Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common claims against commercial properties, cities and residences. These accidents fall under premises liability laws that determine the responsibilities that property owners have towards guests who enter their property.
All commercial property owners have a duty to make sure that their property is safe for others to use. This includes making sure that walkways are safe and clear of debris, that cracks and holes in pavement and flooring are repaired, and that rugs are secured so they will not move when stepped on and so many other instances.
Commercial property owners also have a responsibility to keep their property safe in different weather conditions. This includes making sure floors are dry, posting signs, floors are in good condition and there are no hazards for someone to be injured.
If you have slipped on private property or commercial property and were injured, you are encouraged to speak with a slip and fall attorney about your right to compensation.
Slip and Fall Accidents Result In Serious Injuries
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five falls result in a broken bone or traumatic head injury. More than 95 percent of all hip fractures are a result of falling, and over half of all falls result in an injury to the wrist, ankle, or tailbone. Additionally, people over 65 are more susceptible to falling and succumb to more serious injuries.
What To Do If You Have Been In A Slip And Fall Accident
The steps you take after a slip and fall accident could have an impact on your claim for compensation. If you have fallen on a property at you do not own, you are encouraged to take the following steps:
- Report Accident Immediately – You will want to notify the owner or management of the property that you have fallen and request that an official report is made. If possible, obtain a copy of the report at the time of the accident. If this is not possible due to your injuries, you can obtain a copy at a later time.
- Take Pictures – If at all possible, you or your loved one should take pictures of the accident scene at the time the event occurred. Take a picture of the immediate area where you fell as well as the surrounding area. If you are still on the ground, have your loved one take your photo there as well.
Many business owners will quickly correct an issue that caused a slip and fall event to happen. When the repairs are made, it becomes harder to show how the accident occurred.
- Ask For Witness Information – If there were any witnesses to the accident, you should ask that they leave their contact information so that they can provide details of what they saw.
Get a copy of the incident report if possible
- Seek Medical Attention – You will need to get medical attention at the time of the accident. Even if you believe that the injuries may be minor, you are encouraged to go to the ER for an evaluation. Hairline fractures, concussions, and spinal injuries are often undetected at first. People who fall may think that the headache they have or upset stomach they are experiencing is from the emotional stress of the event. In actuality, these may be signs of a more serious injury.
- Contact A Slip and Fall Attorney – Premises liability cases can be difficult to prove. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible helps you protect your rights and allow your lawyer to start building a case on your behalf. It allows your lawyer to send out an investigator before repairs are made.
Common Causes For Falling
When it comes to slip and fall steps are one of the most common areas where these accidents occur. Slippery stairs, loose handrails, and poor lighting all contribute to a dangerous staircase. There are, however, several other issues that can lead to someone falling while on a commercial property.
- Wet flooring
- Cracked tiles or tiles with missing pieces
- Uneven pavement, driveways or parking lots
- Dangerous staircases and stairwells
- Escalators and Elevators
- Threadbare carpeting and carpets with holes
- Carpeting that has not been properly secured
Of course, other reasons can lead to someone falling while you are on a property that is not your own.
Compensation For Slip And Fall Events
Whether you slipped at a store while shopping or fell on the uneven pavement at the gas station, you may have the right to compensation for your losses. Your attorney will discuss with you during your consultation what types of compensation you may qualify for based on the facts of your case. Some of the types that may be available to you include:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost income and benefits
- Future earnings
- Expenses related to the injury
- Pain and Suffering – both past and future
You may also qualify for additional types of compensation. Your attorney will review all available forms of compensation to see what can apply to your case.
Speak With A Premises Liability Attorney About Your Case
Slip and fall injuries should never be overlooked as something that “just happens.” In most cases, the reason that a person fell is the result of an unsafe walking area. It is the responsibility of all property owners and managers to keep their properties safe for use.
Making repairs to broken flooring, cracked sidewalks and uneven pavement is part of the regular maintenance that must be performed on a property. Making sure that floors are dry, snow and ice have been removed from walkways, and that all walkways are free from debris is a mandatory business practice.
Stairways should be maintained to the highest quality and checked often to make sure that steps are not slippery, handrails are secure, and lighting is good. Not only are these good business practices, but they are also a requirement for anyone who allows other people access to their property.
If you have been injured by falling on a property that you do not own, it will be in your best interest to speak with a premises liability attorney. Your attorney will protect your rights to seek compensation and will build a solid case for compensation.
Schedule an appointment today with South Florida’s trusted premises liability lawyer and start your claim for compensation.