Slip and fall accidents are a personal injury case where a person trips, falls, or slips and gets injured on someone else’s property. These accidents fall under premises liability. Premises liability makes a property owner liable for injuries that are sustained on their property if the owner did not make a reasonable effort to create a safe environment for any visitors to the property. Slip and fall accidents are not the only thing that falls under premises liability; some common lawsuits are, inadequate maintenance, dangerous property, animal/dog bites, negligent security, restaurant liability, and swimming pool injuries.
Some examples of slip and fall accidents is a property that does not maintain their walkways and there is uneven ground, and it is not marked or fixed, liquids spilled on the ground and it causes someone to slip, merchandise on the ground where people are walking, any material or substance on the ground that causes an unsafe walkway. These are direct causes of a slip and fall accident. There can be indirect causes of an accident. Indirect causes might entail poor lighting, broken handrails, and anything else that might indirectly affect how you walk.
All of these are classified as personal injury law, this type of law deals with the injuries someone suffers due to another’s negligence. Negligence is when someone does not act with proper care that is expected when in that situation. Personal injury accidents can be caused directly or indirectly from the actions of the other party. These actions must create a dangerous environment for the other person.
Common Places Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
Slip and Fall accidents can occur in different places, and these different places can affect who you are suing and the rules on filing a claim. Here are the most common places a slip and fall accident may occur.
Residential property is any building that is zoned as living space, this could be a private home or an apartment building. The landlord or owner of the house is responsible for a person’s compensation if they get hurt on the property. To receive compensation the landowner must be proven liable for the injuries. Here is how a landowner can be liable for a slip and fall accident.
- The property owner or landlord didn’t fix something that caused the person to slip and fall and get injured
- The property owner knew or should have been aware that there is a dangerous condition on their property.
- The property owner has the ability to fix the dangerous condition on their property.
Commercial Property more then just the property owner can be held responsible for your injuries. The business owner or employee in the business can be held liable an injury caused by a slip and fall accident. The criteria for who is liable is like a residential slip and fall accident.
- The business, property owner, or employee created a situation that directly caused a person to slip and fall.
- They were aware that this dangerous situation could happen but did not do anything to fix or repair the dangerous situation.
- The business owner, property owner, or employee should have been aware that there was dangerous situation but should have been aware of the problem and fix it before someone got hurt.
Slip and fall accidents on government property are a little different then then commercial or residential property. The criteria for if they are liable for a slip and fall accident still apply but some statutory laws are different. Also determining what is a government building or organization can be confusing. There are also different rules for filing a claim against a government entity.
Injuries from slip and fall accidents can vary from a mild injury to a severe injury. Elderly people are most likely to slip and fall and get severely injured from a slip. About 1 in 3 elderly people will slip and fall. Elderly people 65 and older make up 40% of the total amount of fatalities in slip and fall accidents. This is the 5th most common cause of death among elderly people. They slip and fall more often than most people due to bad vision, slow reaction time, impaired balance, and poor mobility. The chance of them being fatally injured is because many elderly people have osteoporosis, which is fragile and porous bones. The most common injury for the elderly is hip fractures, which can be quite dangerous of an elderly person. About 25% of elderly people who have had a hip fracture succumb to their injuries within a year.
Elderly people are not the only ones who suffer from slip and fall accidents, children and young adults are also at risk of an injury in a slip and fall accident. From ages 0-4 and 15-19 years old, they are the most at risk for falls that result in a traumatic brain injury. Fifty percent of falls that lead to traumatic brain injury are among children 14 and younger. This is most likely due to children being very active and careless. They do not think of the ramifications of their actions. But injuries for slip and fall accidents have a wide range of severity, like:
- Broken bones
- Pinched Nerve or bulging disc
- Strained tendons or muscles
- Sprained ligaments
- Soft tissue damage
- Brain and Head injuries
- Loss of life
Compensation You can Receive from a Slip and Fall Accident
Compensation is determined by the damages you sustained from your injuries in accident. The more damages and severity of your injuries will affect the financial compensation that you will receive. Some damages that you might sustain from an accident are:
- Pain and Suffering: This could be mental or physical problems that arise from an accident. For example, an elderly person who breaks a hip and loses their mobility. This would affect them physically and would affect them mentally by causing them a loss in enjoyment of life. They would lose their enjoyment in life because their injury might impede their ability to do things they enjoy like golfing or tennis.
- Loss of Wages: If your injury caused you to not be able to work for a period of time or doctors’ appointments because of the injury caused you to miss work, you are entitled to those lost wages.
- Medical Bills: You are also entitled to get compensation for all your medical bills, past, present or future. This could be any surgery, doctor visits, chiropractic visits, and any rehabilitation that is involved with your injuries that you sustained from the accident.
- Punitive Damages: You could also receive money because the court could decide that the defendant was acting so grossly that the plaintiff deserves more money. They do this to punish the behavior and discourage anyone else in the future from doing the same.