A slip and fall accident occurs when the surface of a pathway is in a condition that is, for example, wet or icy, causing a person to slip. Property owners have a legal obligation to provide for the reasonable safety of people who might visit their premises and are expected to ensure the premises is free of safety hazards or that existing hazards are marked in a manner that warns people of the existence of that danger.
Slip-and-fall accident claims are based on property owners, managers or other responsible parties’ legal obligation to ensure their property is reasonably free of hazards or to adequately warn visitors of an existing danger. Failing to meet this obligation may make a responsible party liable if someone is hurt in a slip-and-fall accident.
Slip-and-fall accidents commonly involve negligence in dealing with potential hazards such as:
- Wet floors and walkways
- Ice and snow
- Cluttered aisles and fallen merchandise
- Damaged floors and floor coverings
- Slippery flooring materials
- Inadequate lighting
Slip and Fall at a Store
A store that opens its doors to the public has a duty to keep the property reasonably safe. An unsafe condition that contributes to an accident can lead to an injury claim against the business. A store may be held responsible for creating an unsafe condition, such as using slippery wax to clean its floors. A store can also be held responsible for a slip an fall that occurs due to a condition that was not created, such as a spilled drink on the floor, but no steps were taken to remedy the situation; the injured customer will likely have to show that the condition was not so open and obvious that the customer should have taken steps to avoid the unsafe condition.
Slip and Fall on Stairs
Slipping and falling on stairs is one of the most common forms of personal injury accidents. Common dangers include slippery stairs due to a spill or the surface itself. Inadequate lighting in stairways make it difficult to see steps or obstacles, or to recognize changes in the floor’s surface. Moving from a lighted area into darkness causes temporary vision loss that can lead to a fall. Property owners should install and maintain proper lighting in public areas. For outdoor stairs, ice, rainwater, and snow may collect on stairs. These normal weather conditions are to be expected, however, they should be properly cleared and properly maintained. Other dangerous conditions are stairs with building code violations such as uneven stairs, or stairs that are not the proper height or depth. Specific rules govern the way stairs must be constructed to promote safety. When a property owner fails to follow building code standards in their construction processes or fails to properly clear dangerous conditions, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur.
Property owners are generally liable for accidents that occur on their premises, including those that happen on indoor and outdoor stairs. In order for the owner of the property to be responsible for your injuries:
– The owner or his/her employees must have caused the conditions that resulted in your injuries.
– The owner or his/her employees knew of the dangerous surface but did nothing about it.
– The owner or his/her employees should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.
Slip and Fall at a Hospital/Medical Facility
Hospitals and medical facilities need to adhere to strict sanitary and safety guidelines. When these guidelines are not followed or dangerous conditions are created, the result can mean serious injuries to patients and visitors. These injuries can include broken bones, shoulder and knee dislocations, sprains to muscles, neck and joints, and more serious injuries such as internal bleeding and traumatic brain injuries.
Premises Liability holds a property owner, or any person in possession of the property, liable for damages suffered on their premises. Hospitals and medical facilities, like all other establishments, owe a duty of care to all inhabitants of their premises, whether it be a patient, visitor, or staff member.
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Seek medical treatment. Some falls can be life threatening, so it is important to get the medical attention you need as soon as possible. Seeking medical attention also allows you to get the treatment you need to create an official doctor’s record of events to be able to later support any legal action you take.
It is also important to have a report of the incident. If possible, gather evidence such as:
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident;
- If someone witnesses your fall, gather their information;
- If your slip and fall occurs in a store, such as a department or grocery store, make sure you file an accident report. You can do this by asking for the manager and they will then document your version of the accident. This will prove to be valuable in representing you for your injuries. If possible, make sure to obtain an accident report prior to leaving the store.
Slip and fall accidents due to property owners’ failure in their duty to ensure the safety of their visitors are some of the most common personal injury cases across the nation. If you or your loved one have suffered serious injuries from a slip and fall, Karasik Law Group will fight for your right to compensation for every dollar you are entitled to under the law. Call us to today at (718) 502-9112 to schedule a free consultation. And be sure to visit our website at www.karasiklawyers.com. At Karasik Law Group, winning matters. Win with us! We speak for the injured; our results speak for themselves
Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
Some of the most common types of injuries resulting from a Slip and Fall are:
- Head injuries. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Hip Fractures. More than 95 percent of broken hips are suffered in falls,
according to the CDC
- Back and spinal cord injuries. The impact to the body in a slip-and-fall accident can fracture vertebrae or cause slipped or herniated discs, which cause significant pain and limit mobility. An injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis and other neurologic and sensory impairments
- Shoulder injuries. A slip-and-fall accident may result in a shoulder dislocation and may require surgery followed by extensive physical therapy
- Sprains and fractures. Slipping and falling can cause the victim to twist a knee or ankle and sprain the connective ligaments at those joints. The impact of landing on the ground or floor or hitting something while falling can also break bones. The most common fractures suffered in falls are of the hip, spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand