What is a “Slip and Fall” Injury?
Maybe you were walking through the aisles of your local grocery store, filling up your drink at the gas station near your home, or walking your dog on the sidewalk around the city park when you suddenly slipped and fell down hard. Luckily, you were able to stretch out your hands, or you might have struck your head on the ground. Perhaps, you were not so lucky and did hit your head. Either way, you immediately start feeling pain. Something is wrong.
Slip and Fall Injuries Are Common and Serious
Slip and fall injuries are a common cause of personal injury, and they are often quite serious. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in 2014, falls caused 9.2 million emergency room visits, representing 30% of all such visits. Falls are one of the largest, chronic health problems facing the U.S.
Slip and fall injuries are even more devastating to older adults. As people get older, the risk of falling increases. This is due to a number of factors, including weaker bones, poorer vision and balance, and certain medications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four adults aged 65 and older falls each year, and falls are the leading cause of death among older Americans. In fact, falls account for more than 29,000 deaths each year, and more than 2.8 million nonfatal injuries, including broken bones.
While they are common and serious, slips and falls are frequently not taken seriously by insurance adjusters or defense counsel. Slip and falls are often portrayed on television and movies as slapstick comedies, even though they are no laughing matter in the real world. Consequently, while most people would not laugh at an auto accident victim, many think nothing of laughing at someone who falls down.
Similarly, many tend to blame the person who fell in ways we do not blame victims of other types of injuries. For example, some might remark, “If only they had watched where they were going,” or “She must just be clumsy.” Despite such attitudes, slip and fall injuries can be deadly serious, and someone who has suffered injuries resulting from a fall should not be the object of ridicule or scorn.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries in Santa Rosa
Below are just a few of the common types of slip and fall injuries:
- Mild-moderate traumatic brain injury
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints, shoulders, or knees
- Sprained or torn ligaments or tendons
If you experience any of these symptoms after a fall, seek medical attention immediately. Even symptoms that seem minor may be related to more serious, but less obvious, injuries. This is particularly true if you struck your head during a fall. For example, a common symptom of mild traumatic brain injury may be changes in mood, irritability, or other emotional symptoms that one may not necessarily related to the fall itself.
Dangerous Conditions Often Cause Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries can happen anywhere from a business’ premises to someone’s home. They are often the result of the property owner’s negligence, such as when they fail to properly inspect or maintain the property or fail to remove or remedy dangerous conditions.
Property owners have a duty to make sure the conditions of their property are reasonably safe for those who are on the property. In California, this duty cannot be avoided by contract; thus, a landlord remains liable to his or her tenant or others for dangerous conditions of leased property even if the lease attempts to transfer responsibility to someone else. Moreover, in California, property owners remain liable to an injured person regardless of the reason the person was on the property in the first place.
When a property owner fails to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition and someone is injured as a result, the property owner can be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim.
Examples of Dangerous Conditions That Cause Slip and Fall Injuries
Many examples of dangerous conditions exist that any of us might encounter on any given day, including:
- Curled up edges of floor mats at a business
- Spills on the floor at a grocery store, restaurant, or similar business
- Leaky pipes causing puddles of water in a restroom
- Broken handrails on decks or staircases that give way when you grab them
- Broken stairs that collapse when you step on them or stairs that are uneven that cause a person to stumble and fall
- Cracked, broken, or uneven sidewalk pavement
- Walkway obstructions
- Poor lighting in a stairwell that prevents you from clearly seeing the next step
- Unplowed snowy or icy sidewalks
Why It Is Important to Seek Treatment Early for Slip and Fall Injuries
If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Delaying treatment can result in further injury and make it more difficult to recover. Treatment may include pain relief, rehabilitation, and/or surgery.
If you do not seek immediate medical attention, you may be lowering your chance to recover fully from the person or business at fault. Even if your symptoms seem minor, it remains important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a slip and fall. Some injuries may not appear until later. Leaving them untreated could cause further injury. Waiting too long to start treatment also adds a risk that you will get a second injury that could make it hard to determine which injury caused the damage.
Seeking immediate treatment helps you:
- Heal faster and safer,
- Ensure that you are not causing further damage to the injured area, and
- Establish a record of your injury close in time to the actual fall.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover from a Slip and Fall Injury in Sant Rosa?
If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, you may be wondering what types of damages you can recover. Damages are losses you have suffered as a result of the event that caused an injury. They can include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages are those that do not have a specific monetary value, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
You may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages if you have suffered a slip and fall injury. However, the amount of damages that you can recover will vary depending on the facts of your case.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. He or she can evaluate your case and advise you of your rights and options.
What Can You do to Help Your Slip and Fall Case?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, there are several things you can do to help your case. First, make sure you get prompt medical attention for your injuries. This is good for your health and your case.
Second, you should also take pictures of the scene and gather as much evidence as you can. Lawsuits can take a long time, so documenting the circumstances at the time you feel is very important. If you fall at a business establishment, make sure to fill out an incident report and get a copy.
Third, if there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information. This information can help support your case if you later decide to file a lawsuit.
Our Approach to Help You Recover after a Slip and Fall
Slip and fall injuries can often be life-altering and debilitating. At Young Law Group, we work to help you recover and regain control of your life. We understand what you are going through and will fight for you so you can focus on healing.
Our approach is based on compassion. We start by listening to our clients, making a unique connection with every person we represent, and responding to each person’s individual needs and concerns. This is our promise to you.
Compassion is also about fostering understanding. Let’s face it, the legal process is confusing. That is why we work hard to make sure our clients understand every stage of the legal process. We speak plainly, not with perplexing legal jargon. And, we will spend as much time as needed to ensure you feel confident about our law firm and your case.
Your Physical Recovery
We work exclusively with people who have suffered an injury that was not their fault, and many of our clients have experienced slip and fall injuries. Every day we help guide them through their physical recovery by connecting them with treatment providers, helping them keep track of their medical documents, and ensuring they follow through with their treatment provider’s plan of care.
Your Financial Recovery
Personal injury cases are all we do. We have the skills and experience necessary to make sure you obtain as full recovery as possible for your injuries. We deal with insurance adjusters daily and know when they might be holding back from offering the full amount for a client’s injuries. We will fight diligently to make sure you get the recovery you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and see how we can help. Do not try to handle your case alone. The insurance companies will have attorneys on their side. So should you.