Slip and Fall Lawyers

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 hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Falls can cause severe injuries including hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries, making it difficult to live independently. Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and the the third leading cause of death from unintentional injuries, the CDC reports.

CDC statistics reveal that about 25,500 older adults died from a fall accident in 2013, with approximately half of these deaths resulting from a traumatic brain injury. Older adults are at high risk of serious injury or death in a slip and fall.

Slip and falls are entirely too common and can cause serious injury. The National Business Group on Health fact sheet indicates that falls were the top cause of injury for people of all ages between the years of 1997 and 2007. These injuries ranged from mild to severe and life-threatening.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a slip and fall, you may have the legal right to obtain compensation for your injuries from the person or company responsible for your accident. A slip and fall lawyer at Becker Law Office can help you make your case.

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: Lighthouse Enterprises estimates that the average restaurant will be dealing with between three and nine 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 (NFSI) 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: The Church Mutual Insurance Group reports that an estimated 90 percent of falls at churches and worship centers occur when people are on the stairs.

In many of these situations, the victim of a slip and fall is on someone else’s property when the accident occurs. A slip and fall accident victim can take legal action against the property owner or against the renter occupying the property if this owner or renter was negligent about warning adequately about a fall hazard or correcting it in a timely fashion.

How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?

When you are at someone’s property or out in a public location, certain factors increase your chances of slipping and falling. Common reasons for slip and fall accidents include:

  • Changes in flooring surface (from tile to carpet for example)
  • Slippery or slick floors
  • Ice or snow
  • Uneven pavement or gravel
  • Cracks in sidewalks or flooring
  • Stairs that are too steep, that have broken handrails or that have narrow treads
  • Debris or foreign objects in walkways
  • Potholes
  • Curbs
  • Changes in the height of the floor or ground (such as a small step down).

Many slip and fall accidents can be prevented with proper maintenance and by exercising reasonable care in making a property safe for visitors. If there are hazards that cannot be fixed or corrected, the property owner or renter needs to adequately warn visitors of the hazard.

Taking Legal Action After a Slip and Fall

When you are injured in a serious slip and fall accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the person who owned the property or who was renting and responsible for the maintenance on the property. To be able to file a slip and fall claim, you need to show that:

  • The owner or renter had a legal obligation to you to make the property safe The owner fell short in fulfilling that obligation
  • You suffered harm as a result of the owner’s actions.

Proving these elements can be complicated, especially since there are specific rules about how evidence is collected and presented in a courtroom. A slip and fall attorney at Becker Law Office can help you to gather necessary evidence and try to make your case for damages.

Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

When you are hurt in a slip and fall, the amount of money you can recover from the property owner or renter who was responsible for the accident will vary depending upon how badly you were hurt.  Common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents include:

  • 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.

Slip and fall injuries can have serious consequences and you may be forced to undergo lengthy and expensive medical treatments and rehabilitation. Your ability to work may be affected and you may experience ongoing pain.

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, then surviving family members can also recover compensation for loss of companionship and other wrongful death damages.

A Slip and Fall Attorney at Becker Law Office Can Help

design-05When you or a loved one suffers a slip and fall injury, there are two ways to resolve your personal injury or wrongful death claim and to get the compensation you deserve. One option is to negotiate a settlement agreement, giving up your right to sue in exchange for payment. The second option is to take your claim to court and prove your case.

Many attorneys are good at negotiating settlements or representing clients in court, but may not be experienced at both. At Becker Law Office, however, you will not have to make a choice between settlement negotiator or a trial lawyer.

At Becker Law Office, you have a legal team made up of two separate law firms with their own areas of expertise. The dedicated slip and fall lawyers at Becker Law Office focus on settlement agreements, using our negotiation skills to get you the money you deserve out of court. If we cannot obtain a satisfactory settlement, you will be represented by attorneys from Bubalo Goode Sales & Bliss who have been recognized among Kentucky’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

To learn more about Becker Law Office and about how our Kentucky slip and fall lawyers can help you to get the money you deserve, contact us online or by phone today to set up your FREE consultation. From our offices in Louisville and Lexington, we handle claims across Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Sources:

CDC: Falls Among Older Adults

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