slip-and-fall lawyer

Injuries sustained in a fall are a leading cause of emergency room visits. While falls from a height can be deadly, falls resulting from tripping or slipping often cause devastating harm. A slip-and-fall can lead to traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and disabling joint damage.

Slip-and-fall or tripping injuries are often caused by property owners who failed to maintain their property in a safe condition. Shopping centers, business parking lots, and the interiors of stores and office buildings are common sites of slip-and-fall injuries.

Property owners can be held responsible when their negligence causes a customer or visitor to fall. An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer can negotiate a settlement or bring a case to trial to secure fair compensation for victims who were injured in falls.

Liability of Property Owners

All property owners have a duty to keep property safe for the people who they expect to use their property. They can be held accountable when they fail to detect and remedy hazards that pose a risk to property users or when they fail to warn property users about those risks.

The duty may vary depending on the reason the accident victim entered the property. Different states follow different rules about liability. In some states, trespassers have less protection than someone who has been invited onto the property. Many states protect property owners from liability when they make their land available to the public at no charge for recreational purposes. Even in those situations, there may be circumstances under which a property owner can be held responsible for injuries caused by their negligence.

All states recognize that business owners have a duty keep their property safe for customers. States usually impose a similar duty on homeowners who invite people onto their property or into their homes.

The duty to use reasonable care to keep property safe includes a requirement to inspect and maintain the property so that hazards (and potential hazards) can be found and corrected before they cause harm. When property owners are aware of a hazard, they have a duty to warn customers and people who are invited onto the premises about the hazard.

Experienced slip-and-fall lawyers prove liability with evidence that the property owner was negligent. For example, a witness might have seen spilled water in a supermarket produce aisle a half hour before a customer slipped on the water. A jury could decide that a careful supermarket owner would detect a wet floor in less than a half hour, particularly in a part of the story where wet floors are common. A witness might also explain that she told a store employee about a liquid spill and saw the employee leave to get a mop without making sure that another employee was present to warn customers away from the wet floor.

Common Slip-and-Fall Liability

Supermarkets are dangerous places. Wet floors are common. Grocers need to keep produce moist, making produce aisles a natural location for wet floors. Products that fall from shelves break open, leaving aisles drenched in olive oil, laundry detergent, or other slippery liquids.

Supermarket employees should regularly check aisles for spills. When they find one, they should stand guard until another employee retrieves a mop. Since the floor will still be wet after the spill is cleaned, the store employees should put up warning signs so that customers can be alert to the danger. The failure to take any of those steps can give rise to liability when a customer falls and sustains an injury.

Many businesses work with liquids. Laundries, oil change shops, and nightclubs all deal with liquid products that can cause a customer to slip and fall. They all have a duty to protect customers from slippery surfaces.

Falls can also be caused by tripping hazards. Uneven sidewalks in a mall, potholes in a parking lot, and loose gravel at a business entrance are common examples of hazardous conditions that business owners should detect and correct. Their negligent failure to do so makes them responsible for resulting injuries.

Other examples of tripping hazards include cords stretched across an aisle, products protruding from a bottom shelf, and debris in a parking lot. In each case, the business can be held responsible for failing to notice and fix the problem before the customer fell.

Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Ground-level falls are not as dangerous as falls from a height, but they can have serious consequences. Falls usually have the most devastating consequences for older people. Hip fractures, for example, are usually seen in seniors who fall. Hip fractures often lead to lengthy surgeries and may require a hip replacement.

Concussions occur when the head strikes the ground or a nearby object as the victim falls. Concussions are brain injuries. In some cases, those brain injuries can be traumatic, leading to ongoing problems with vision, speech, and thinking. Traumatic brain injuries may lead to unemployment or years of occupational rehabilitation.

Twisting an ankle or knee during a fall can damage joints. It usually takes more than a year to recover from a serious joint injury. Many joint injuries require surgery and months of physical therapy before the injury victim can walk without an assistive device.

People who fall instinctively throw out their arms to try to break the fall. They often break their fingers and arms instead. Hand, wrist, and elbow injuries are typical results of a slip-and-fall.

Back and shoulder injuries are among the soft tissue injuries that are common to ground-level falls. Torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments can lead to long-term pain. Damaged nerves cause permanent disabilities. 

Slip-and-Fall Lawyers

Slip-and-fall lawyers help accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. Compensation may include past and future medical expenses, wage loss, lost of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the cost of coping with a disability.

Outcomes improve when injury victims speak to a lawyer promptly. An experienced lawyer will want to launch an investigation while memories are still fresh. Taking photographs before potholes are filled or cracked sidewalks are repaired can preserve vital evidence. While a fall victim’s first call should be devoted to obtaining medical assistance, the next call should be to a Florida slip-and-fall attorney.