Sometimes accidents happen, and fall injuries can be the result of negligence or personal error. When you have been seriously injured due to a slip-and-fall event, you deserve justice. Most of these types of accidents occur due to negligence in a commercial setting. For example, you visit a store and slip in an unmarked area that is being cleaned. There are even situations where falling in a marked area can be a result of negligence. If you are wondering if you have grounds for a legal case, keep reading.
It makes sense to have an attorney review your case if you have been injured due to a slip-and-fall. Time is of the essence, so be sure to schedule a consultation before too many days pass by. It can also be helpful to write down everything that you remember about the incident and ask the same of anyone who was with you or witnessed the incident. There’s no need to feel guilty or wonder if the whole experience was your own fault. Let an attorney review the situation and advise you once they have the facts.
Even if you feel that your injuries are mild, you will still need to seek a medical exam. Falling and losing your feet can cause you to hit your head, sprain an ankle, or even break your wrist. Falls can also cause soft tissue injuries that may not be immediately apparent. We advise everyone to get an exam after any major fall.
ABCs of slip-and-fall accidents
The most common slip-and-fall accidents occur when a store or office is cleaning the floor area in a public space. Water and cleaning materials can make walking surfaces slick, and accidents often occur. The situation can be made even worse if there is no signage or any type of warning that the floor may be wet, slippery, and dangerous.
You are walking around minding your own business when out of nowhere your feet slide out from under you. This can be a very unsettling experience, to say the least! Older people who may not be as steady on their feet as they once were are especially susceptible to serious injury from these types of falls. The owners and managers of commercial spaces are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. Yes, common sense is expected from everyone, but customers can’t protect themselves from situations that they are unaware of.
Common locations of slip-and-fall accidents:
- Grocery stores
- Doctors’ and dentists’ offices
- Workplace / Places of employment
- Construction sites
- Airports and other transportation centers
- Other retail areas
- Other offices and commercial/public areas
This is a limited list of locations where this type of accident occurs. It is by no means exhaustive and your accident may have taken place in a different type of location. Wherever it may have occurred, you deserve justice for any accident that happened because of someone else’s negligence.
Slip-and-fall accidents that occur in the workplace
Being injured on the job can create very stressful situations. You may worry that you will be penalized for reporting an injury, or for taking time off of work. These are legitimate concerns. However, any accident should be reported and medical attention should be sought. Don’t feel that because your fall happened at work that you should just forget about it.
Worker’s compensation claims due to slip-and-falls may be more common than you think. Many offices, warehouses, production factories, and other workplaces can experience a high number of accidents. There is no reason to suffer in silence. Your case may be more involved and a bit trickier than most because your injuries were sustained at work, but that is beside the point.
Don’t let your employer try to convince you to “suck it up” and continue working if you have been injured. Speak to your Human Resources Officer and determine the protocol that you will need to follow. Be sure to reach out to this person right away, as any missteps during this time period can and most likely will affect your case.
There is likely a specific doctor that is approved by your company that you will need to see. If you work in an injury-prone industry, your worksite may have a doctor or other medical personnel on-site. Be sure that you inquire who you should see for your medical exam before you call or visit your own doctor.
Again, making a detailed, written account of the mishap while the events are still fresh in your memory is a great thing to do. You may forget important pieces of the situation as time goes by, and that can potentially have a negative effect on your case. Our legal team is here to help you receive justice for your injuries, even if they did occur in the workplace.
Common injuries that result from slip-and-fall accidents
When you slip and fall, the most common injuries that are sustained relate to the back, shoulders, and head. Ankle and knee injuries are also quite common. In fact, while neck and back injuries are some of the most common injury areas, you can sustain injury to any part of your body due to these types of falls. One common body part that is affected is soft tissue areas. The neck and shoulders are two of the soft tissue areas that are most susceptible to injury.
Soft tissue injuries can be difficult for some people to deal with. Primarily, this is because the injury may not show any symptoms for a day or two. You may have a fall, get up, feel a little startled and woozy, then carry on with your day. And then, the next day or two later, you may wake up and be unable to move your neck. This is not an exaggeration! Injuries such as whiplash can take some time for the symptoms to appear.
Concussions are another area of concern when it comes to falls. This type of injury may not be readily noticeable. You may go home feeling fine and then discover that you have a serious head injury. If you have a concussion that goes untreated, it can often lead to more serious injuries and complications. Anytime you hit your head on a hard surface, it is advisable to go for a medical exam. Don’t try to “tough it out” and power through a head injury. A doctor will need to take a look at you and you may even need a diagnostic test such as an MRI. Head injuries can turn serious quite quickly and are not something that should be ignored. Even if you feel fine immediately after your fall, it makes sense to go and get checked out, just to be sure you haven’t sustained any internal head injuries. Your doctor can then advise you on how best to proceed with any medical care.
Because of the way that soft tissue injuries present themselves, it is always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor after any fall. Of course, if you fall and break your wrist or ankle, you will know right away that you have a serious injury! The point of this discussion is to relay to you the importance of medical attention. Even if you go and get checked out and nothing is wrong, you will be better off. You will also want documentation of the incident and how it affected your body if other medical problems should arise in the future.
This is not meant to scare or frighten you, but our intention is to relay the potential seriousness of the injuries that can be sustained due to this type of fall. Simply get checked out if you have a fall that knocks you to your feet. A thorough medical exam can reveal if you need further medical care. Another advantage of seeking an exam right away is that you won’t injure yourself further.
Who is responsible?
The answer to this question is often one that the courts must decide. But in general terms, if you slip and take a tumble due to someone else’s negligence, they are responsible for your injuries. While it can take some time and investigation to determine the responsible party, an unsafe environment in a public space is often the fault of the commercial owner. Unfortunately, some people do blame their fall and subsequent injuries on themselves. They tell themselves that they’re just clumsy or accident-prone.
Even if you are a bit clumsy, you can’t be held responsible for falling in an unsafe and unmarked area. For example, if a store has just waxed their floors and they are still quite slick and the area is unmarked, you would have no idea to take extra care while walking in the area. Similarly, if you are not told that extra caution needs to be taken while navigating a certain route, it is unlikely that you could be held responsible for a fall or other injury.
Determining the responsibility of any injury-causing event is the crux of many legal cases. If you are uncertain who the responsibility holder is in your situation, it is worth your time to have a lawyer review the case. There are many different factors that can affect the outcome of your case. Having all of the facts reviewed by an attorney is a great first step in determining if you have a case.
Things aren’t always as cut and dry as they may first appear. For example, you would never know that the grocery store that you go to has a long-running problem with slip-and-fall accidents if your attorney doesn’t look into the matter. There are many factors in the background that can affect your case and you may not be aware of many of them.
Do you have a viable slip-and-fall case?
Many people don’t believe that their accident warrants a legal case. While you may think that your fall injuries are your own fault, that may not be the case. Negligence can take many forms, and it always makes sense to consult with an attorney, even if you decide not to move forward with a case.
There are also people who don’t want to blame others or get anyone into trouble. While this is a noble approach to life, it is not always in your best interest to behave in this manner. For example, if you fall and are injured you may have to undergo significant medical care for which you are financially responsible. Why should you have to come out of pocket to pay for someone else’s mistakes? Their negligence will have a lasting and negative effect on your life.
This is not to say that financial compensation will relieve all of your woes. Injuries can have an effect on you for the rest of your life. While money will not make these problems go away, it can help to ease the burden. Medical care is expensive and the bills can pile up quite quickly. There is no reason for you to go into debt because of someone else’s actions. Don’t try to be noble when it comes to your future physical and financial health.
Experienced personal injury lawyers can help you determine if your injuries are the result of negligence and if you have a viable case. Even if you don’t decide to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party, speaking with a lawyer can help you better understand what happened and how you can move forward with your life.
If you have been involved in a slip-and-fall accident and aren’t sure if you should pursue a legal case, give us a call today. Our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to successfully represent clients that have experienced injury due to another party’s negligence.
Information to have ready before contacting your lawyer:
- The date and time of the incident
- Name of the premises and the business owners names and contact information, if available
- Names and contact information of anyone with you or any witnesses who saw you fall
- Name and contact information from your doctor or other medical professionals who treated your injuries
- Medical diagnoses relating to injuries sustained from the fall
- Records of any missed work or work limitations related to your injuries
- Photos of the location where the incident took place
Slip-and-fall accidents may sound like a mild problem, but they can cause serious injury. Don’t delay in seeking legal counsel if you have been injured. You don’t have to live with the injuries that you sustained and suffer the financial distress that medical bills can cause. Our team will work hard to get you the justice you deserve.