Slips and falls are some of the more common accidents to occur in the United States each day. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls amount to more than 8 million emergency room visits each year, accounting for 21.3% of all emergency room visits.
Slip and fall accidents refer to when a person slips or trips and falls on another person’s or business’s property and is injured as a result. When a slip and fall occurs on another person’s property, the circumstance may warrant legal action against the property owner if they failed to adequately address known hazards on their property that caused the injury.
Slip and fall lawsuits revolve around proving a property owner’s negligence in regard to property upkeep and maintenance, which led to an otherwise preventable injury on their property. The owner of the property may be found liable for not addressing certain floor-safety measures or not providing adequate warnings to people entering their property.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many hazardous conditions that can cause a person to fall and get injured. According to data collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), floors and flooring materials — such as carpets, runners, and tiles — directly contribute to more than 2 million fall-related injuries each year.
Slips and fall accidents can happen for many different reasons, but typically, these accidents occur on:
- Wet or freshly mopped floors
- Ice or snow-covered walkways that have not been properly cleared
- Cracked sidewalks or pavement
- Broken stairs or stairs with broken handrails
- Narrow or steep stairways
- Torn carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Construction sites
- Streets or roads with potholes
Falls can also result from inadequate lighting and holes in the floor or pavement, among other causes.
Common Slip & Fall Injuries
No matter the cause, slip and fall accidents can lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Around 600 deaths occur each year just in workplace-related slip and fall accidents.
Common injuries from slipping and falling include:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Concussions and head injuries
- Sprained or torn ligaments
- Joint/bone dislocations
- Spinal injuries
Slip and fall accidents have a wide range of consequences from moderate to severe injuries, temporary or permanent disabilities, long-term medical complications, or even death.
If you were injured slipping and falling, reach out to Sokolove Law to see if you have a case today. From our humble beginnings in Massachusetts, and subsequent expansion into New Hampshire and Rhode Island, our law firm now has over 40 years of experience handling personal injury cases all across the United States.
What to Do When You Slip and Fall
If you experience a slip and fall accident, you may have many questions, starting with “what should I do next?” The following is a step-by-step guide on what you should do after you slip and fall.
- Get Help: In serious cases, your first move should be to immediately address any concerns relating to your health. If you’re hurt, get help first, and if necessary, call 9-1-1. If there are people around you or nearby, you may be able to have them call for medical help if you’re unable to. Calling 9-1-1 can also be important for documenting the incident for your claim, since all 9-1-1 calls are recorded.
- Speak With the Property Owner: After any kind of slip and fall accident, be sure to get in touch with the owner of the property as soon as you can, so the incident is acknowledged and registered. When you speak to the property or business owner, take note of their response and request that they produce a written report of the incident. Ask for a copy of their written report for your fall claim records.
- Document the Incident: With the ability to capture images on smartphones and handheld cameras, it’s important to take photos of the scene where the accident occurred, including images of the cause of your fall. In addition, if you’re well enough to do so, collecting the names and contact information from anyone who witnessed your fall can prove invaluable if you decide to pursue legal action for any injuries you’ve sustained.
- Contact an Experienced Attorney: If you slipped and fell on another person’s property and were injured as a result, it may be in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Sokolove Law has over 40 years of experience handling personal injury claims. Get a free consultation today if you were hurt by falling on someone else’s property.
Premises liability in a slip and fall accident can be difficult to prove, which is why it’s important to take copious notes and work with an experienced slip and fall attorney who has years — or decades — of practice.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident and do not believe you are at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for your injury (or injuries) out-of-pocket. Get a free review today to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
How Do Slip and Fall Cases Work?
Legally, slip and fall cases fall into the category of premises liability, meaning the owner of the property has the legal responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals who lawfully enter their property.
Slip and fall cases work by determining the degree to which the:
- Property owner made concerted efforts to address any potential hazards on their property
- Individual who fell was careless or absent-minded in attempting to avoid any obvious walking hazards
In any and all slip and fall cases, the victim must have sustained a bodily injury.
In a slip and fall case, the victim’s legal team must prove that the property owner:
- Created a dangerous condition that ultimately led to the victim’s slip and fall accident
- Knew of the hazard ahead of time but failed to address it
- Had a long enough time to have noticed and addressed the issue
Have you or a loved one suffered an injury from slipping and falling? Sokolove Law offers free legal case reviews that can help you see if you have a potential case slip and fall lawsuit.
Slip and Fall Settlements
After a slip and fall lawsuit is filed on behalf of the injured party, the case is then brought to the discovery phase, when both the victim’s legal representatives and the property owner’s legal representatives produce and examine evidence and testimony.
Many slip and fall lawsuits end in a settlement, which means the case will not proceed to a formal trial before a judge and jury. Instead, both parties agree on an amount of compensation to be given to the injured party for their injuries.
Settlement amounts will vary and are reliant upon a number of factors, including the:
- Degree to which the property owner or landlord was found responsible for creating a dangerous condition
- Extent of the injuries suffered by the slip and fall victim
- Total amount of medical costs needed to treat the injury
- Victim’s pain and suffering
Additional factors to those listed above will also be considered in calculating the total sum to be awarded to the victim.
How Long After a Slip and Fall Can You Sue?
Generally speaking, it’s always best to file a lawsuit as soon as possible after an injury — before it’s too late. The reason for this is due to state-level laws known as statutes of limitations.
Statutes of limitations determine precisely how much time a victim has to file a legal claim for their injuries. The statute of limitations will vary from state-to-state, but they rarely exceed a period of 1-3 years for slip and fall accidents.
With very rare exceptions, once the time limit is up, a victim is barred from pursuing any legal recourse for their injuries forever. This is one of the reasons why victims are encouraged to contact an attorney as quickly after an injury as they can.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Not all slip and fall accidents are your fault. Sometimes, the person responsible could be the owner of the property where your fall occurred.
If you believe the injuries you sustained as a result of your fall were due to preventable hazards, it’s important to consider taking legal action. No one should have to pay for such injuries out-of-pocket — and a slip and fall accident lawsuit can provide much-needed financial relief when medical bills and missed work start to add up.
At Sokolove Law, we have been representing everyday Americans who have injured themselves in slip and fall accidents for over 40 years. Our experienced legal team knows the ins and outs of premises liability and may be able to assist you in your situation.
To learn more, contact us today. You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured in a slip and fall accident. If we are able to assist you, we will be in touch within 24 hours.
Slip and Fall Accident FAQ
Should I sue for a slip and fall?
The decision of whether or not you should file a slip and fall lawsuit is entirely up to you. If you believe that your slip and fall accident was not your fault and that the owner of the property where the accident took place is to blame, it’s generally advised that you seek legal representation for any injuries you sustained.
Treating injuries can be expensive, especially those that are severe, ongoing, or permanent. Depending on the extent of your injuries, it may make sense to seek compensation that can help cover medical costs, among other things.
Another reason why victims might sue for a slip and fall injury is that a single lawsuit can have the power to prevent future slip and fall injuries from occurring on the same property.
How do you prove a slip and fall case?
Simply put, proving liability in a slip and fall case comes down to whether or not the property owner knowingly created or avoided addressing a dangerous condition on their property.
If the slip and fall victim’s legal representatives can prove liability, then compensation can be awarded to the victim for their injuries.
Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident?
Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident largely depends on whether the property owner failed to address any known dangerous conditions on their premises. If it’s proven that the property owner knew of a hazard but didn’t address it, they may be found responsible for your injury.
How are slip and fall settlement payouts calculated?
While there is no definitive measure for determining the exact value of slip and fall payout, any settlement must be agreed upon by both the plaintiff, or the injured party, and the defendant(s), or the property owner allegedly responsible.
Typically, a slip and fall settlement amount will take into account the extent to which the property owner was deemed liable for the accident, the victim’s injuries, and any health care or medical-related costs associated with the slip and fall accident.
How long do you have to go to the doctor after a slip and fall?
After any slip and fall accident, whether it resulted in minor or severe injuries, it’s recommended to seek medical attention. Not all injuries are obvious or visible at first, and only a doctor will know which tests to order (if any) and how to treat a slip-and-fall-related injury.
If you are considering legal action for your slip and fall accident, it’s also beneficial for the strength of your case to see a doctor, so that any injuries are documented and put on permanent record.