Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents
Most people think of slipping, tripping, or/and falling as something that doesn’t require getting worked up about – after all, most slip and fall accidents are fairly innocuous; a person may bump their bottom or bruise their behind, but nothing more serious than this results.
But sometimes, slip and fall accidents are more serious, and in the most severe of cases, they can even lead to fatal injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that falls are a leading cause of death for elderly persons.
The injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident depend on various factors. The angle of the fall, the health and age of the person involved, the height from which the fall occurs, and the surface onto which the individual falls all impact the severity of injuries. That being said, potential injuries that can result from a slip and fall accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. If a person hits their head on a wall or object on the way down or lands on their back and hits the back of their head on the ground, they could suffer a mild or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Bone fracture injury. Bones can’t bend; they can fracture if they are hit with force or forced into an awkward position. Rib, clavicle, wrist, and elbow fractures are especially common.
- Spine, back, and spinal cord injuries. When a person twists their back awkwardly or lands on their back, the risk of a back or neck injury is possible. This includes soft tissue injury, bone fracture injury, or permanent spinal cord injury.
- Soft tissue injuries. The body’s soft tissues, including the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, can only withstand so much force. Twisting or pushing these soft tissues suddenly or into positions in which they do not belong can cause soft tissue injuries, including sprains, strains, and even tears.
While these are some of the most common injuries, they are by no means the only ones. Call our lawyers if you were recently injured in a slip-and-fall accident.
Top Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most non-serious slip and fall accidents (the ones that just result in bruised bums and egos) are caused by clumsiness or walker distraction – who hasn’t tripped over their feet or banged their leg on the table a time or two? However, more severe slips and falls are caused by hazardous conditions that are entirely preventable and that should never exist in the first place. Examples of some of these hazards include:
- Torn carpet;
- Potholes or depressions in walking areas;
- Broken elevators and escalators;
- Objects in walking areas;
- Falling objects;
- Spills of food, drink, and other wet or slippery substances;
- Uneven walking surfaces;
- Broken stairs;
- A lack of handrails; and
Who’s Liable: An Overview of Premises Liability Laws
Suppose you’ve suffered a slip and fall on someone else’s property due to one of the above hazards or another similar hazard. In that case, you may wonder who’s liable for your damages (including medical expenses, lost wages, and noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering) and whether or not you have a claim. To answer this question, you must understand the laws regarding premises liability.
Premises liability is a legal theory that holds that a property owner can be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property when:
- The accident is a result of a dangerous condition on the property; and
- The property owner knew or should have known of the condition yet failed to remedy the condition in a reasonable amount of time (or provide a warning of the condition).
Liability is based on the idea that property owners owe a duty of care to those who lawfully enter their properties. This is the duty to maintain a property in a reasonably safe condition and to remedy any known hazards within a reasonable amount of time. When the property owner breaches this duty, they can be held liable.