There’s no worse – or more helpless – feeling than when your feet suddenly come out from under you and you have no way of preventing a fall. The impact can be catastrophic, resulting in an injury that could require years of treatment. That treatment will obviously result in medical bills that could conceivably reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You don’t deserve to have to bear that financial burden on your own. The attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have a deep knowledge of slip and fall accident law, and we’re ready to put that to use for you. If we’re not successful, you won’t pay a dime. Call (561) 295-5825 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
Far too many people are injured in slip and fall accidents, many of which are completely preventable. Here are just a few quick facts that you might find surprising.
- Flooring materials, as well as floors themselves, result in more than 2 million slip and fall injuries every year.
- About 50% of all in-home accidental deaths are due to falling.
- While more women suffer falls, fatalities are basically evenly split between men and women.
- Nearly 25% of slip and fall injuries result in people missing more than a month of work.
- Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, accounting for more than 8 million each year.
Where do Slip and Fall Injuries Occur?
Slip and fall injuries can occur in any location where there is a surface that is slippery or uneven, and where people walk or pass through. Some common places where slip and fall injuries occur include:
- Sidewalks and walkways. These areas can become slippery due to wet or icy conditions, or due to debris or other obstacles on the ground.
- Stairs and steps. Stairs and steps can be dangerous if they’re slippery, or in disrepair.
- Parking lots and garages. These areas can become slippery due to oil, water, or other substances on the ground, or due to uneven surfaces or potholes.
- Grocery stores and other retail establishments. Grocery stores in particular are notorious for having wet floors, especially in areas where produce or other wet items are sold.
- Workplaces. Slip and fall injuries can occur in any workplace, especially in areas where there is a risk of spills or other hazards on the ground.
Hazards that Cause Injury
There are many hazards that can cause a slip and fall injury. Some common hazards include:
- Wet or slippery surfaces – Water, oil, soap, or other substances can create a slippery surface that is difficult to walk on, especially if they’re not promptly cleaned up.
- Uneven surfaces – Potholes, raised or lowered areas, or other irregularities in the surface of a floor or walkway can cause someone to trip and fall.
- Clutter – These include objects left on the floor, such as boxes, toys, or other debris.
- Poor lighting – This can make it almost impossible to see hazards on the ground or to navigate around them.
- Stairs or steps – Stairs or steps that are slippery or in disrepair can be dangerous, especially if they are not properly marked or have inadequate handrails.
Who’s Liable for an Accident?
Liability for a slip and fall accident depends on the specific circumstances of the accident and the laws of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.
In general, the owner or occupier of the property where the accident occurred may face liability if they were negligent in maintaining the property, or failed to warn of any hazards that may have caused the accident.
For example, if a store owner fails to clean up a spill in a timely manner and a customer slips and falls as a result, the store owner may be liable for the customer’s injuries. Similarly, if a landlord fails to repair a broken step or handrail and a tenant falls as a result, the landlord may be liable for the tenant’s injuries.
Steps to Take After a Slip or Fall
If you have been involved in a slip or fall accident, there are several steps you should take to protect your health and your legal rights. These steps include:
- Get medical attention – If you are injured, it is important to see a doctor immediately. Even if you don’t think you’re that badly hurt, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure that you haven’t sustained any internal injuries or other serious injuries.
- Document the accident – If possible, use your phone to take videos or pictures of where the accident took place, including any hazards that may have caused your fall. Also, make a note of any witnesses and get their contact information.
- Report the accident – If the accident occurred in a public place, such as a store or other business, or if it occurred on someone else’s property, be sure to report the accident to the owner or manager. If the accident occurred at work, report it to your supervisor or the human resources department.
- Contact an attorney – You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
In a slip and fall case, the types of damages you may be able to recover will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the laws of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. In general, however, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses – These include the cost of any medical treatment you received as a result of the accident, including hospital stays, surgery, medications, physical therapy, and others.
- Lost wages – If you missed work as a result of your injuries, you may be able to recover the wages you lost during that time, as well as wages you may lose in the future if you can’t work.
- Pain and suffering – You may also be able to obtain compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.