your fall was insignificant, you will not know the extent of your injuries for some time. If the person or business refuses to let you fill out an incident report, notify the police. This is a very important step, as it can serve as evidence for your injury claim.
- Seek medical care. Many people underestimate their injuries or want to ignore their injuries in hopes that it won’t get worse; however, it is in your best interest to get a thorough medical examination as soon as possible following a slip and fall accident. Not only is it a good idea for your physical health, but it is wise for your potential legal case.
- Contact an experienced attorney to help you file an injury claim. Insurance companies can be ruthless when it comes to slip and fall settlements, especially if the victim seems unsure of his or her rights. An attorney who has experience in representing slip and fall accident victims will make sure you are not taken advantage of and that you get the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may have claims against multiple defendants including the property owner, property possessor, the designer of the property, and the state, city, or township in which the accident happened. When those responsible don’t take the appropriate steps to ensure people on their premises aren’t harmed, they may be the subject of a premises liability lawsuit.
Pursuing a legal claim can help you obtain the compensation that you need for your immediate injuries, such as your medical bills, as well as for your future losses including lost income, ongoing medical care, and pain and suffering. At Gibbons Legal, we work hard to get our clients compensation that will cover both their immediate and future needs. To find out how we have helped other slip and fall accident victims, please visit our case results page or check out testimonials from our other clients, and call us at 215-569-1455 to find out how we can help you.