What Is a Slip-and-Fall Injury?
A slip-and-fall injury occurs when someone falls and gets hurt while on a business’ premises or other person’s property. They may have fallen at a grocery store because an employee failed to clean up a spill or slipped on a patch of ice outside a restaurant. Or maybe the owner of their apartment building failed to repair a broken handrail, causing them to tumble down the stairs.
These incidents take many forms, and their severity varies, but here are some common slip-and-fall injuries:
- Sprained or broken ankle
- Knee injuries
- Broken ribs, hip, or pelvis
- Sprained or broken wrist
- Neck and back injuries
- Dislocated shoulder
- Concussion and/or skull fracture
What Should I Do After a Slip-and-Fall?
First, get immediate medical attention if necessary. If you’re unsure whether it’s needed, play it safe and go. If it can wait or if you are able to return to the premises afterward, take photos of the site of your fall. These could prove crucial to your case if you decide to file a slip-and-fall lawsuit. You should also obtain contact information for any non-employees who witnessed your fall. They may be able to attest to what happened at a later date, further strengthening a potential case.
Finally, don’t wait to seek medical attention, and be sure to attend all doctor’s appointments and physical therapy sessions. If you file a lawsuit after waiting to go to see a doctor or skipping your doctor’s appointments, the insurance company will use this information to argue that you were not really injured in the fall.
Can I Sue for a Slip-and-Fall?
Yes, someone injured in a slip-and-fall can file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner for damages related to the accident. These damages might include medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among others.
Though a slip-and-fall might sound trivial, the injuries sustained and resulting compensation can be significant. This year, Morgan & Morgan represented a woman who recovered $10 million in a premises liability case filed against Hagos Park Apartments in Atlanta.
How Do I Prove Fault in a Slip-and-Fall Case?
To prove fault in a slip-and-fall case, a plaintiff needs to show that the premises had a dangerous condition that any reasonable property owner would have known about and fixed (or at least strongly warned against). For a property owner to be held liable for the injury, they must have been negligent in not remedying the condition on their premises (e.g., a patch of ice).
Examples of dangerous conditions that can cause a slip-and-fall include the following:
- Spills, puddles, and ice patches
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Cracked or uneven sidewalks
- Loose floorboards
- Defective staircases
If you or a loved one was injured under one of those conditions or under other circumstances where you feel the property owner was negligent, you should contact a premises liability attorney.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
First and foremost, a lawyer can help determine if someone should file a slip-and-fall lawsuit. If so, they will help navigate the thorny legal process, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting experts. They will build the strongest possible case so the injured party can focus on getting better.
Importantly, most personal injury attorneys are free to hire unless the client wins a settlement or jury verdict, at which point they accept a percentage of the money recovered.
Slip-and-fall injuries can have a devastating effect on a person’s health, career, and finances. As a result, there are many types of damages a person may be able to recover through a lawsuit:
Medical bills (medication, physical therapy, etc.)
Pain and suffering (physical pain and/or emotional distress)
Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
Loss of life’s enjoyment
Other damages if applicable
Full compensation for these damages can help a person get their life back on track. If you think you might qualify for a slip-and-fall lawsuit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.