Slips, trips, and falls are surprisingly serious causes of injury, resulting in 42,114 deaths and about 8 million emergency room visits each year. These injuries can be especially dangerous for the elderly since they can cause fractured hips, which in turn can shorten life expectancy.
At FVF, our attorneys have noticed that many fall injury victims hesitate in calling a trip and fall injury lawyer. Some mistakenly believe that there is no legal recourse in fall injuries while others believe these are “minor” injuries and cannot lead to a lawsuit. This is not correct. Slip and fall and trip and fall injuries can be serious and can allow plaintiffs to seek substantial financial recovery in some cases. If you have been injured, you can speak with a trip and fall injury lawyer at FVF in a free, no-pressure case consultation to learn the facts.
Where And How Do Slips and Falls and Trip and Falls Commonly Occur?
Slip and fall incidents can occur anywhere where a floor or walkway surface has become slick with water or another slippery substance. These incidents can occur in the home, on stairs, on sidewalks, in parking lots, in stores, in hotels, and in just about any location. Slip and falls can occur for many reasons, including:
- Inadequate cleaning
- Lack of adequate signage after mopping or cleaning has made a floor slippery
- Lack of cleanup after spills
- Unaddressed leaks
- Lack of adequate cleaning when wet weather requires it
- Poor flooring choices, which create dangerously slippery floors
- Poor maintenance of parking areas and outdoor spaces, where water can pool
- Lack of mats or other safety measures to absorb excess water from boots on wet days
Trip and fall injuries, on the other hand, happen when debris, obstacles, or uneven floor surfaces cause a person to fall. These injuries can happen because of poor floor maintenance or because items are allowed to remain on a floor. As with slip and falls, trip and fall injuries can occur on any public or private property, including indoor or outdoor areas. Common causes include:
- Poorly secured rugs or carpets
- Uneven floor surfaces or stairs
- Lack of adequate railings on ramps and stairs
- Poor lighting
- Inadequate cleaning process for spilled or dropped items
- Decorative items around walkways and on floors
- Inadequate trimming of bushes and plants near walkways and sidewalks
- Poor maintenance of flooring surfaces
- Lack of signage for uneven floors
- Items dropped on floors and not picked up or cleared away
It is important for any areas where people walk to be kept clear and tidy. If there is a larger issue, such as a broken floor tile, that cannot be addressed right away businesses and property owners or leaseholders should place clear signage to warn visitors of the danger until the hazard can be eliminated.
What Kinds of Injuries Can Negligence Lead To?
If a leaseholder or property owner does not take care, slip and fall and trip and fall accidents can happen. While sometimes a person may walk away from such an incident with no injuries, falls can be serious and can lead to:
- Broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and soft tissue injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Facial injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
Some of these injuries can be life-altering or even fatal. A brain injury, for example, can lead to bleeding inside the skull, which can create pressure and brain tissue damage leading to a fatality. A serious back injury can lead to a lifetime of pain and reduced mobility. Seeking medical help soon after your injury is important to rule out serious injury and to start treatment if you need it.
What Kind of Medical Costs Might Someone Be Looking At?
Medical costs can be significant after a trip and fall or slip and fall injury. A traumatic brain injury, for example, can cost between $600,000 and $1.8 million over the lifetime of a patient. Even a broken bone can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Slip and fall and trip and fall injury patients may need to pay for surgery, hospital stays, occupational and physical therapy, medications, medical devices, and more.
When considering your medical costs, remember to include future costs and related expenses, including any time you’ll need to take from work to attend doctor’s appointments, and future medical costs related to your injury. If you’re considering your expenses, a trip and fall injury attorney can help you accurately evaluate your injuries.
What’s The Process Like for Submitting an Insurance Claim for a Slip or Fall?
You can file an insurance claim by alerting the leaseholder or property owner of where the fall took place of your injury. Try to get a copy of the incident report, photos of the area where the accident took place, and the contact information of any witnesses.
You may also want to speak with a trip and fall injury lawyer, who can explain to you whether an insurance claim is best and can file a claim as well as negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. He or she will review any offers and explain ways you can seek financial recovery.
How Do You Even Determine If the Owner of The Premises Has the Right Insurance to Cover Your Injuries and Medical Costs?
Virtually all businesses have insurance coverage for injuries through their business liability insurance coverage. These policies can cover the medical bills and bodily injury in situations where someone falls on a property. The limits of coverage may vary, however, and may not cover all your costs if you have suffered a serious injury. In addition, insurers generally try to limit liability. They may claim you were not careful, for example, or may work to dismiss your claim.
A good way to determine whether insurance will cover the cost of your injuries and to build a strong case is by speaking with a trip and fall injury lawyer. An attorney can speak with insurers on your behalf, can evaluate your injuries, and can pursue recovery so you can focus on medical treatment and on your life after your injury. When you work with an experienced attorney, insurance companies may take the claim more seriously and may be less able to dismiss a legitimate claim.
How Can FVF Help?
The attorneys at FVF have more than 80 years of combined experience with negotiations, insurers, and trial litigation. Our legal team understands when to work with insurers and when to go to trial to secure the best chance at financial recovery for our clients, which is one reason why our clients have left us perfect reviews on Yelp, Google, and Avvo. The other reason our clients highly recommend us is because we put people first. We genuinely care for injured individuals and carefully educate them about the laws relevant to their cases and explain their options. We have found this education is integral to empowering our clients to make the best decisions for their future.