Have You Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Free Legal Advice
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability accidents, and if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for compensation. When you slip and fall or trip and fall due to unsafe surface conditions, such as wet floors, you may become seriously injured. If this surface was made unsafe by another party’s negligence or carelessness, you may be entitled to damages for your slip and fall injury. If you lawfully entered a property, the owner of a property has a responsibility to provide safe conditions for people. The owner of a property is responsible for a slip-and-fall accident if he/she could have or should have fixed the problem and failed to do so, such as putting up a wet floor sign after mopping to warn shoppers.
If you were injured in a similar situation, a slip and fall lawyer will look into how long the unsafe premises remained in that condition to see if the owner could have reasonably had enough time to fix the situation. If the owner had plenty of time and failed to do so, the owner may be held liable for negligence. Common slip-and-fall accidents result in head injuries, back strain, broken bones, or sprained joints.
What are the Statistics on Slip and Fall Accidents?
Any place of business or even home is subject to rules and regulations regarding its upkeep and the safety standards the property must meet. Some common reasons for slip and fall or trip and fall accidents occur as a result of wet floors, holes or unintentional cracks in sidewalks, broken steps, and torn carpets.
Let’s go over some important slip and fall-related statistics from the Centers for Disease Control:
- Each year, over one million people go to the emergency room for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident.
- Falls are the most common causes of both brain injuries and hip fractures.
- Medical bills incurred as a result of slip and fall injuries cost around $34 billion annually.
- Only 2% of personal injury cases go to trial.
- On average, 17,000 people die each year as a result of slip, trip, and fall injuries, likely because falls often lead to brain injuries.
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries make up about 15% of job-related injuries, and 12%-15% of workers’ compensation expenses.
- In the United States, accidental falls account for 19,565 deaths yearly.
- Nursing home residents account for 20% of all deaths resulting from falls in people 65 years or older.
Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
The litigation process for slip and fall accidents is generally straightforward. It involves tracking the unsafe condition back to the person responsible for allowing it to exist and persist. The general rule of thumb is that the party responsible for allowing unsafe or defective conditions to persist on their premises is liable for damages incurred from slip and fall accidents which occur as a result, especially if they were aware of the condition and did not take steps to rectify it or adequately warn visitors/residents. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are several parties who may be involved in your particular case. These may include:
- Property owner/landlord. Regardless of whether you work for the owner of a property or a landlord, or if you are a non-employee injured in a slip and fall accident on the premises, it is the responsibility of the property owner/landlord to ensure their property is following safety guidelines and addressing potential dangers immediately through repair and adequate warning to their visitors and residents. Failing to do so could make them liable for any damages which occur as a result of a slip and fall which could have been avoided with proper attention to risk.
- Property manager. If a property manager fails to repair a potential danger on the property they are responsible for, and a slip and fall accident occurs resulting in a resident/visitor injury, they may be held liable for resulting damages.
- Employer. Employers are required to ensure safe working conditions and protocols for their employees. This includes providing adequate personal protective equipment as well as ensuring a reasonable degree of safeguards to ensure an employee is not injured by an avoidable slip and fall on the job. If an employer fails to do so, through intentional neglect or otherwise, they can be held liable for any resulting harm to their employees.
- Another tenant. Another tenant of the premises may be liable, especially if the slip and fall accident occurred in a shared or common space on the premises, where another tenant may have created an unsafe situation and failed to correct or warn appropriate parties, resulting in a slip and fall for another resident or visitor who is injured as a result.
- Maintenance provider. If a provider hired to perform maintenance on the element of a premises in question fails to properly repair the element, they could be held partially or fully liable for a slip and fall.
- Government entity. Government fault may exist when the premises on which a slip and fall accident occurs belongs to a government entity, and even occasionally when the accident occurs on a public, government-owned and managed road, in which case the responsibility to ensure safe conditions lies with that entity and they can be held liable for any damages which occur due negligence.
- Private organization. When a private organization or commercial facility fails to attend to or provide proper maintenance to repair a dangerous condition on their premises, they can be held liable for any damages which occur as the result of a slip and fall accident.
Do You Have a Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries due to a slip and fall accident, your personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a slip and fall may include: incapacitation; broken bones and/or fractures; head, neck, or back trauma; spinal cord injury; brain injury; long-term medical complications; internal bleeding; paralysis; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a slip and fall accident victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care. Workers’ compensation may also be claimed when the accident occurred at work.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you were injured by a slip and fall or trip and fall accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, you need to contact a personal injury attorney before the statute of limitations ceases. The attorney should be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.