People slip and fall all the time, whether it’s because we trip over something, we’re running too fast, or we’re just plain clumsy. Because of this, we tend to think of falls as embarrassing accidents and not very serious.
In some cases, though, this is a big mistake. Some slip and falls can result in serious injuries that lead to high medical bills and time lost at work. Moreover, sometimes our “clumsiness” can be due to another’s negligent actions.
Taking someone to court over a slip and fall might seem extreme at first, but think about it. Should you really have to pay for a mistake that someone else made? Shouldn’t you be compensated for the pain you’ve suffered and the money you’ve had to spend?
Here are just a few common injuries that result from slip and falls.
Some of the Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and falls are actually one of the most common personal injury lawsuits, due to the range and severity of injuries that can come from experiencing one. Falling at a bad angle or landing on a specific part of the body can make a big difference in the injuries that you sustain from a slip and fall, including:
- Pulling a Muscle: Overstretching a muscle during a fall could lead to tears in the muscle fibers and a muscle strain. If the strained muscle is in your lower back or neck, even sitting up can be painful.
- Broken or Sprained Bones: Depending on what you use to brace yourself from the fall (or if you fall in such a way that you cannot brace yourself) you might suffer broken bones. Common broken bones from slip and fall accidents include wrists, ankles, collarbones or tailbones.
- Bruised Tailbone: Even if the impact is not so severe that your tailbone is broken, you may still suffer from a bruised tailbone. Depending on how bad the bruising is, your tailbone may take weeks to recover.
- Head and Brain Injuries: These are the truly frightening injuries. A doctor should always properly assess all head and brain injuries, even if you “feel fine.” We’ve all heard the story of Natasha Richardson’s fatal fall during a skiing trip, and it just goes to show you that brain injuries are nothing to mess around with, especially if the victim is a child or a senior.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall to See If You Have a Case
Say you’ve suffered a slip and fall and have outstanding medical bills. Does that mean you’ve got a case?
When you bring someone to court over a slip and fall, you have to be able to prove that the accident was due to negligence by the owner of the property where you slipped and fell.
Slipping and falling in your own home, for example, won’t result in a lawsuit, but you should still give a call to your insurance company. However, if you slip and fall in an apartment complex that has not been properly maintained and is not up to building codes, you might have a viable personal injury claim on your hands.
To file a slip and fall lawsuit, you must first gather evidence that will prove the property owner was negligent in fixing, removing, or warning guests about the foreign substance or object that caused your accident. If you are considering filing a slip and fall lawsuit, ask yourself the following questions:
- Could the owner of the property have prevented the accident?
- Was the property owner fulfilling his or her duty to maintain a safe property?
- Who exactly is liable? The property owner? An employee?
- How reasonable was the possibility of fixing or removing the foreign substance or object that caused your slip and fall?
Case Study: Anatomy of a Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall cases can be tricky. Here’s an example to show you how small details can make a big difference in your case.
A man goes to an event for work. There is food and drink at this event, and someone spills a glass of juice on the floor. There are staff members present at the event who see and are warned about the spill, but none of the staff bothers to put a warning sign out around the juice or clean up the juice at all. The man does not see the juice due to the large crowd of people at the event, slips on it, and breaks his tailbone. The man can sue, due to the negligence of the staff.
Now, however, let’s say there were no staff members or property managers at the event. Or let’s say the man who suffered the accident had a few alcoholic beverages when he slipped and fell. While these won’t make or break a case, these small elements will certainly make it harder for the man to win the full amount of compensation he is asking for.
If you believe you have a slip and fall lawsuit on your hands, don’t go at it alone. Talk to a Brooklyn personal injury lawyer today about your options, the most likely outcome, and how you can fight for the compensation you need.