Slip and Fall Attorney – Premises Liability Cases
Legal Representation for Victims of a Slip and Fall
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Slip and fall accidents don’t just happen by chance; they happen as a result of negligence and ignoring the safety standards that are required by law. Even though there are plenty of safety standards, codes, laws, and guidelines for both taking care of construction areas and current properties, people too often need the help of slip-and-fall accident lawyers to gain compensation. It’s been estimated that as many as 25,000 slip, trip, and fall accidents happen daily in the US.
Slip and fall accidents are generally considered premise liability cases, which require the expertise of a skilled slip and fall attorney.
When a property owner does not properly care for and maintain his or her property, the situation can result in a tragic slip and fall accident. These situations can seem hopeless as you fight to prove liability of the property owner or manager. With The Carlson Law Firm on your side, there is no reason to be afraid of the matter at hand. We can help!
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
More than 2.5 million older adults visited emergency rooms in the U.S. in 2013 after being injured in non-fatal falls and more than 734,000 patients were admitted to a hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Falls can cause severe injuries including:
- Fractures: NFSI reports that falls cause 87 percent of bone fractures in adults ages 65 and up. Hip fractures are a common result of slip and falls among the elderly, but anyone of any age can break a bone in a fall.
- Death: The CDC reports that falls are the top cause of death for adults ages 65 and up. Children are especially vulnerable to death as a result of a slip and fall, although anyone can suffer fatal injuries in slip and fall accidents.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Hitting your head in a fall can cause you to develop this condition, which causes ongoing cognitive impairment, mood changes, seizures, and other symptoms. The consequences of a brain injury from a fall can be very severe. An estimated 46 percent of fall-related deaths in 2000 occurred due to TBI, according to the CDC.
- Spinal cord injury: NFSI reports that falls are the second most common cause of spinal cord damage in adults over the age of 65. Anyone who falls on their back could potentially damage the spinal cord and experience full or partial paralysis.
- Neck, shoulder, and back injuries: These injuries can include damage to the soft tissues including the muscles, joints, and ligaments. Strains, sprains, and herniated discs can result from fall injuries.
- Knee injuries: Injuries to the knee from a fall may include damage to soft tissues including sprains, strains, and tears.
Common Slip and Fall Causes
Cases of slip and fall accidents also include tripping and falling due to a hazardous circumstance that could have been avoided with proper maintenance. In order to win premises liability cases of this sort, liability will have to be effectively proven.
Many common causes include:
- Wet floors
- Slippery or slick floors
- Ice or snow
- Cracks in sidewalks or flooring
- Uneven walkways
- Unmarked spills
- Poor lighting
- Stairs that are too deep, have a broken handrail or narrow treads
- Defective equipment
If there is a spill or other dangerous situation on a premise, it must be properly marked by a sign or other warning. If this is not the case, substantial compensation for the injury could be yours. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, a slip and fall law firm can be your legal guidance through the situation.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and falls can happen almost anywhere. However, there are certain situations and locations where there is a greater chance of a fall. For example:
- Hotels: NSU Hospitality reports that slip and falls are the top cause of hotel injuries each year, with 70 percent occurring on flat walking surfaces.
- Restaurants: According to the National Floor Safety Institute and as reported by EHS Today, slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of injuries in the hospitality industry. slip and fall incidents every year.
- Grocery Stores: The National Floor Safety Institute reports that more than $450 million is spent annually to defend against slip and fall claims, and these accidents are the leading cause of injuries for both employees and patrons.
- Work: The National Floor Safety Institute reports that around 16 percent of all workers’ compensation claims and 26 percent of costs associated with work injuries occur as a result of falls at work.
- Stairs: Property owners are liable for staircase accidents in pretty much the same way as they would be responsible if visitors to their property were injured in a slip and fall incident
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Injury
Statistics show that there is a high likelihood that, at some time in every person’s life, they will fall and injure themselves. While many falls occur due to no negligence on the part of others, a significant number of injuries attributed to slip and falls happen because property owners fail to keep their premises safe from unreasonably dangerous conditions and know hazards. In the event you are injured in a way that you feel may be the fault of another, it is important you take the appropriate steps from the moment the accident occurs to protect your rights and preserve crucial evidence to prove your claim.
If you are involved in a slip/trip & fall accident, you should:
- Avoid making any detailed statements concerning fault;
- Get names of owners and managers of property;
- Write names of witnesses;
- Take good pictures of scene and injuries;
- Save footwear and clothing;
- Seek medical attention if injured; and
- Do not give recorded statements to insurance adjusters.
Commercial Property Slip and Fall
Any place where the general public is invited to come and shop or conduct business has a duty to conduct reasonable inspections to keep the premises safe for their patrons. Spills and leaks in machines often cause hard to notice slip hazards in public places. Faulty railing, rotten balconies and steps, poor lighting, holes and elevation changes in walkways all may lead to a serious injury from an unanticipated fall. These businesses expect these falls to happen and they often have ‘risk management teams’ who know how to take action to hide the evidence of their liability.
Private Property Slip and Fall
Homeowners and landowners are also responsible for eliminating and/or disclosing known hazards and hazards of which they should know upon reasonable inspection to their social guests. They must tell their guests of potential risks they encounter when they are invited in. Failure to do so can result in civil liability for personal injury damages.
A dangerous condition on property that is likely to draw children or others onto the property because of its allure or appeal is an example of this known as an “attractive nuisance.” Properties with swimming ponds, trails, or tracks that might be reasonably anticipated to draw people onto the property may fall under the attractive nuisance doctrine if they conceal a hidden danger.
Slip and Fall At Work
It is important to differentiate between slip and falls that occur while you are on the job and those that may occur in your leisure on someone else’s property. A slip and fall at work may be covered under worker’s compensation, whereas other slip and falls are not.
If you experience a slip and fall at work, it is important to report the incident to your supervisor immediately. You may be tasked with filling out paperwork and giving a detailed account of your accident or your supervisor may be required to do it. In addition, your employer should offer you the opportunity to seek medical care.
If you decide to file a claim against your employer after consulting with a slip and fall law firm, you will need to prove that your employer was liable for your accident.
Taking Legal Action After a Slip and Fall With a Slip and Fall Attorney
The law allows you to be made whole for these losses. You can seek compensation for all of the costs and consequences of fall accidents including payment of medical bills, lost income/wages, pain and suffering damages, and emotional distress damages. If the fall leads to a death, the surviving family members can also recover compensation for loss of companionship and other wrongful death damages.
Under Texas law, the duty owed to a person who enters another person’s property is determined by the injured party’s status. One who owns or is in control of property may owe a different duty depending upon the injured person’s status as an invitee, licensee or trespasser. The three classifications are:
- Invitee – An invitee is generally defined as someone who enters the property of another for the property possessors benefit. A customer in a store is considered an invitee.
- Licensee – A licensee is a person who enters the property of another for the mutual benefit of the landowner/possessor and the individual visiting.
- Trespasser – A trespasser is a person who enters the property of another without any invitation or right. A person who enters a property as an invitee can become a trespasser if he leaves the area to which he was invited to enter, such as a store customer sneaking into an employee-only area.
Each of the above classifications determines the duty owed to the injured person. The duties owed are as follows:
- Duty to an Invitee – A person in control of the premises owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to provide safe premises. This means that the landowner must disclose all unreasonably dangerous conditions of which he is aware and those that he should have knowledge of upon reasonable inspection of the property. Failure to do one or the other results in liability for injury caused by the unreasonably dangerous condition.
- Duty to a Licensee – A person in control of the premises owes a licensee a duty to disclose only known dangerous conditions. There is no duty to inspect the property to make it reasonably safe for a licensee.
- Duty to a Trespasser – A person in control of the premises owes a trespasser only a minimal duty to not intentionally or willfully do him or her harm. Proving liability for an adult trespasser is extremely difficult in many cases. However, there are some exceptions, such as the attractive nuisance doctrine and the doctrine of implied permission by acquiescence.
How A Slip and Fall Law Firm Can Help
At The Carlson Law Firm, we can use our over 35 years worth of experience to help determine liability. We have investigators on our team who work hard to find honest evidence in premises liability cases. You may be facing a substantial amount of medical bills or other hardships that you deserve compensation for, and an attorney from our firm can help you receive that which you deserve. It is important to work with a slip and fall attorney who understands your situation and can help you through the process of rebuilding your life.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we are committed to helping you get back on your feet and building a healthy future, so contact our firm today! We have offices in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and Bryan, and we are prepared to help you!