A slip and fall is an event that involves either a foreign or transitory substance on a premises that is known of by a property owner and injures another person. It could be a material defect in the premises that causes injury to someone. Slip and fall cases are classified as a subset of personal injury and premises liability accidents.
Not everyone fully understands the substantial impact slip and fall accidents and resulting injuries have on a surprising number of Floridians each year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that more than 700,000 hospitalization events occur each year due to bone fractures, head trauma and other damage suffered due to falls. These types of accidents are also responsible for a shocking number of unintended fatalities within other age groups, and must be taken very seriously.
When sudden, unanticipated harm such as that stemming from a slip and fall is directly attributable to the avoidable, negligent actions of others, the situation is particularly tragic. Injury victims need to know that help for injuries sustained due to premises hazards really is within their reach, and a Clearwater slip and fall lawyer is ready and willing to take necessary steps to secure the financial resources needed for physical, emotional and financial recovery. En Español.
Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are countless ways in which such misfortune can occur, and the injuries produced are often extremely severe. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suggested that slips and trips are the cause of more general industrial workplace mishaps than any other type of event, accounting for nearly 15% of such accidental deaths. Only car accidents rank higher when it comes to fatalities.
Slip and falls are most profound when an individual is careless about maintaining the floors in the premises, invites people into the business, and when these people are not expecting to see something on the floor it takes them by surprise. However, there are many other instances in which an individual can injure themselves on an individual’s property. Some conditions commonly involved in this sort of event include:
- Loose gravel or paver stones
- Highly polished floor surfaces
- Walkways covered with ice and snow
- Raised and cracked sidewalks and parking lots
- Poorly secured cabling
- Hidden environmental hazards such as branches and tree roots
- Bunched or lumpy carpeting
Hazards can be found virtually anywhere, and injury victims have sustained lasting harm in places as diverse as shopping malls, parking structures, staircases, sidewalks, office facilities, schools and more. The injuries that can result include wrist, knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries. In addition, an individual can sustain facial injuries, bruising, and sometimes closed head injuries.
Improper maintenance of publicly accessible places can and does lead to significant injuries, often regardless of the victim’s own attentiveness or care. When this is the case, an experienced Clearwater slip and fall attorney can make all the difference in the fight for fair compensation and a degree of justice for those responsible.
While it is rarely easy to conclusively establish liability in a slip and fall matter, a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer in Clearwater can work diligently to amass documentary evidence, review medical records, solicit witness statements and build the strongest possible arguments on behalf of clients.
A slip and fall attorney will determine whether the proprietor had notice or a reason to believe that a particular location had a substance on it that foreseeably could cause a fall. Lawyers will also attempt to identify if there are any surveillance cameras that capture the event.
Considering how serious the injuries caused by slip and fall events regularly are, the financial compensation potentially available in these cases can be quite high and may include payment for medical expenses, physical pain and emotional trauma, lost wages and dependent support in cases of fatality.
Mistakes to Avoid
People make a mistake when they wait too long and do not go to the doctor. They do not seek treatment until long after the accident, and by the time they contact a qualified and capable lawyer, the videotapes are gone, the patient’s injuries have been cured and it is very difficult to set up a chain of events.
Filing An Injury Claim
Slip and fall cases are unique because they are governed by a statute specifically dealing with foreign, transitory substances that took effect in 2010. That statute has very specific obligations that a plaintiff must prove to be able to bring a case against a proprietor of an establishment.
There can be little doubt about the often life-altering harm a significant slip and fall accident can produce. While some victims suffer only temporary inconvenience and mild discomfort, others are left to contend with permanent disabilities or devastating financial losses.
People probably are not aware that there are viscosity and “slipperiness” tests to be done when filing a claim. The viscosity test can be done on any particular surface to determine how slippery it is, and then an attorney can determine whether or not the condition of a surface meets certain levels of reasonableness.
Individuals whose injuries were caused by another party’s negligence owe it to themselves to assert their rights and pursue every available dollar of compensation. It is important to contact a Clearwater slip and fall attorney as soon as possible to begin seeking compensation for your injuries.