Slip-and-fall accidents may occur in a variety of places including along a public roadway, a supermarket, a place of business or in a nursing home. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls account for more than 8 million emergency room visits each year. Slip-and-fall accidents account for over 1 million emergency room visits annually. Slip-and-fall accidents are often the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and falls account for about half of all accidental deaths in the home. Falls are particularly dangerous for the elderly. Approximately one out of every three elderly people over the age of 65 will take a fall this year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.8 million people over the age of 65 are treated in an emergency room for fall-related injuries each year.
Types of Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Many slip-and-fall accidents result in painful ankle and wrist sprains and strains. If the victim strikes the ground or other hard surface, he or she can suffer devastating bone fractures or even a traumatic brain injury. Bone fractures, although they may not be life-threatening, can result in expensive medical bills, physical therapy costs, loss of wages due to time spent away from work recovering, and tremendous pain and suffering. For the elderly, hip fractures can result in a considerable decrease and decline in quality of life. In serious cases, victims may never be able to regain the strength and mobility they had prior to the accident. These types of falls can also result in debilitating neck and back injuries that can leave a victim with long-term chronic pain.
Liability Issues in Slip-and-Fall Accidents
When a dangerous walking surface contributes to a slip-and-fall accident, it may be possible to hold the property owner responsible for the incident. It is the legal responsibility of all property owners to keep their premises safe. This includes posting “slippery floor” signs near spills, repairing broken steps and placing warning cones, tape or signage around particularly dangerous locations. A property owner cannot be held liable for every incident that occurs on his or her premises. In order to prove fault, the victim will have to show that the property owner knew about the hazardous conditions and failed to act in a reasonable manner to repair the dangerous condition or prevent the accident from occurring.
Steps to Take after a Slip-and-Fall Accident
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, it is important that you act quickly to protect your rights:
- Call for help and notify the authorities.
- File an incident report with the property manager.
- Take photos of the hazardous condition that caused the fall.
- Photograph your injuries as well.
- Collect the contact information from the property manager as well as from anyone who may have witnessed the fall.
- Write down specific details regarding when and how the fall occurred.
- Seek out medical attention immediately to document the injuries and increase your chances of a full recovery.
- Discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced slip-and-fall attorney before accepting a settlement from an insurance provider or signing any type of agreement.
Please call our firm today at (480) 818-4855 or use the “Quick Contact” form to the right to set up a free consultation where we can discuss your rights. Our team is prepared to review your case and help you take the legal actions needed to hold the responsible parties accountable.