“I’m a klutz,” “I didn’t see that hole,” “I didn’t see that loose step.” These are comments made after trip/slip and falls. However, these slip-and-fall accidents are not always the fault of the victim. The falls could be due to poor design or maintenance of the walking surface (mostly floors, parking lots, sidewalks, and stairs). A person injured due to the fault of the building owner, manager of a building or business, or a municipality that fails to provide a safe environment, may be able to receive financial compensation for their injuries by bringing a “premises liability lawsuit.”
Slip-and-fall accidents can be serious—even deadly. The National Safety Council reports that falls cause over 8 million visits to the emergency room each year. They report that over 17,000 people will die each year because of their injuries caused by trip-and-fall accidents. Falls are the most common cause of brain injury and hip fractures. Slip-and-fall accidents can cause complications including:
Broken bones and fractures
Long-term medical complications
Spinal cord injuries
Safety engineers break down the major categories of the different types of falls due to premises hazards, as follows:
● Slip-and-fall: The walker loses balance because their shoe(s) cannot grip the floor. This is typically due to slipperiness, such as water on marble or cooking oil on flooring. Sometimes it is because the flooring surface does not meet safety standards–think the difference of moving ice on steel (bad) compared to moving rubber on pavement (good).
● Step-and-fall: Someone trips due to a hole, a loose step on a staircase, or some other dangerous footing.
● Trip-and-fall: A foreign object in the path causes the walker to stumble and hit a knee, shoulder, hand, or head on a hard surface.
● Stump-and-fall: A sticky surface catches the walker’s foot and causes a face-first tumble.
Anyone who has encountered any of the above falls on public or private property should take photographs of the scene and impediment promptly as the property owner may correct the problem and destroy the evidence before you can hire an attorney. Hiring an attorney quickly is key to investigating the accident and preserving the evidence. When an accident leads to healthcare expenses, ongoing therapy, disability or lost time from work, the owner or manager of the property where the fall occurred should be held responsible. You should always contact an experienced premises liability attorney. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case. We have helped many other clients get compensation for their loss.