Fall injuries are the leading cause of hospital emergency room visits. Each year, more than one of every four older adults will suffer a fall and about 800,000 patients are admitted to hospitals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and the third leading cause of death from unintentional injuries, the CDC reports. Falls can cause severe injuries at any age, including hip fractures, back injuries and head injuries, making it difficult to live independently.
If you’ve been injured in a slip (or trip) and fall accident on someone else’s property, it is important to understand your legal rights. Our attorneys have handled thousands of injury cases in 30 years and can explain your legal options. The property owner may be at fault and have an obligation to compensate you for your accident-related losses. You may be able to pursue legal action after a slip and fall at a retail store, shopping mall, hotel, restaurant, office building, or a public place, like a park or stadium.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a slip and fall, our skilled slip and fall attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost income and more. Contact us today for a free consultation about how a slip and fall lawyer at Becker Law Office can help you.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and fall injuries can happen almost anywhere. However, there are certain locations where fall injuries commonly occur. They include:
Hotels / Motels
Theaters / Arenas / Stadiums
A slip and fall accident victim can take legal action against the property owner or against the renter occupying the property if this owner or renter was negligent about fixing a property hazard in a timely fashion or failed to adequately warn of a hazard that could not be repaired right away.
Businesses and homeowners have liability insurance to cover these kinds of accidents. Our fall injury attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to seek compensation for your losses. You should not hesitate to talk with a personal injury attorney because you are concerned about suing a neighbor or local store owner. Any compensation you receive will not come out of their pocket. It will come from an insurance settlement.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
When you are at someone’s property or out in public, certain factors increase your chances of slipping and falling.
Common reasons for slip and fall accidents include:
Wet and slippery floors
Icy and snow
Damaged floors and stairs
Ditches and potholes
Abrupt changes in walking surfaces
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
When you are hurt in a slip and fall accident, the amount of money you can recover from the party responsible for the accident will vary in part depending upon how badly you were hurt, whether the individual was fully or partly at fault and the insurance policies available.
Common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents include:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Spinal cord injury
Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
Slip and fall injuries can have serious consequences and you may be forced to undergo lengthy and expensive medical treatments and rehabilitation. Your ability to work may be affected, and you may experience ongoing pain.
The law allows you to be “made whole” for injuries and losses caused by another’s carelessness or disregard for safety. You can seek compensation for all of the costs and consequences of fall accidents, including medical bills, lost income/wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. If the fall caused fatal injury, then the surviving family members can claim compensation for loss of companionship and other wrongful death damages.
Taking Legal Action After a Slip and Fall
When you are injured in a serious slip and fall accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the person who owned the property or who was renting and responsible for the maintenance on the property.
To bring a successful slip and fall claim, you need to show that:
- Your injuries resulted from a fall on the defendant’s property.
- The property owner or renter had a legal obligation to you to make the property safe. This means you had a legal right to be on the property, and were not a trespasser.
- The owner fell short in fulfilling that obligation
- You suffered harm as a result of the owner’s negligence.
Another factor to keep in mind is what is known as the open and obvious rule. This refers to a danger that a reasonable person would recognize and avoid, such as an open construction pit. The law assumes that a reasonable person would avoid an open and obvious danger.
In addition, Kentucky, Indiana and other states observe the doctrine of “contributory negligence,” which says that compensation, or “damages,” in a personal injury claim may be reduced if the injured person’s own actions contributed to the accident.
For example, if you climbed over a safety barrier, such as a fence or wall, to look at some kind of a drop-off and fell, then you may not have a valid claim. If you were staring at your phone when you entered an office lobby with freshly mopped floors and slipped and fell, your inattention might adversely affect the amount of damages you could recover in a claim.
Proving a slip and fall case can be complicated, but if you were seriously hurt on someone else’s property, you should explore the potential to make a claim. The slip and fall attorneys at Becker Law Office will review the details of your accident and discuss your options for pursuing a claim.
You should contact Becker Law Office as soon as possible after a fall on someone else’s property that results in a significant injury. We can get to work right away and preserve evidence from the accident scene to support your claim.
There are the steps you can take to protect your rights after a fall, including: