Slip, trip, and fall accidents happen far too often. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. are treated at emergency departments for cuts and bruises, muscle and ligament damage, scarring, and broken bones as well as neck, head, and brain injuries. These are just a few examples seen in personal injury cases. Common types of accidents that cause them will be explored below.
Common Causes for Slip and Falls
The most common types of accidents that lead victims and/or loved ones to seek counsel from a slip and fall lawyer include:
Wet or uneven surfaces account for more than half of slip and fall accidents worldwide. Moisture, slippery materials, and recently mopped/waxed surfaces create dangers because there is limited friction. A person’s feet can literally slip out from under them. Such an accident can happen at home, a commercial building, or industrial property as well as in a public area. It can happen indoors or outdoors; on a hard, level surface; a carpet or mat; or on a staircase.
Pedestrians aren’t usually looking down; and when they are, it’s often at their phones. A person might be walking at a pace fast enough such that, when their foot touches the broken pavement, momentum causes them to trip and fall. An unstable piece of concrete might seem solid until you step on it and lose your footing. Unguarded manholes, poor lighting, and other safety violations can increase the danger.
Poor lighting, missing/damaged steps, slippery steps, and objects, loose tiles/panels, rotting wood, damaged concrete, and frayed carpeting can trigger serious injuries. A fall on a stairway presents a greater danger than on a flat surface. It adds height and gravity to the equation, meaning a person will likely continue to fall until they reach the bottom. The risk for multiple major injuries is therefore very high.
Potholes are depressions in a road surface caused by the weather, salt buildup, or oil. Oftentimes they’re due to expansion and contraction of water. A sign of poor maintenance, potholes are hazardous to cars that may lose control and injure drivers; pedestrians can be struck by vehicles as a result. Potholes pose an injury threat to cyclists and motorcyclists as well.
A loose, damaged, or missing handrail can leave you looking for accident representation. Failure to fix a handrail is a form of negligence. Most people rely on handrails for support on stairs. If a railing is damaged, a person can lose their balance. But other factors may contribute to an injury, including poor structural integrity; worn material around a handrail can cause it to give way. Inadequate lighting can be a factor as well.
Unsecured rugs and carpets are a leading cause of falls for people aged 65 and older. Such incidents occur most often at home, but can occur at a business or public venue. Pads or grippers placed under a rug or carpet can help secure it. Uneven carpeting with raised areas can also cause someone to trip. If a carpet is torn, a person’s foot can catch on the tear, causing a fall. Any faults in carpeting should therefore be fixed as soon as possible.
Safety Code Violations
Safety code violations are commonly cited in premises liability cases. Federal, state, and municipal codes lay out guidelines on constructing buildings. Potentially dangerous violations can include stairs with broken/missing railings, crumbling steps, uneven curbs, poor lighting, lack of slip-resistant mats, and failure to remove snow and ice. Code violations can occur anywhere from public spaces to offices, to rental apartments where a landlord or property manager is responsible for maintenance and upkeep.
How Do I Go About Receiving Compensation?
The actions taken after a slip and fall can impact whether you receive personal injury compensation or not. First, seek immediate medical care to address any injuries, some which you may not know about right away. Physicians and medical staff can also document your injuries. The details they report can help build your case.
Report your accident to a business owner, manager, or landlord. It’s then their responsibility to document the incident. Make sure you receive a copy of the written report. Other information to gather includes your account of what happened, the conditions at the accident scene, pictures of the location, and names and contact information of witnesses.
You should photograph any injuries immediately following an accident. Also, save the shoes and clothes you were wearing when it happened, making sure they are undisturbed until investigators can analyze them.
Limit communications to only your attorney. Don’t place or accept blame and try to say as little to the responsible party as possible. Avoid posting details on social media; insurance companies can use it to sway liability. Find a lawyer who specializes in your type of injury (for example, a neck injury attorney).
Contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani
Our Los Angeles personal injury firm can provide accident representation if you need a broken bone, burn, amputation, back, neck, or spinal cord injury attorney. If you’ve been in a slip, trip, and fall accident, we will fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Our slip and fall lawyer is ready to represent you and hold responsible parties accountable. Call 888-952-2952 to get started with a free consultation.