Slip and falls are consistently among the most common causes of accidental injury in the United States. These incidents have the potential to leave victims with extremely serious injuries. This is particularly true for people who are already at risk of injury, such as older adults or very young children, but they can also cause problems for otherwise healthy adults. Most people think of slip and fall incidents occurring during the winter months. However, many falls occur during the warmer months as people are out and about enjoying the warm weather from the early morning through the late evening.
Some of the more common injuries caused by slips, trips and falls include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, dislocations, broken bones, and various soft tissue injuries. In cases where these injuries are exceptionally severe, victims can develop disabilities or medical problems that they will deal with for the rest of their lives. For this reason, it is critical that people who are injured in a slip and fall accident do everything possible to protect their legal rights and recover the compensation they deserve.
Was Your Accident Caused by Negligence?
Under the basic principles of personal injury law, accident victims can often recover compensation for their losses if they can show that their accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. While there are slight variations from state to state, negligence refers to an instance in which a person or entity fails to conduct him, her or itself with the degree of care that would ordinarily be exercised in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a driver that speeds or runs a red light and hits another vehicle or pedestrian would likely be deemed negligent in these incidences.
In the context of slip and fall cases, negligence may involve an individual, business, or other entity that was responsible for the maintenance of the property on which the slip, trip or fall took place. Some of the more common examples of negligence that can cause slip fall accidents include the following: inadequate lighting, wet floors, uneven stairs, potholes, slippery flooring, stairwells without handrails, cracked pavement, and in the winter time, accumulations of snow or ice.
Negligence is Fact-Dependent
The mere existence of one of the above conditions does not always mean that the property owner was negligent. For example, if a liquid spill is clearly marked immediately after the spill, but you choose to walk through the area anyway and hurt yourself, it unlikely that you will be able to recover compensation. However, in the instance of a liquid spill that has been on the floor of a supermarket for a while and there was no sign warning about the spill, you likely would be able to pursue financial compensation as a result of any injuries you sustained if you slipped on that liquid.
Of course, many slip and fall cases are much more ambiguous than these examples, and whether negligence occurred could be open to disagreement. When this occurs, an experienced attorney can have a significant impact on the way your case is resolved. Therefore, if you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident and you suspect that it was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced slip and fall accident attorney to determine your rights.