What could you do with $60 billion? Thats a lot of cash, and its also how much slip and fall injuries cost to be cared for every year in the United States.
When we slip and fall due to a slippery aisle in the grocery store or a patch of black ice in a parking lot, we can easily conclude that the fall was our fault. Not true! Many laws protect pedestrians and customers from the consequences of slip and fall incidents, and you are certainly not alone in your stumble.
Even more importantly, you should never draw the conclusion that you have no recourse when you slip and fall. You need to contact a qualified slip and fall attorney immediately and find out if you have grounds for legal action.
More and more people are discovering that they do indeed have a case to bring against a property owner due to their slip and fall, and more lawyers are helping people to get the compensation they need and deserve to pay for the injuries they suffered due to a slip and fall.
Here are a few other stunning numbers to prove to you once and for all that your slip was not rare and not due to you excessive clumsiness:
- More than one million Americans slip, trip and fall every year
- More than half of those who do slip and fall have injuries, with 300,000 of them disabling, at least temporarily
- Some of the one million falls have particularly grave consequences: more than 17,000 people die every year from slip and fall incidents.
- Slip, trip and fall injuries account for a whopping 15% of all job-related injuries
- Disabling slips, trips and falls cost businesses $11 billion annually in workmens compensation cases
Its true that many of the slip and fall incidents noted above take place in the home, but hundreds of thousands of others occur in public places, and many of those are due to conditions that could have and should have been corrected before someone fell.
These unsafe conditions for walking can occur in a supermarket or an apartment stairway. They also can be present at the workplace, where a surprisingly large number of slip and fall cases occur. In either a public setting or a workplace environment, you have the right to safe passage as you walk from one spot to another. That means that a good slip and fall lawyer can often secure compensation for your medical costs, as well as your pain and suffering. In extremely dire cases, a slip and fall attorney can also win compensation for the loss of a loved one.
Here are some of the leading contexts for slip and fall incidents, places where you need to be especially careful as you walk:
- Nursing homes, obviously, see a huge number of slip and fall incidents, but they too are liable if conditions can be proven to be unsafe in the building. One in three people over age 65 falls every year, and many of those are in nursing homes.
- According to many studies, the most likely place to slip and fall outside the home is the grocery?store, where workers are notorious for being slow to clean up spills and floors are cleaned and
- polished in a way that leaves unsafe residue and conditions. Nearly ? of all slip and fall accidents occur on level floors, not uneven surfaces.
- Restaurants are another place that can be hazardous for a customer. When spills are not cleaned up quickly, a ?customer can slip and fall easily. The same holds true for mall food courts,?another danger zone. In all, the food service industry shells out $2 billion per year to settle slip and fall cases.
- Clutter in a given area can easily lead to slips and trips, so in stairways or building entrances
- where people are working in construction or painting objects are often left in a pedestrians path. Apartment stairways and entrances are places where many slips and trips occur.
- Small changes in a floors elevation or uneven steps can cause many accidents. Torn or worn?carpeting in retail stores is a frequent culprit in slip and fall cases. Small step-ups must be clearly marked as well.
- Parking lots can be frequently hazardous as well, especially after inclement weather and freezing conditions. Uneven pavement and buckles in asphalt are common sources of trips and falls.
While some of us have probably laughed at video footage of a person slipping and falling, and the action has been a standard in cartoons for decades, theres nothing funny about the costs that can rapidly accumulate when a person trips and falls. In fact, the average cost to someone who slips and falls runs to nearly $23,000. Are you sure that your slip was your fault?
If not, contact a slip and fall attorney and begin to plan a strategy for pursuing your case. Public areas and property owners can be subject to what is called premises liability, meaning that they must provide a safe environment for all walkers on their property.
To get into the details of the law, you can win compensation for your slip and fall injury if it can be proven that: a) the business/property owner knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about it; b) the property owner failed to warn walkers on the property that a hazard existed. Business and property owners who are negligent about inspecting the premises or slow to fix obvious hazards are particularly susceptible to slip and fall lawsuits. A skilled slip and fall attorney will be able to determine whether or not a property owner was faithful to keeping the property in a safe condition for customers and clients.
A slip and fall lawyer will need to investigate whether the condition that caused your slip and fall was a temporary or permanent condition. For instance, snow, ice and other slipping hazards due to weather conditions are temporary, but uneven flooring, uneven steps and other structural problems can be classified as permanent conditions. If you fell due to a temporary hazardous condition, it must be proven that the property owner didnt act within a given timeframe that is deemed reasonable.
Obviously, this can be difficult to determine, but the legal standard is to discern how long a reasonable person would need to react to a temporary condition, such as a spill or icy patch.
As for permanent conditions, if the property owner has known about the hazard of torn carpeting in his showroom for months and that can be proven, you have an excellent shot at receiving compensation for injuries and other costs, including lost work time and pain and suffering.
You may be wrestling with one of several types of common injuries that result from slip and fall incidents, including:
? Broken and fractured bones
? Spinal injuries requiring surgery and physical therapy
? Sprained ankles, wrists, knees, necks and backs
? Bruises, scrapes and cuts
Some of these might not seem too serious, but they can lead to painful conditions later, such as concussions and back sprains, to name two. Let us help you get the compensation that you will need to pay your past, present and future medical bills as a result of your fall. Dont conclude that it was your fault and that your lack of coordination or attention was responsible.
Instead, understand that your fall could have been entirely due to a business owner being negligent about responding to an employees warning of the dangers of the step-up between the garage and office space, for instance. In other words, you fell because someone did not fix a problem that s/he knew about for a long time. If you are able to bring that problem to the publics attention through legal action, you are actually saving others from slipping, tripping and falling in the same spot.
Make sure that the guilt lies where it should. Your fall in the mall food court was not necessarily due to your distractedness. It could have been due to a poorly cleaned floor that had no warning signage. That means its time to contact a slip and fall lawyer and set the wheels in motion for justice to be done. A competent slip and fall attorney will review safety policies, inspection records, witness statements and other possible evidence to help you build your case?and get on with your life.