What is a Slip & Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents are likely to occur when a person encounters a poorly maintained building or property. Patrons may get injured falling on handicap parking spots, poolsides, grocery stores, restaurants or simply properties littered with debris or other tripping hazards. Wet, icy or slick surfaces also increase the risk of a slip and fall injury.
These accidents fall under the general legal category of premises liability, where a problematic workplace, shopping mall or even private residence falls on the responsibility of the property owner. Statistics show that more than eight million emergency room visits annually are from slip and fall injuries, accounting for more than 20% of all visits, in addition to:
- Most traumatic brain injuries occurring as the result of a fall.
- Serious fall injuries costing $30,000 or more on average.
- Accounting for the majority of time lost from work.
- More than 800,000 adults over the age of 65 are hospitalized every year due to injuries from falls, mostly hip fractures or head injuries.
Types of Slip & Fall Injuries
A slip and fall can result in a number of different injuries, mild or severe, depending on where, when and how it occurs. Any of the following could be sustained as a result of an accidental fall:
- Soft tissue trauma, such as muscle strains, torn ligaments or sprained wrists.
- Head injuries, such as mild concussions or even traumatic brain injuries.
- Skin lacerations, such as cuts, scrapes or chemical burns.
- Spinal cord damage that could lead to chronic pain, partial or total paralysis.
- Bone fractures.
After experiencing a slip or trip and fall incident, your injuries may not be readily apparent. A bumped head or twisted wrist may feel minor at first, but it could eventually lead to a permanent disability. That is why you should immediately get checked out at an emergency room or your primary care physician’s office. Neglecting this crucial step will not only make your injuries worse, but also create difficulties if you choose to pursue damages due to a lack of records.
Proving a Slip & Fall Case
In addition to seeking medical attention, you should document the incident as well as possible immediately afterward. This should include:
- A detailed account of the accident which includes the location and any mitigating factors like poor weather conditions.
- Photos of the scene.
- Contact information from witnesses to gather accounts of what they saw.
It must be able to be proven, however, that your slip and fall accident was the result of a property owner or store owner’s negligence. If you simply fell in someone’s store, that does not necessarily mean that anyone will be found negligent. There had to have been an unsafe condition and proof that the defendant knew or should reasonably have known of that unsafe condition.
How Do I Sue a Company For a Slip & Fall?
In order to figure out how to sue the company where your slip and fall occurred, you should first determine who you can sue. This often depends on the nature of the claimed negligence that took place. The store owner owns the property, but many store owners lease their property, so you may also have a claim against the landlord or property owner.
If your accident occurred due to some structural issue with the building, such as a water leak, your claim would likely be against the landlord or property owner. However if you slipped because of something that the store owner or tenant did or didn’t do, such as a failure to post a warning on a newly waxed floor, your claim would be against the store owner.
A premises liability claim for a slip and fall incident becomes possible if hazardous conditions caused your fall. Contacting a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible may help injury victims that want to explore their options. At the law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we can handle the legal process so that you can physically and emotionally recover. Call today as the statute of limitations may apply and we want you and your family to recover the compensation that they deserve.