Our slip and fall attorneys can help you if you have been injured in a falling accident. Property owners who are operating grocery stores, restaurants or office spaces are responsible for making sure that those spaces are safe for visitors. This responsibility is known as ‘premises liability’. This can include slip and fall liability when dangerous conditions result in a serious injury.
These accidents can be far more dangerous than they sound. The sorts of injuries that can result from slips and falls can seriously disrupt your life and your plans for the future. Medical bills are just the beginning of the costs that may be incurred because of a falling accident. Future earnings and quality of life may be permanently thrown into question.
You can learn more about your accident and get some advice from a personal injury lawyer by calling our Tampa slip and fall attorneys. Our team can answer all of your questions and tell you what’s possible if you choose our firm to represent you.
What are the First Steps after a Falling Accident?
After a falling accident, there are some steps you can take to ensure that any future claims you make have the best chance of being evaluated fairly.
Seek medical attention for any falls
You should schedule a medical evaluation as soon as possible after you have been involved in a falling accident. As part of the claim process, you’ll want strong evidence that your injuries and conditions are a result of your fall. That is far easier to prove when medical records, scans and photographs of injuries can be produced while injuries are still recent.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about further tests. Falls can result in deeper damage below the surface of the skin, including damage to your nerves and bones. Broken and fractured bones may sometimes only ache until the damage becomes greater, so X-rays can be very helpful in identifying damage early.
Get information from witnesses, and get mobile phone photos of the surrounding area
To demonstrate the liability of the property owner, it can be helpful to get information from the witnesses of the fall as soon as possible, before they disperse and can’t be found anymore. If anyone saw the accident, ask them if they’d be willing to provide you with their contact information so that you or your slip and fall attorney can reach them at a later date. These witnesses may be key to a successful claim.
Any evidence that you can collect from the area around your fall can also help strengthen your claim. If there are obvious dangers around the area of the fall, such as neglected spills or tripping hazards like boxes that are jutting out of displays, capture them from several angles with your mobile phone. If you must leave immediately after falling for medical attention, ask a witness to take some photos or call a friend to visit the site and take their own photos.
Tread carefully when contacting premises insurance companies
In some slip and fall accidents, you will be making a claim against the premises’ insurance company. That company may attempt to reach you shortly after the accident for a description of your fall. If you intend to seek representation, provide them only with your contact information. They represent the property owner and may use any part of your answers to invalidate your claim. Allow your lawyer to record your version of events and approve the questions you are asked before you give the insurance company any more information.
Where Do Falls Happen as a Result of Negligence?
There are many indoor and outdoor environments that are dangerous when they are not properly cleared or monitored for dangerous conditions. While falls can happen anywhere, they are often associated with dangerous conditions in or on:
Parking Lots: Slip and fall accidents often occur in parking lots. Many business owners neglect the conditions of their parking areas and do not station staff to watch them even during business hours. Negligent behavior may include leaving large pools of water, disregarding the buildup of litter or allowing cracks that cause abrupt changes in elevation.
Sidewalks: Deteriorating sidewalks are dangerous, and it’s the responsibility of city governments and some businesses to make sure that the sidewalks do not present dangers caused by cracks or abrupt edges.
Stairwells: The stairwells found in many apartment buildings, malls and hospitals are often the site of slip and fall accidents. Liquid spills are particularly dangerous around stairwells but are less likely to be spotted than spills in other areas. Some businesses improperly use stairwells as storage areas, stacking boxes in walking space and in front of safety rails so that falls are more likely.
Store Aisles: Poor awareness of the floor and reckless stocking practices can create many dangers for customers. Slip and fall accidents can result from falling boxes, jutting edges from shelves or products, and debris that has been left on the floor and not cleaned up.
Shop Floors: Slip and fall injuries can easily happen on the job and in workshops. Many cases have involved cords that were stretched unsafely across walkways and inadequate lighting that makes navigating safely impossible.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Few things are more embarrassing or painful than slipping and falling in a public place. Most of us will stand quite quickly and keep moving so that we minimize the attention we are afraid we will garner. However, there will be some people who slip and fall who are unable to stand back up due to a potentially serious injury. There are many injuries that can occur from what is considered a simple slip and fall.
Back Injury: One of the most common injuries to the body in a slip and fall is an injury to the back. It is likely that a person who is falling will attempt to break the fall and twist their back in the process. The problem is that people often do not realize that aches and pains they feel days after the fall are caused by this violent twisting motion. An injury of this nature is serious and should be assessed as soon as possible by a medical professional.
Neck Injury: The neck is a sensitive part of your body and the violent twisting or jarring motion experienced in a slip and fall can cause a significant injury. It is possible to suffer a herniated or ruptured cervical disc.
Arm or Wrist Injury: One of the instincts we all have when we fall is to try to break the fall, by throwing our arms out to catch something or reduce the impact. Doing this puts considerable pressure and impact on the bones of the wrist, which will often cause a break or a sprain. The same, or worse, can occur when the shoulder and elbows come into play in the fall. If you have been the victim of a slip and fall and you believe you have injured your arm, you should see a medical professional.
If it important to understand that businesses have a responsibility to provide you a safe environment in which to shop. Their aisles should be free of spills and obstacles that can cause you to fall. It is important that you talk to a store manager and file an accident report after the fall. This information may be something you need in order to recover potential medical expenses and damages.
There are numerous pitfalls a victim of a slip and fall can encounter. The process you must follow to recover damages is complex and can take time. Because of this, it is important you have competent and capable legal representation. At Hunter Law we deal with the defendant’s attorney, the insurance claims adjusters and the bill collectors to allow you time to concentrate on making a full recovery.