Slip, Trip, Fall – Personal Injury Protection
From babies to children to adulthood, everyone has slipped, tripped and fallen. Often, a slip and fall or trip and fall are purely accidents due to clumsiness, inattention, or rushing. Other times, it may be due to the negligence of the property owner, manager, or staff. When a serious injury is the outcome of a slip and fall accident, determining where the responsibility lies can be a difficult task and legally challenging.
Protection from personal injuries like slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents is a two-way street. Practicing personal cautiousness and avoiding risky situations keeps people safe. Proper signage, regular maintenance, and prompt attention to safety hazards by property owners and managers also keeps people safe. If either party is negligent in their duties, an accident may happen and legal action may be necessary.
“’Slip and fall’ is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips or trips and is injured on someone else’s property,” according to FindLaw.com. When this occurs, the property owner or manager may be legally responsible.
Legal reference site HG.org asserts, “Despite the reference to “slip,” this area of law covers any accident results from the victim encountering an unsafe condition underfoot, whether it produces a stumble, overextension, twist or other movement.”
If you or a loved one have experienced a slip and fall accident, our personal injury lawyers understand insurance systems and the legal system well. Lepley, Engelman, Yaw and Wilk Attorneys-at-Law, LLC offers free consultations for personal injury cases, like slip and fall accidents, and can provide guidance for you and your loved ones.
Slipped or Tripped? You’re Not Alone.
Falling accidents account for more than 8 million emergency room visits and prompt the most ER visits (21.3 percent).
Slip and fall accidents also top the list of workers’ compensation claims and compromise the most occupational injuries for people age 55 and older. A quarter of all workplace injuries are due to slips, trips and falls and in 2018, 27 percent of days away from work were related to slips, trips and falls.
Falling is the second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death, with more than 39,400 deaths in 2019 caused by fall accidents.
Falls are especially dangerous for older people. 3 million older people receive treatment for fall injuries in emergency rooms and 800,000 are hospitalized due to a fall injury each year. Sadly, fall death rates for older adults have grown by 30 percent from 2007 to 2016 – a significant increase. The incidence of falls goes up with each decade of life and older adults are more likely to break bones as the result of a fall. Keep in mind that age and health at the time of injury do not factor in from a legal standpoint.
Causes of Slips, Trips and Falls
A variety of dangerous or poorly maintained conditions may set the stage for a slip and fall accident. Poorly maintained flooring, awkward floor transitions, objects on stairs, spilled liquids or food, cracked or icy sidewalks, potholes – each of these situations may be direct causes of a slip and fall accident. Indirect causes like bad lighting or stairs without handrails may also cause a slip and fall accident.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), more than 2 million fall injuries each year happen because of floors and flooring materials.
Effects of a Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Accidents
Sometimes, slipping or tripping and falling results in a scrape or bruise that can be brushed off.
About one in five falls cause serious injuries though, such as a broken bone, back, shoulder or neck injury or head injury, according to the CDC. More than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling and a quarter of all spinal cord injuries are the result of a fall. Falls are also the most common cause of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries can be significant and cause long-term ramifications.
Recovering from a serious slip and fall accident generally requires extensive medical care and physical and/or occupational therapies to regain the best quality of life.
A Fall, An Injury – What to do Next
- Seek Medical Treatment without Delay
After a slip and fall accident, your health or the health of your loved one takes precedence. Immediately seek the care of a doctor to address current issues, prevent future complications, and ensure injuries are properly documented. Medical records will be important pieces of evidence should you seek compensation for your personal injury.
- Report Your Accident
Notify the owner of the property where you were injured. If you were injured at a business, ask the owner or manager for a written report that include details of the incident. Record the details you remember as well. Take photos of the site of your accident while you are there.
- Document All Details and Build a Case File
Each piece of information you obtain – like medical records, incident reports, your written account of the accident, medical bills, etc. – should be stored in a case file. Photograph your injuries and the exact location and, if possible, conditions that contributed to your injury. Place clothing and shoes you were wearing in a safe storage place as possible evidence. Be sure to also collect names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of potential witnesses.
- Decline Requests for Statements
Slip and fall accidents can be complicated and difficult to prove, so before you give a statement, post on social media or shoot off an email to the property owner, stop yourself. Do not assign blame or take blame. Instead, gather information and contact a slip and fall attorney. Anything you say or do may harm your case, so the guidance of a personal injury lawyer will be critically important.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Due to the complicated nature of slip and fall accidents, having a legal ally to guide, advise and fight for your best interest makes a significant difference. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania, like Lepley, Engelman, Yaw and Wilk, LLC, will be able to help you receive financial compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to the property owner’s negligence or irresponsibility.
After an injury, obtaining what you need to recover and heal is important. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer with expertise in personal injury law and insurance can help you recover a settlement that meets your needs.
Our personal injury attorneys, Douglas Engelman, David Wilk and Gary Black, have decades of experience in the field and have won substantial settlements for clients. Attorney Wilk also has more than a decade of insight into insurance company legal proceedings, as a former insurance company lawyer.
Our team cares about your experience and will fight for your best interest. Before you speak to insurance companies, contact Lepley, Engelman, Yaw and Wilk, LLC’s offices today.
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