When you slip (or trip) and fall, you may have the tendency to brush off any attention, instead thinking that you are all right and that you were just clumsy. Fall accident victims are often too embarrassed to request medical assistance, take photographs, or gather witness information at the scene.
Don't feel embarassed, you aren't aloneYou should not feel embarrassed if you fall as a result of the failure of someone else to keep their premises clean, safe, and well maintained. Businesses open to the public have a duty to provide a safe environment for their customers and anyone invited onto their property. Slip, trip, and fall accidents occur in many places, including grocery stores, shopping malls, businesses, resorts, apartments, hospitals, schools, and sidewalks or other public property. Oftentimes fall injuries can be quite serious causing hip or leg fractures and/or brain and head injuries depending on how you fall.
If you have fallen, you are not alone, more than 2.8 million adults visit emergency rooms in the United States each year and more than 800,000 are admitted to the hospital for extended periods, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Common causesOften slip, trip, and falls are caused by the property owner's failure in one of the following areas:
o Spilled or dropped substances that create slippery floors
o Cracked or uneven pavement
o Poor lighting
o Loose carpeting or other flooring
o Improperly placed or poorly maintained rugs
o Defects in railing protection, either having none or not keeping in good repair
If you are the victim of a slip and fall you must first ask yourself if you think the owner should have known about the condition: whether they may have created the condition or failed to remedy it, and whether or not they failed in warning you or correcting the dangerous condition. If your answer is yes, you likely have a strong claim for the injuries you have sustained.
The law governing slip, trip, and falls is called premises liability. It was created to encourage and ensure that property owners keep their locations safe for visitors and to provide recovery for victims when they fail to do so. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have been involved in a slip, trip, and fall incident. To be able to file a slip and fall claim, you need to show that:
1. The owner or renter of the property had an obligation to you to make the property safe (if they invited you in either directly or by being open to the public this answer is almost always yes);
2. They fell short in fulfilling that obligation (by one of the common causes above or some other reason); and,
3. You suffered harm as a result of the owner's actions.
The damages you are able to recovery are the same as in other negligence cases: lost wages, medical bills, future medical costs, property damage losses, and damages for pain, suffering and lost capacity for the enjoyment of life due to permanent injuries. If the injured individual is married, their spouse may also recover for the loss of support and consortium.