Slip and fall injuries occur fairly often and can happen at any place. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over one million Americans suffer a slip and fall accident each year. The Center estimates that 25 percent of people involved in these accidents suffer moderate to severe injuries. Another report by National Safety Council states that slip and fall injuries are the second leading cause of unintended death in the United States.
What causes slip and fall injuries?
Wet and uneven surfaces cause over 55% of slip and fall injuries. This includes cluttered floors, loose floorboards, parking lot potholes, defective sidewalks, waxed floors, and torn carpets. Weather-related conditions are another common cause of slips and injuries. Conditions such as snow, rain, and ice can make the surface slippery, increasing the risk of slip and fall accidents. Although it is difficult to control the weather, it is the responsibility of property owners to ice walkways and remove snow. Slip and fall injuries in the construction industry are mainly caused by improper training of the employees. The employer’s responsibility is to ensure all people on a construction site have sufficient training on using site tools and equipment. Slip and fall accidents can also occur in hospitals and nursing homes, where nurses and ward administrators neglect to care for the vulnerable. This can result in severe injuries, especially in the elderly, who suffer the most from these injuries. Other causes of these accidents include poor lighting, broken or damaged handrails, and unsafe ladders and stairs.
Slip and fall accidents are mostly preventable. The property owner should take precautionary measures to ensure that guests and visitors are safe on their premises. Therefore, in most cases, the owner is held liable if an accident happens on their property.
Steps to follow after slip and fall accident
Slip and fall accidents can be fatal, and therefore, the first and most crucial step is to seek medical attention. The doctor not only attends to your wounds but provides an expert record of your injuries. Seeking medical attention immediately also proves the timing of your injuries. The next step is to inspect the area where the accident occurred. Try to identify or rather figure out the main cause of the accident and what the property owner might have neglected. Take enough photographs of the scene that will prove your case before the jury. Make an official report of the accident with the property owner. This prevents the property owner from disputing or denying that the accident occurred. The report should also be made as soon as possible to avoid the property owner claiming that you took the accident lightly. It would be best if you also took statements from witnesses who will testify on your behalf. The statements should be as detailed as possible to help you prove your case and prevent the defendant from denying your side of the story. Slip and fall injury claims can be a bit tricky. The defendant will try as much as possible to give you unfair compensation. They might try to negotiate with you, in which case they might win. Working with an experienced lawyer for slip and fall is the best option in such cases. The lawyer will handle all negotiations, offer you strategies and guide you through all the processes involved and ensure you get the compensation you truly deserve.
It is not always okay to assume that slip and fall accidents are your fault. Property owners are required by law to provide a safe environment for all people. If you fall victim to slip and fall injury, you are required to follow the above steps and file a claim. The claim mainly involves verification and documentation. An experienced and qualified lawyer specializing in slip and fall injuries can help make the whole process smooth and maximize your recovery.