Slip and fall injuries are unfortunately common, and a percentage of these falls can be extremely damaging — even deadly. These injuries can be frightening in their suddenness, as well as extremely costly, sometimes producing millions of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. In today’s blog, we want to take a look at some of the essential questions that arise around slip and fall injuries. We will explore some important facts about slip and fall injuries, as well as what can be done if you or a loved find yourself suffering from harm due to a fall.
First things first, be sure to take care of yourself and others if you’ve been injured. Visit a doctor and contact any appropriate medical professionals. If you think you are due compensation for a slip and fall injury, then let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hadfield Stieben & Doutt help out. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today by contacting our Fort Collins office. We will gladly go over the details of your case, as well as discuss any questions you may have about insurance claims. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some important facts to know about slip and fall injuries.
Slips and Falls Are All-Too-Common
Outside of auto accidents, slips and falls are actually the most common variety of accidental injury that personal injury attorneys litigate. Slips and falls account for over a million hospital visits a year. Slipping and falling is especially dangerous for folks over the age of 65. Not only is slipping and falling more common at this age, but it’s typically more damaging. Ultimately, slipping and falling is a risk at any age.
The Damage Can Be Serious
Not only are slips and falls commonplace, but they can cause a wide range of potential injuries. The injuries can, of course, range in severity, but common injuries include:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Soft tissue injuries such as wrist and ankle sprains, as well as severe ligament and tendon tears
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones, ranging from minor fractures to severe breaks demanding numerous surgeries
- Spinal cord injuries, which are often life-threatening and costly
They Can Occur Anywhere
Slips and falls can happen all over the place. Many slips and falls occur without any person being at fault, while other situations are due to the negligence of an at-fault party (more about that below). There are common sources of slips and falls that you can be on the lookout for. These include:
- An excessively wet floor without appropriate signage
- Debris or spillage, such as fruit on the floor of a grocery store
- Protruding tree roots
- Uneven sidewalks
- Unmarked potholes
- Construction zones without appropriate precautions or warnings
- Defective public areas, such as stairs, escalators, elevators, and sidewalks
- Inadequate ramps or handrails
- Build up of ice or other foreign substances
Of course, there are situations where people fall without any warning. We have all had situations where we’ve simply tripped over our own feet. And there are plenty of situations where we cause our own downfall, perhaps because of untied shoes or because we’re staring at our phone screen. These situations are different from slips and falls, though they can certainly still lead to injury. The slips and falls we’re concerned with are the ones where a settlement is justified.
Slips and Falls Sometimes Justify a Settlement
So, how do you know if your slip and fall case might entitle you to compensation? The most important thing to figure out is who is at fault. There are two things that will need to be established in order to hold another party responsible for injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident:
- Whether a reasonable person would have identified the condition that led to the fall as hazardous, and whether the property owner (or employee) had ample opportunity to remedy the situation before the accident occurred.
- Whether the property owner (or employee) actually caused the dangerous condition leading to the slip and fall accident (e.g. by leaving a hazardous obstacle in a walking path).
If there is reason to believe that one or both of these conditions have been met, then you may be entitled to a settlement. What really matters here is establishing negligence and liability. There are many details that would still need to be worked out, so it’s important that your personal injury lawyer has the opportunity to discuss the situation with you and conduct an investigation to gather evidence in favor of your case. For instance, where the fall took place and why you were there can have an effect on fault and liability. You can learn more by visiting our Slip and Fall page, or start the process with a risk-free consultation.
Figuring Out Details and Categories of Compensation
After your free consultation with our Fort Collins personal injury attorneys, it will be up to you to decide whether or not to hire us. You can get a sense of the entire process following an injury by reading our previous blog. We will walk you through what you can expect step-by-step, which will differ on a case-by-case basis.
For slips and falls, general compensatory damages are most likely to be awarded. These are to compensate for damages that are typically non-monetary in nature, and can include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental or emotional struggles
- Loss of companionship
These damages don’t directly equate to a monetary value, so it’s important to decide on what’s fair. In addition to these, there are situations that result in direct monetary damages. These are also eligible for compensatory damages. These include:
- Medical bills
- Attorney fees
- Cost of future medical services required
- Household bills and necessities
Working With a Personal Injury Attorney
Clearly, the specifics of the case are important, and things quickly become complicated. This is because each case is unique. In the end, you will want to trust in the experts. HSD Law has experienced personal injury attorneys who are here to help you through the entire process. Not only do we offer no-obligation consultations, but we don’t receive any fees unless we collect for you.
To better understand the legal issues in these types of cases and improve your odds of winning, make sure you read our Slip and Fall page or browse our FAQs and Glossary of Terms. And if you suspect that you or someone you love sustained a slip and fall injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, then schedule your free consultation with HSD Law today.