Slip and fall injuries are unfortunately not uncommon. On one hand, sometimes people slip and fall from no fault of another. On the other hand, there are situations where property owners are negligent in keeping their property safe and people are harmed because of it. Situations like a wet floor, improper maintenance, poor lighting and weather are all factors that raise the likeliness of a slip and fall injury.
A slip and fall incident becomes a legal matter when you get injured on another person’s property who has a legal responsibility to maintain a safe premises. You must prove that the owner knew about or should have known about the dangerous situation and did not make an effort to fix it. The negligence on behalf of the store owner caused your injury on their premises and had they taken proper safety precautions, the injury could have been avoided.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries – These injuries are unable to see with a naked eye but account for sprains and ligament tears. Although these injuries don’t often show immediate symptoms, if left untreated, these soft tissue injuries can become chronic.
Head Injuries – If you hit your head after a fall, even if you seem to be feeling okay, it’s encouraged to see a doctor to check on swelling, bleeding or minor concussions. In a severe case, one could experience a traumatic brain injury following a slip and fall incident.
Cuts – It’s common to have a few cuts or scrapes following a slip and fall accident. Some situations call for a topical cream to soothe the pain, whereas more severe falls could require stiches. A lot of times a cut or abrasion can show a physical marker of an injury deeper below the skin such as a broken bone.
Spinal Cord Injuries – A spinal cord injury is one of the most dangerous consequence following a slip and fall incident. These costly injuries occur when the spinal cord is compressed or severed and can be life threatening. One of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries are from slip and fall accidents.
Broken Bones – Breaking any bone in the body can be a painful and expensive experience requiring medical care and even surgeries.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries can happen anywhere if there is an unsafe condition. The National Floor Safety Institute found that 55% of all slip and fall accidents are due to dangerous walking surfaces. One example would be a wet floor that is freshly mopped or wax without posting a safety warning for visitors to acknowledge the dangerous situation. 80% of worker’s compensation claims are from employees getting injuries from falling on slippery floors. Another common cause for slip and fall injuries are due to an uneven surface in the ground like loose floorboards, torn carpets or a messy floor.
The last common cause of a slip and fall injury is any unsafe work zone. In 2016, over 48,000 workers were injured to the point of taking multiple days off work. In the same year, over 34,000 people died from falls at home and at work.
Results of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall cases are categorized under ‘personal injury’ lawsuits or on a broader scale, ‘premises liability’ lawsuits. These cases can take on many different forms and levels of severity, but the common denominator is an injured party holding a negligent party responsible for causing them harm on their property. Slip and fall injuries total between $13-$14 million year each in the United States. You have the right to pursue a slip and fall case if you were injured on someone else’s property who had a responsibility to keep their visitors safe, but was negligent in doing so.